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reddog

Why aren't SSD's bog standard on laptops yet?

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Looking to buy my mum a fairly mid market laptop (£500) budget.

The spec doesn't need to be too high, but one thing I want it to have is an SSD (only has to be 128Gb)as I think a hard disk is the most likely to break of slow down the computer (which we want to last for about 7 of 8 years)

SSD's have been out for quite a while, so I am surprised they are virtually unknown at the £500 price point.  I would actually prefer to compromise on other aspects of the spec so that the system can have an SSD.

 

Why are SSD's not bog standard?

The cynic in me think's that manufactures do not want them to become wide spread at the mid/low end until they absolutely have to be, because they solve so many performance problems and extend the usable life if the computer.

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No idea.  I bought a new PC Specialist laptop in May.  It has an SSD in addition to the HDD.  Unfortunately, the DVD-RW has been sacrificed, so I had to transfer all my programs that weren't downloadable on to memory sticks to load.  I've now solved by buying a separate DVD-RW, which I didn't want to do for reasons of clutter.

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I always thought that SSDs have limited read/write cycles so not ideally suited for hosting operating systems where files are repeatedly overwritten. This was a few years ago when SSDs were new as I had a little netbook with an 8gb one.

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35 minutes ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

I thought they were pretty standard now, but I guess if you are talking about a sub £250 laptop, then an SSD would eat up a good chunk of the budget unless it were insanely low capacity, like 64GB.

 

 

The cheapest one I can see is this

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops/laptops/hp-pavilion-15-au077sa-15-6-laptop-white-10146649-pdt.html

, but the real start point for most brands seems to be £600.  Only need a small drive not 1tb HD which seems to be standard on even very low end models

 

1 don't think read rights destroying the SSD is that much if an issue, particularly for the amount my mum.will be using it.

 

Note phones/tablet's/Chromebooks have emmc storage, which is cheap, but does wear out fairly easily. (I don't want emmc storage)

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10 minutes ago, reddog said:

The cheapest one I can feel and is this

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops/laptops/hp-pavilion-15-au077sa-15-6-laptop-white-10146649-pdt.html

, but the real start point for most brand seems to be £600.  Only need a small drive not 1tb HD which seems to be standard on even very low end models

 

1 don't think read rights destroying the SSD is that much if an issue, particularly for the amount my mum.will be using it.

 

Note phones/tablet's/Chromebooks have emmc storage, which is cheap, but does wear out fairly easily.

Tempting fate, I've never had a hard drive fail in a computer, but if it does, its easy to replace DIY, and you should always have a backup in any case to restore from. Probably your mum will save family pictures, which she'd be sad to lose, so a backup HDD would be good to have.

Although I've swapped HDD for SSD to run OS in all my machines, and although all new ones have come with SSD as standard, I still do all my read/write work on internal or external HDDs.

Apart from a rapid startup, which won't be of much concern to your mum, I'd still happily have a 7200rpm HDD to run the OS.

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One thing is the requirement of a laptop to be an everything computer -- so a high % of consumers see data-storage as an important buying point, and so the standard is for 1Tb (or whatever).  This is wade worse by buyers at that price point often being poorly informed and making their purchase decision based on number-matching rather than actually working out their requirement and seeing how they can best meet it.

I guess the idea is they produce for the 'mug's eyeful' and know that If they've got a more discerning buyer then they can just buy the optioned up / slightly more expensive model.

Also, having spinning disks as the standard model allows them to offer SSD as an £££s upgrade...

I put data on the servers and don't need so much on each laptop, so I use tiny SSDs in each laptop (64GB often).  But that is just me.

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Three reasons:

1. SSDs are more unrealiable than HDDs so there is a cost factor in there for faulty returns / replacements.

2. They can get HDDs incredibly cheaply now so OEMs make a greater profit margin on them.

3. OEM firms can make huge margins on the upgrade curve - want an SSD in that laptop? OK, but it will cost you X for 250G and Y for 500GB.

Look at top of the range ultrabooks, such as the Dell XPS range, and there is not even an option for a 500GB SSD.

