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Thread: Don't expect SSDs using PLC until 2026, says WD President

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    Don't expect SSDs using PLC until 2026, says WD President

    Admits "you're sacrificing a lot," to boost cell capacity by 25 per cent over QLC.
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    Re: Don't expect SSDs using PLC until 2026, says WD President

    QLC's already in a position where performance drops off a cliff once you exhaust the SLC cache and this will make write endurance and charge retention worse. What's it even for, beyond proving it's possible?

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    Re: Don't expect SSDs using PLC until 2026, says WD President

    Quote Originally Posted by DJNW View Post
    QLC's already in a position where performance drops off a cliff once you exhaust the SLC cache and this will make write endurance and charge retention worse. What's it even for, beyond proving it's possible?
    Storage density, it's why technology like SMR in Hard Drives were created to increase density within a storage footprint.

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    Re: Don't expect SSDs using PLC until 2026, says WD President

    When people (tech savvy) are already complaining about QLC drives they decide to come up with something that is objectively even worse....

    This really sounds like it's a 'cheaper to produce' product rather than one which would actually be 'good' for consumers.

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    Re: Don't expect SSDs using PLC until 2026, says WD President

    Quote Originally Posted by DJNW View Post
    QLC's already in a position where performance drops off a cliff once you exhaust the SLC cache and this will make write endurance and charge retention worse. What's it even for, beyond proving it's possible?
    There are certainly some use cases for QLC drives that we don't see as nerds. Most normie users are never going to exhaust that SLC cache and the endurance issues simply don't matter to them. It's to be expected that demand for capacity will continue to rise and it's possible that the size of drive that needs PLC will become standard. Once one company starts advertising a 5TB SSD in a laptop then everyone else will come along and match it. Most people don't know anything beyond that level of detail and, really, why should they?

    I didn't realise how complex designing and building a computer really is until Linus got one of his admin team who doesn't know anything about computers to build one.
    Last edited by philehidiot; 15-06-2021 at 02:52 PM. Reason: I can't type.

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    Re: Don't expect SSDs using PLC until 2026, says WD President

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    There are certainly some use cases for QLC drives that we don't see as nerds. Most normie users are never going to exhaust that SLC cache and the endurance issues simply don't matter to them. It's to be expected that demand for capacity will continue to rise and it's possible that the size of drive that needs PLC will become standard.
    True. I was surprised by the size of a full Borderlands 3 install last week. Even non-MMOs are getting chunky. Suppose it has its upsides - pressure on ISPs to raise connection speeds and host a steam cache.

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    Re: Don't expect SSDs using PLC until 2026, says WD President

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    I didn't realise how complex designing and building a computer really is until Linus got one of his admin team who doesn't know anything about computers to build one.
    I wouldn't say building a computer is overly complex, however making sure you get the 'most suitable parts' can be an issue and in all honesty you can lay a lot of the blame for that on the manufacturers. Even as tech savvy people we often need to check the details these days just to make sure we're not being shafted when a 'new version' comes out.

    Hell it's not exactly easy on the laptop front these days either where it 'should' be simpler, just look at the mess that is 3xxx series mobile gpu's....

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    Re: Don't expect SSDs using PLC until 2026, says WD President

    Quote Originally Posted by LSG501 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    I didn't realise how complex designing and building a computer really is until Linus got one of his admin team who doesn't know anything about computers to build one.
    I wouldn't say building a computer is overly complex, however making sure you get the 'most suitable parts' can be an issue and in all honesty you can lay a lot of the blame for that on the manufacturers. Even as tech savvy people we often need to check the details these days just to make sure we're not being shafted when a 'new version' comes out.

    Hell it's not exactly easy on the laptop front these days either where it 'should' be simpler, just look at the mess that is 3xxx series mobile gpu's....
    It isn't complex in terms of putting the thing together. It can be packed onto a couple of pages of a magazine. But as you say, it's parts selection that's the real issue. Part of me thinks the manufacturer's marketing departments think we want things to sound as technical as possible in order to stroke our tech egos.

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    Re: Don't expect SSDs using PLC until 2026, says WD President

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    Part of me thinks the manufacturer's marketing departments think we want things to sound as technical as possible in order to stroke our tech egos.
    Well I suppose it sounds better with more numbers? I mean why would you want a AMD 3rd Generation Ryzen CPU 2 instead of an AMD 5900X! More numbers is easier right? Well, I suppose it's less to etch on the IHS.

