Up until not too long ago having a complete system made with SSDs was not really a practical option for the most photographers. I mean the highest capacity SSD was 2TB and it was a hefty sum of $800, give or take a byte.
But now, Samsung is in the process of manufacturing a huge 256-gigabit SSD (32GB) should enable significantly more storage on each SSD drive. Considering that 80Gigs of data were around $70 just a few years back on 2004, I think that it will not take a lot of time until SSDs will replace HDDs completely. I mean, price per HDD storage dropped from $0.5/Gig to $0.0317/Gig in the course of the last ten years (that is a 96% drop) so it would not be surprising to see these huge SSDs drop from $400/TB to $25/TB in a similar time frame or to $130/TB in the next two years.
Engaget reports that Samsung are upping their yield and planning to ship during 2015. This means that even this year we will see bigger SSD drives at cheaper prices.
Why does this matter to photographers:
Of course, widespread SSDs deployment will probably have an impact on the entire industry, and the ideas below are not limited to photography and videography, but as heavy users of tech and computers our workflows are bound to change.
Of course the first thing that comes to mind is backups, and I see two ways that this will impact our backup workflow:
- Smaller failure rate – less moving parts mean less failures (assuming all others factors are similar). If you’ve ever experienced a hard drive crash. Especially one that has client data on it, you know how stressful it can be. So while this will not (by any way) change the industry recommendation to keep every piece of data backed up twice, it will add some piece of mind to the backups we store.
- Longer decay – HDDs are way better than cassettes and DVDs (remember those?) but they still ‘suffer’ from decay. That means that your data should be refreshed around every 5 years. SSDs should last without decaying for around 10 years, though this is theoretical data as they have not been around long enough to gather stats.
For videographers this means the world. As we are moving from HD to 4K (and to 8K) the amount of ‘fast memory’ that we need just to edit a clip increases pretty fast. Now some are using 256MB drives for the edits, and slower HDDs for the rest of the stuff, but I think we are only 2-3 years away from when you would need a lot more space just to edit a birthday clip. Time will tell…
Am I a going to shell out the money to get a 2TB SSD as soon as its get cheaper? I will probably wait for the price to hit the $150 mark before I do so. Hoe about you?