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Could our actual pc architecture have it's days counted?

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February 6, 2008 4:06:08 PM

Just wondering, when SSD (solid state disks) became faster than ram modules, won't that make all the actual pc architecture pretty obsolete (which actually the main ideia already is!)?
I mean, why would we need ram after all?
Because somehow..i believe that we might not be so far from that future after all..and when we reach that point, we won't be able to migrate so fast into the new pc architecture (that will be obviously faster), because all the software we use today that is programmed to work on this kind of architecture we use today (cpu, Ram, harddrive) most certainly won't work on the new achitecture.
This is just a though, from a noob, but still funny to think about.. cpu <-> ssd Only. Much faster! Or not...i don't know if i'm missing some major point here lol.
February 6, 2008 4:19:50 PM

SSD (solid state disks) - will hopefully replace HDD's at some point.... But system memory will always be faster and it makes more sense to have some faster memory dedicated for system devices...
February 6, 2008 4:30:07 PM

WazzaUK said:
system memory will always be faster


Although we can't be that certain about that, we've seen some really awesome technological advances hardware-wise, the Time when some kind of incredible memory that can read-write faster than Random access memory (rams) and doesnt loose data when powered-off doesnt seems that far away to me..
Related resources
February 6, 2008 4:39:21 PM

rickzor said:
Although we can't be that certain about that, we've seen some really awesome technological advances hardware-wise, the Time when some kind of incredible memory that can read-write faster than Random access memory (rams) and doesnt loose data when powered-off doesnt seems that far away to me..


Looks VERY far off to me.........

Heavier use of Hibernation with SSDs could become common in Desktops Like Laptops.
February 6, 2008 4:57:43 PM

Very far off in terms of tecnnology advance or in terms of price\avaiability for the normal desktop user?
February 6, 2008 5:26:38 PM

The future is the move away from electrons and to photons for data transfer and storage.
February 6, 2008 5:49:12 PM

cnumartyr said:
The future is the move away from electrons and to photons for data transfer and storage.



Agree totally. First the interconnects in cpu's will have them, then I would guess MB's will hybrid optical some how.
February 6, 2008 6:20:06 PM

even when HDD's get to be as fast as ram is now, wouldn't ram also be getting faster at a similar pace? i don't think companies are going to abandon working on ram and focus only on hard drives. that doesn't really make sense.
February 6, 2008 6:50:35 PM

I didn't make myself clear, for that i apologise. I was pointing the hypothesis of some sort of breakthrough in data storage techonology, not necessarely SSDs, but something that would surpass rams velocity at a certain time in history, making it somewhat useless in a pc, since it would become a bottleneck actually. Of course it sounds nonsense by todays standards, but it would be great to have the cpu comunicating directly with the storage device, but the possibilities are great and may differ by a lot of todays acrhitecture or even the one i proposed.
Data storage via photon technology seems quite incredible btw.
February 6, 2008 6:53:35 PM

that would be quite something if they could find a way to significantly increase HDD speed (in whatever form of hard drive you want it to be), and i suppose in that case maybe we would see a hard drive being used as ram. unless of course the technology can be ported to ram.
a b V Motherboard
February 6, 2008 7:04:57 PM

General question: Why cant HDD manufactures put in like 128+MB of RAM on the HDDs since it has enough space to act as cache?
February 6, 2008 7:56:56 PM

Shadow703793 said:
General question: Why cant HDD manufactures put in like 128+MB of RAM on the HDDs since it has enough space to act as cache?


You mean replacing current 2mb,8mb,16mb versions of cache in the hdds with some astonishing 128mb?
February 6, 2008 8:16:21 PM

Back in the day lol..... could buy HDD controllers with SIMM sockets lol.....
February 6, 2008 8:30:09 PM

the actual look of the mb will change a lot when/if we switch to photons. Circuits wont have right angles anymore..all circuits will have smooth curves.
February 6, 2008 8:32:04 PM

SSD technology is quickly catching that of harddrives. Mass manufacturing and demand is help drive the cost of SSDs down. They are still high, but i see a near future with a 200G SSD costing $150. That is still higher than HDs, but by then the SSD technology will far surpass that of HDs. 2-5 years.

SSDs may become as fast as RAM, but like wazzaUK said, system devices will still need seperate RAM. At least RAM that is directly connected to the mobo. I may be wrong, but storage cables are slow. Right?

I wonder if we will see a SSD that plugs into a PCIexpress slot or some sort of slot that will allow a direct connection to the mobo in order to do away with the cable. At least for OS and application installs. Data storage could still be cabled. The only reason i say that about a slot, is SSDs are getting small enough that they would fit on a mobo. A HD will never make sense to attach to a mobo like that.