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30 minutes ago, reddog said:

The cheapest one I can see is this

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops/laptops/hp-pavilion-15-au077sa-15-6-laptop-white-10146649-pdt.html

, but the real start point for most brands seems to be £600.  Only need a small drive not 1tb HD which seems to be standard on even very low end models

 

1 don't think read rights destroying the SSD is that much if an issue, particularly for the amount my mum.will be using it.

 

Note phones/tablet's/Chromebooks have emmc storage, which is cheap, but does wear out fairly easily. (I don't want emmc storage)

 

In general SSDs are far more reliable than people think. But it is always good to backup.

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12 minutes ago, LiveinHope said:

Tempting fate, I've never had a hard drive fail in a computer, but if it does, its easy to replace DIY, and you should always have a backup in any case to restore from. Probably your mum will save family pictures, which she'd be sad to lose, so a backup HDD would be good to have.

Although I've swapped HDD for SSD to run OS in all my machines, and although all new ones have come with SSD as standard, I still do all my read/write work on internal or external HDDs.

Apart from a rapid startup, which won't be of much concern to your mum, I'd still happily have a 7200rpm HDD to run the OS.

You are right, that you need a backup, which we have in the cloud.

I take the point the hard drives are not that bad, but I think they are the remaining weak point of a PC, because apart from the keyboard, they are the only component that has moving parts.  As the planned life span we are planning for the laptop is 7 or 8 years, I was hoping to get something that will definitely be standard then, for now.

I guess we will just suck it up and pay £600, but it does seem strange that with dirt cheap cloud storage, or external drives that we haven't at least got a few options for SSD at the lower end.

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38 minutes ago, reddog said:

The cheapest one I can see is this

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops/laptops/hp-pavilion-15-au077sa-15-6-laptop-white-10146649-pdt.html

, but the real start point for most brands seems to be £600.  Only need a small drive not 1tb HD which seems to be standard on even very low end models

 

1 don't think read rights destroying the SSD is that much if an issue, particularly for the amount my mum.will be using it.

 

Note phones/tablet's/Chromebooks have emmc storage, which is cheap, but does wear out fairly easily. (I don't want emmc storage)

I'd say £250 is the baseline for something with an SSD.  Granted you can pick up eMMC systems at 16/32GB  below this price, but I think that is too small if using Windows.

ebuyer.com or pcspecialist.co.uk are worth a look

That said, a big factor may also be the CPU.  Atom systems can be £100, a Celerin will be over £200 and then once your into the i3, i5, i7 space then it is £400/500/600 plus.

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24 minutes ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

I'd say £250 is the baseline for something with an SSD.  Granted you can pick up eMMC systems at 16/32GB  below this price, but I think that is too small if using Windows.

ebuyer.com or pcspecialist.co.uk are worth a look

That said, a big factor may also be the CPU.  Atom systems can be £100, a Celerin will be over £200 and then once your into the i3, i5, i7 space then it is £400/500/600 plus.

I3 and 5 are starting to drop in price. You can get an i5 HP laptop around the £300 mark.

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1 hour ago, reddog said:

You are right, that you need a backup, which we have in the cloud.

I take the point the hard drives are not that bad, but I think they are the remaining weak point of a PC, because apart from the keyboard, they are the only component that has moving parts.  As the planned life span we are planning for the laptop is 7 or 8 years, I was hoping to get something that will definitely be standard then, for now.

I guess we will just suck it up and pay £600, but it does seem strange that with dirt cheap cloud storage, or external drives that we haven't at least got a few options for SSD at the lower end.

I'm still running HDDs that are 10 years old, albeit for backup storage. I continuously upgrade HDDs, currently running 4x4tb in the desktops, and at each upgrade the old ones get put in enclosures; I have a lot of enclosures :-)

Forgetting your worry about moving parts, which aren't the only, nor the main weak-point, necessarily, why do you really want an SSD? If it's just for the start up speed, just chuck in a cheap 64Gb SSD and do all the work an external HDD such as a WD Passport.

