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How did SSHD become flash-in-the-pan chicken ribs?

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While SSDs are nearly ubiquitous today, a decade ago SSDs were not only big enough to install an operating system, but the high price of NAND FLASH made SSDs a “tonic” for advanced players. But you know, in order to bring users a better experience with the lowest cost, traditional storage manufacturers have paid a lot of effort and launched a lot of bright but quite weak products, such as the flash-in-the-pan hybrid hard disk SSHD.

Seagate SSHD
Image from Internet

Solid-state drives (SSDs) can be thought of simply as a hybrid of NAND FLASH and mechanical drives, which look a bit like high-volume caching mechanical drives but operate in a completely different way. A hard disk chip is a DDR DRAM chip, capacity from a few MB to several hundred MB, mainly for the mechanical hard disk to provide data buffer; The NAND FLASH capacity of a hybrid hard disk is usually several GB to dozens of GB, mainly to improve the average access time of mechanical hard disk by taking advantage of its high-speed access, and the main body of storage is still the high capacity mechanical hard disk part. Similar to the “Ready Boost” mechanism in Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Comparing SSHDs and FCMs

What are the advantages of hybrid hard drives (SSHDs)?


In principle, hybrid drives record the data that is read and written most frequently at any given moment and store it in NAND FLASH, the fastest responsive disk, thus achieving performance comparable to solid-state drives. While it sounds simple and straightforward, hybrid hard drives work in their own way, regardless of the operating system. So what is SSD performance? Word can literally have the opening speed of a notepad. When the system is sleeping, it can also write data in the memory into NAND FLASH. After waking up, it can immediately enter the previous working state, while the mechanical hard disk may still be powered on to read page files.

Seagate SSHD with MicroSoft ONE X gamer

The author once installed a 2.5-inch Western Digital hybrid hard drive into Microsoft’s Xbox One X game console. The hard drive is part of the high-end “Black disk” series, using an 8GB NAND FLASH+1TB 7200 RPM mechanical hard drive combination. In the Curse of the Pharaoh DLC for Assassin’s Creed Origins, after the main character, Baek repeatedly jumps to his death from a statue of Ramses the Great, the game loads in seconds, comparable to a solid-state drive.

WD SSHD

Not only to achieve the performance and capacity “fish and bear’s paw” have it all, the hybrid hard disk will be frequently used data to NAND FLASH will make mechanical drive part after a halt “standby”, stay will start only when there is new data to read and write, thus reducing the mechanical hard disk heads, frequency and the rotation of the disc, speaking, reading and writing time, improve performance at the same time also makes the service life is much higher, And reduced power consumption. While hybrid drives are more expensive than conventional mechanical drives, a decade ago terabyte SOLID-state drives (SSDs) were extremely expensive and were used only in data centers and other applications, making them a significant milestone in the adoption of SSDs

How can hybrid hard drives be a chicken rib?


The true hybrid drives have many advantages, but it may be said “into also principle and principle”, once met a large amount of data continue to write, after running out of small capacity NAND FLASH capacity, weak mechanical hard disk read and write performance will betray oneself, especially some with a mixture of large capacity hard disk is 5400 RPM SMR “imbricated type” mechanical hard disk… You know. As a result, hybrid hard disks have not been widely used in the consumer field and failed to replace traditional mechanical hard disks in the enterprise application field.

The final straw that broke down the “camel” of hybrid hard disk is the solid-state disk with continuously lower price and increasing capacity. Not only the mainstream M.2 NVMe PCIe3.0 1TB product has reached the price of USD75/pc, but also the SATA solid-state disk with 128GB capacity has fallen below the USD15/pc mark and become the standard part of the modern installed machines. The mechanical hard disk is put into NAS, monitoring and mobile hard disk “cold house”, so the situation of hybrid hard disk is more embarrassing, become a chicken side products, the mainstream e-commerce platform is not sold, want to try the fresh students can only go to a universal treasure.

END.

Hi, I’m Leo Zhi, the Field Sales Engineer

With more than 10 years of experience in NAND flash storage, I’d love to share with you valuable knowledge from a Chinese supplier’s perspective.

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