February 6, 2008 8:36:06 PM

haha

might as well use that 128MB as a temporary virtual memory drive

HDDs don't need 128MB caches as of yet (unless you are always handling and doing large modifications to crazy large files - that you need more than 128MB or very fast storage devices)

and from how I see things, volatile memory will be faster than flash memory

as for the direct connection between the cpu and sdd, they are using that for the consumer portable electronics, such as the cellular phone market

oh, and if the pc architecture can have its days counted, then the person who can do it and take advantage of it can be RICH - the markets will always be as dyanamic throughout time
February 6, 2008 8:36:31 PM

Flash based SSDs have a limited number of write cycles.
Using them as RAM, you'd have a dead disk probably in a month.
February 6, 2008 8:36:54 PM

rickzor said:
I didn't make myself clear, for that i apologise. I was pointing the hypothesis of some sort of breakthrough in data storage techonology, not necessarely SSDs, but something that would surpass rams velocity at a certain time in history, making it somewhat useless in a pc, since it would become a bottleneck actually. Of course it sounds nonsense by todays standards, but it would be great to have the cpu comunicating directly with the storage device, but the possibilities are great and may differ by a lot of todays acrhitecture or even the one i proposed.
Data storage via photon technology seems quite incredible btw.


I think it is safe to say ‘one day’ Ram will be obsolete…
In 1885 they rode horses for transportation, now we land remote vehicles on Mars…

When is a far better question..

February 6, 2008 8:48:48 PM

um, don't SDDs consist of flash memory?

then technically, don't all(?) modern mobos have mini SDD / flash memory on them?

ASUS came out with some mobo that has Linux in their onboard flash memory

mobos that have onboard video may have additional onboard memory

as for SDDs on the pci/x slot, then get a disk controller or that Gigabyte i-ram (?) drive that lets you use up to 4GB of DDR ram as a ram drive

optical-based computers won't be fully optical since they still need to draw power from energy sources (ex: the outlet)
February 6, 2008 9:16:04 PM

50bmg said:

I wonder if we will see a SSD that plugs into a PCIexpress slot or some sort of slot that will allow a direct connection to the mobo in order to do away with the cable.


It already exists, at some really high cost http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=9219 :D 

As for hdds with huges amounts of cache, tomsharware already did the test of 8mb vs 16mb, and the improvements weren't that great to be honest, so i imagine that more than that, in the current pc plataform and OS and software used would be a waste! (?)


February 6, 2008 9:29:56 PM

Thats not suprising - afterall 16MB is neither here or there..... By the time windows has finished messing with its small files - that the 16mb done with..... Afterall memory speed is way faster than HDD. Maybe it wont be long before drives have 512mb+ cache....
February 7, 2008 1:58:49 AM

Loser777 said:
Flash based SSDs have a limited number of write cycles.
Using them as RAM, you'd have a dead disk probably in a month.

SSDs aren't flash. Even with that said, each cell in SSDs does have a limited number of write cycles, but it is much higher then flash and Toshiba's SSD have code that ramdomly writes each cell to prevent one cell from going dead prematurely. Toshiba is claiming, even with the limited cell write cycles, that their SSDs will out live HDs.

rickzor said:
It already exists, at some really high cost http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=9219 :D  .............. (?)

That is sweeeeeet! but it sure as hell isnt worth $19,000. LOL. they are nuts. In 2 years it will cost $100. maybe not, but that world is coming.
February 7, 2008 2:42:03 AM

Shadow703793 said:
General question: Why cant HDD manufactures put in like 128+MB of RAM on the HDDs since it has enough space to act as cache?


Cache is the same as RAM EXCEPT that is is immensely faster. With that speed increase comes a huge cost. Hence why HDD's and CPU's have very small amounts of cache. Adding 128MB of RAM would probably slow things down since the RAM is not as fast as Cache.
(Cache = Really fast memory, Thats how one of my Prof. Explained it to us anyway)

As the price of cache memory goes down, more gets added to HDD's. CPU's price doesn't matter as it comes down to how much space is available on the die for the cache. Hence why 45nm cpus have more cache. There is more room for adding more cache.
February 7, 2008 1:17:01 PM

Loser777 said:
Flash based SSDs have a limited number of write cycles.
Using them as RAM, you'd have a dead disk probably in a month.


I think that you're forgeting that if such über-fast storage device existed (or will exist) there would be no need for any sort of system cache, in this case ram as you mentioned, because if the storage device was fast enough, there would be no need at all to precache anything from the OS to the software used etc, including games and all. Whatever the system would need to read instantly for the processor to work, it would be done directly from the harddrive, therefore, there would be no need for so many write cycles like rams have to do.

I might be wrong at somepoint, so you're free to correct me please .
February 7, 2008 2:12:22 PM

Well, there would need to be read/write cycles per the definition you defined.

If it will be used as RAM which is in constant flux, there would be massive amounts of read/write operations happening on a level that is almost beyond comprehension.

Every minor action within a program, happening perhaps millions of times a second would need to be read/written since that is now our RAM.

Yes, it could be possible that SSD type devices will replace HDDs for permanent storage. The Idea of Storing Volatile Memory to these SSD devices on shutdown of Windows is also very possible.
The idea of using permanent storage for Random Access Memory is quite another.
February 7, 2008 2:27:23 PM

Nik_I said:
even when HDD's get to be as fast as ram is now, wouldn't ram also be getting faster at a similar pace? i don't think companies are going to abandon working on ram and focus only on hard drives. that doesn't really make sense.

