Dell to fit laptops with Flash drives
Dell has begun allowing anyone buying its Latitude D420 sub-notebook to kit out the machine not with a regular hard disk but one of SanDisk's 32GB Flash drives.
The PC giant is charging a whopping $549 for the solid-state drive. You can knock off the price of the hard drive you no longer need, of course, but that doesn't reduce the overall cost of the notebook by much. No wonder Dell's pitching the option to big-business buyers.
SanDisk unveiled its 1.8in SSD in December 2006. In addition to being lighter than a hard drive, it also consume a fraction of power and transfers data to the host system much more quickly. It's much better able to survive impacts, which is why Dell is also offering the SSD as an option for its semi-rugged D620 ATG notebook - again, one for the corporates.
Dell claimed the SSD boosts system performance by up to 23 per cent and decreases start-up time by up to 34 per cent compared to the traditional HDDs available with the both the Latitude D420 and D620 ATG.
Available now in North America, the SSD option will be added to European and Asia D420 and D620 configuration webpages "soon".
I'm surprised they're bothering to willy-wave the startup time as it's not usually a big issue for laptops (sleep / hibernate anyone?). Even the performance kick shouldn't be that much of an attraction.
What's missing is the effect the reduced power consumption of the SSD has on the amount of time you get on battery power. Battery life is always a big deal in the laptop world so this should be the most effective selling tool and I'm extremely surprised there aren't some impressive figures being crowed about here.
Is there something they're trying to hide or have Dell's marketing types missed a trick?
Is 32GB enough?
Nice idea but I think its a bit too early. I bought my system with an 80gb hard drive and do a lot of work on offline files. I don't think 32gb will cut it.
Good advantages to Flash drives, low power consumption high speed, but relativly low capacity (not really a problem after you put your divx/mp3 on an external drive), but the main issue if I remember correctly is the write limits per sector.
A flash drive uses some fancy techniques to implement a wear-levelling system to avoid data being written to the same spot on the drive, as flash can take between 100k et 1000k writes on the same memory zone.
I remember seeing Windows (or resident programs) acessing the disk about once per secondn, generally on loging activities, even when the system was up but idle.
Specific Linux versions are built to run of flash keys (ok, not the same quality as a complete drive), and they are designed to log to ramdrive, leaving the disk alone unless really needed. PuppyOS springs to mind.
Has Windows been tweaked along these lines or is this going to be a buy now-RMA later jobbie?
Dell to fit laptops with Flash drives?
... not with dodgy ones they found in the local car park, I hope. (cf http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/25/usb_malware/)