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If you're planning on running windows 10 I think it'll be a struggle making it last years. I've got a feeling it'll be Apple-esque death by software upgrade.

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From my computing over the last 3 decades I have always found the main thing that improves everything is maxing out on the RAM.

This will cut down the read/writes to the HD and make everything run smoother, last longer.

If I bought a 4GB laptop the first thing I would do would be to upgrade it to 8GB.

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15 hours ago, LiveinHope said:

I'm still running HDDs that are 10 years old, albeit for backup storage. I continuously upgrade HDDs, currently running 4x4tb in the desktops, and at each upgrade the old ones get put in enclosures; I have a lot of enclosures :-)

Forgetting your worry about moving parts, which aren't the only, nor the main weak-point, necessarily, why do you really want an SSD? If it's just for the start up speed, just chuck in a cheap 64Gb SSD and do all the work an external HDD such as a WD Passport.

Just thinking about future proofing the system real.  I understand the HDD is acceptable, but I just would have thought things would have no ed on.

My post really came from the point of view of thinking, with for example CD ROMs then DVD ROMs, or sgva monitors etc etc. These where once very high end features, then 4 or 5 years later they were completely commoditiesed bog standard features on PCs / laptops at any price point.  The same has not happened with SSDs.

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I place my trust in spinning rust!:o

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Laptop and PC HDD don't seem to fail as often as they did years ago. The quality on many enterprise hard drives seems to have  gone the other way. I worked on a site still using using old Amdahl disks for some storage purposes on its IBM mainframe. These were over 20 years old yet only 2 had failed in two decades. By contrast the disks in the modern EMC array they had attached to the machine used to fail all the time.

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We had a computer at university that used ferrite core RAM. Virtually indestructible and preserved the memory even when the power went off - such as a crash. Indeed ferrite core memory in the Challenger was recovered intact and with its last data from the ocean.

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14 hours ago, Dave Beans said:

Lenovos seem very good in general. This is very similar to our laptop, once I'd ripped the HD it was supplied with out and bunged an SSD in, which took 20 minutes or so to clone the operating system onto, and about 5 to install in the machine. If you don't fancy that one reddog, you could easily do the same to any other laptop, and put the supplied disk in a caddy for backup/storage.

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4 hours ago, stormymonday_2011 said:

Laptop and PC HDD don't seem to fail as often as they did years ago. The quality on many enterprise hard drives seems to have  gone the other way. I worked on a site still using using old Amdahl disks for some storage purposes on its IBM mainframe. These were over 20 years old yet only 2 had failed in two decades. By contrast the disks in the modern EMC array they had attached to the machine used to fail all the time.

The thing is the older systems needed more disks to hit capacity, and more spindles meant less io load per disk. With larger disks coming along, people often let more io go to each disk on average for general purpose storage. Obviously for higher io stuff you'd design accordingly and use more lower capacity drives to get the io.

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Just bought a pretty hi-spec dell ultrabook which *only* came with a 256GB ssd, albeit a fast performing one - not too worried as that's plenty for a win 7 travel pc, even as a developer. I've bolstered it with a fast 128GB SD card to archive static stuff and a 500GB ultra slim USB 3 portable drive for occasional project overspill.

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My current laptop has a 500GB mechanical hard disk and a fast 128GB mSATA SSD which is a perfect setup for me.

The operating system runs on the SSD and the HDD has two partitions, one for my data and a second for image backups of the SSD which I do weekly in addition to monthly backups of SSD and HDD on an external HDD.

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42 minutes ago, Bruce Banner said:

My current laptop has a 500GB mechanical hard disk and a fast 128GB mSATA SSD which is a perfect setup for me.

The operating system runs on the SSD and the HDD has two partitions, one for my data and a second for image backups of the SSD which I do weekly in addition to monthly backups of SSD and HDD on an external HDD.

SSD for OS and HDD for data is probably the best combination for most people and circumstances, you get the advantage of speed from the SSD and a bit of warning that your data is at risk as failure modes of HDD tend to be more forgiving than SSD. 

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