This will never happen. RAM has and will be advancing at a faster rate of speed than hard-drives.
Also, hard-drives won't dissappear anytime soon. After normal magnetic drives reach their physical limits, holographic memory will emerge which will have at LEAST 1TB of storage. (for a tiny disk).
So I never see SSD type drives ever taking over. They will just be more practical in small devices that don't require 1TB of storage.

I will personally never want a SSD drive as my primary since Flash drives degrade over time where as normal hard-drives can have much more read-write cycles. For file storage I don't see any problems with flash memory. When used as a primary drive, system files are always called and cache writes to the flash many times a second.
I am sure this will get fixed with a newer generation of flash memory.
February 7, 2008 2:29:05 PM

Shadow703793 said:
General question: Why cant HDD manufactures put in like 128+MB of RAM on the HDDs since it has enough space to act as cache?

I never undersood this. Even 4 gigs of Flash is only $20 or so.
Both more RAM and more Flash will speed things a lot. (I do normally move files larger than 32 meg)
February 7, 2008 3:02:28 PM

128MB of cache is a lot of data to lose if your system crashes or reboots unexpectedly.

I would guess that in the future, Flash NAND SSDs will match the speed of RAM, but will be non-volatile (as compared to volatile RAM chips use). Given that the size of data each chip could hold, the overall sizes of the SSDs will diminish until it can be plugged onto the motherboard it, maybe even be integrated to lower costs.

Further adding to speculation, this may bring about a newer partition type and format, as SSDs do not rely on writing data in different areas of storage as mechs (mechanical HDD) do. This would remove the need for fragmentation.
February 7, 2008 3:29:48 PM

enewmen said:
...............I will personally never want a SSD drive as my primary since Flash drives degrade over time where as normal hard-drives can have much more read-write cycles. ................


I am no expert, but everyone should read about the new SSDs. The latest generation of SSDs are not Flash. They also have much greater write cycle numbers and have protective programming to prevent one cell form getting over written. The new Toshiba SSDs are said to have a magnitude higher number of write cycles than HDs. I am not sure what brand of SSDs that Apple is using for its Air notebook, but the Air has an option for a SSD. I am sorry for not having the links for that article. I will try to find it and post it later.

You have a good point about SSD and flash may be skipped with some new storage technology. The latest advancements in lasers and light may trump SSDs. SSDs may have a short reign at the top when or if it gets to that point.

Either way, HDs will never be obsolete due to very cheap cost. But SSDs or light tech storage will surpass HDs in the near future. IMHO.
February 7, 2008 4:09:51 PM

It is true that newer SSDs can accept more writes and are smart about how they write things. But that is on regard to storing data. Changes in RAM are ininitely more frequent than file system changes. Even with this new technology, SSDs as we know it would be a heap of garbase in a very short time.

While it's true technology will change and 30 years from now computers will likely look nothing like we know them today, it's really a pointless discussion at this point. (Then again they may not. My first computer Computers 28 years ago is not that fundamentally different from what we have today. Mind you I used a cassette player for a HDD, but really I can see my current computer in what I had then.)
February 7, 2008 4:19:39 PM

I agree. RAM and storage would need to stay separate.
February 7, 2008 4:49:48 PM

RAM.
Ram, is like..precache of something that is already written on the storage device.
Something that will be needed fastest that ourdays most common storage device can deliver, something that is already written..
Having some really fast storage device, that would surpass silicons ram at their best, would make the whole precache thing totally pointless.
Therefore whatever the system would need to aquire Quickly, it could be done just by reading that leet storage, reading what's important.
That leet storage device doesn't necessarely needs to be SSD, it could be something else, and just for that, you're right when saying that it is pointless to discuss that at this point, because even the software, OS etc wouldnt be compatible with such plataform from teH future.

My whole point is, such fast storage device would make ram pointless.
Ram = Precache of something that already exists.
February 7, 2008 4:57:12 PM

soloman02 said:
Cache is the same as RAM EXCEPT that is is immensely faster. With that speed increase comes a huge cost. Hence why HDD's and CPU's have very small amounts of cache. Adding 128MB of RAM would probably slow things down since the RAM is not as fast as Cache.
(Cache = Really fast memory, Thats how one of my Prof. Explained it to us anyway)

As the price of cache memory goes down, more gets added to HDD's. CPU's price doesn't matter as it comes down to how much space is available on the die for the cache. Hence why 45nm cpus have more cache. There is more room for adding more cache.


This is completely wrong. I don't really want to explain in depth, but in short cache is just a term, not a specific technology. Hence a HD's cache is completely different technologically from a CPU's, they just are used for the same reason (caching data). A CPU's cache is much faster than RAM and the cache on a HD I would guess is the about the same speed as RAM.
February 7, 2008 5:39:31 PM

Since you don't feel like going in depth, could you enlighten us with a link?

February 7, 2008 6:38:23 PM

Here is one: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-cache-memory.htm

Basically, caching is just storing recently or frequently requested data so it can be accessed more quickly. The actual storage medium where the data is cached can be anything. The cache on a CPU is very fast, faster than RAM (hence the use of a cache). Like I said before, the cache on a HD is not nearly as fast.
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