It’s easy to forget when you have multimulticores running at many gigahertz that ultimately, it all depends on mechanically reading data off rust.
Not for long, though.
The first SSD that can hold its own against the best rust has to offer has arrived.
In a year or two, the fastest SSDs will be blowing rust away.
Of course, one area where SSDs are already blowing rust away and will for more than a year or two is in price. The price of current SSD speed is likely to be in the $30-40 per GB, compared to less than $2/GB for the Raptor and south to well south of .50 per gig of 7200rpm rust.
Even assuming a 40% drop in price per gigabyte per year, the price tag will be $10-15 a gig two years from now, and $2-3 five years from now.
So what will happen?
Solid-state drives will begin to become common on high-end desktops in about two years and become mainstream in four-five. Rust will continue to be used for those computers needing a lot of storage (i.e., terabytes).
Solid-state drives will reach notebooks sooner, but what will happen is that they’ll use slower chips to cut the cost and still provide a reasonable amount of storage.
There may be a few mini-drives in the first Silvertborne-era devices, but solid-state will dominate from the start and become the standard very quickly. Again, slower but cheaper chips are likely to be the norm in these devices.
Finally, the biggest side effect of a move to solid-state drives will be found in software. Smaller drives, combined with a continuing shift to notebooks, then sub-notebooks will serve to restrain bloat, both in OSs and applications.