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    Re: Don't expect SSDs using PLC until 2026, says WD President

    I wish they'd just hurry up and start making OLC for large drives and move back to SLC for fast ones.

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    Re: Don't expect SSDs using PLC until 2026, says WD President

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    There are certainly some use cases for QLC drives that we don't see as nerds. Most normie users are never going to exhaust that SLC cache and the endurance issues simply don't matter to them. It's to be expected that demand for capacity will continue to rise and it's possible that the size of drive that needs PLC will become standard. Once one company starts advertising a 5TB SSD in a laptop then everyone else will come along and match it. Most people don't know anything beyond that level of detail and, really, why should they?

    I didn't realise how complex designing and building a computer really is until Linus got one of his admin team who doesn't know anything about computers to build one.
    I'd argue that most users period won't exhaust the SLC cache in real-world applications. Tens of gigabytes of data fired through a high speed bus is hard to come by (outside of benchmarks that blast random numbers onto your storage to stress it) - even if you have gigabit internet, steam isn't feeding you a game install fast enough to outpace QLC. Media ingest from a camera could be a lot of data, but SD cards aren't that fast either - faster than sata speeds are unheard of until you get to expensive specialised formats like cfexpress (and at that stage you're basically into pro gear, not prosumer)

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    Re: Don't expect SSDs using PLC until 2026, says WD President

    Quote Originally Posted by Xlucine View Post
    I'd argue that most users period won't exhaust the SLC cache in real-world applications.
    Haven't they started releasing cache-less drives already? I'm certain I've read something somewhere, the performance drops off rather quickly. If they go down the route of limited or no cache SSDs, I'd question the value over more traditional spinning rust which also has high capacity. The only reason I'd want high capacity is mainly for storage, so if speed is taken out of that equation then it comes down to cost per TB as well as reliability / MBTF.

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    Re: Don't expect SSDs using PLC until 2026, says WD President

    Quote Originally Posted by DJNW View Post
    True. I was surprised by the size of a full Borderlands 3 install last week. Even non-MMOs are getting chunky. Suppose it has its upsides - pressure on ISPs to raise connection speeds and host a steam cache.
    Allegedly the move to next-gen consoles (built-in SSDs that don't need as much data duplication to run games) is meant to alleviate this and has already reared its head in some PS5 games having smaller footprints than PS4 and even XSS/X.

    Longer-term game sizes will still increase though, of course. But hopefully get away from 150GB CoD installs etc.
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    Re: Don't expect SSDs using PLC until 2026, says WD President

    Quote Originally Posted by Iota View Post
    Haven't they started releasing cache-less drives already? I'm certain I've read something somewhere, the performance drops off rather quickly. If they go down the route of limited or no cache SSDs, I'd question the value over more traditional spinning rust which also has high capacity. The only reason I'd want high capacity is mainly for storage, so if speed is taken out of that equation then it comes down to cost per TB as well as reliability / MBTF.
    I haven't heard of cacheless - it's using spare QLC flash, so wouldn't save much (you'd get a slightly simpler controller, but probably not cheap enough to make up for the extra silicon mask). QLC is still substantially faster than spinning rust in 99% of situations, and offers much higher reliability and lower power (so there's a TCO crossover at some point, but probably too far in the future for most uses)

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    Re: Don't expect SSDs using PLC until 2026, says WD President

    Quote Originally Posted by DJNW View Post
    True. I was surprised by the size of a full Borderlands 3 install last week. Even non-MMOs are getting chunky.
    BL3 is actually still kinda tame at ~90GB. GTA V, Payday 2 and some others are about in that ballpark, while some others (Red Dead Redemption 2, Hitman 2 for example) are in the 120-150GB region... and then there's complete chonks like this (because they come with textures for 4k)..:



    I ended up getting a 2TB TLC Micron 1300 SATA SSD (with the very end-user friendly name MTFDDAK2T0TDL) for 149eur as a games drive as my experience with QLC drives has been completely awful so far. Knowing that they're already planning an even worse successor to QLC makes my skin crawl.


    Quote Originally Posted by Xlucine View Post
    I haven't heard of cacheless
    Some (especially budget-y type) SSDs lack the physical DRAM cache of typically 128MB-1GB depending on size to save a couple cents, making performance suffer even more. This isn't about the pseudo-SLC write cache of several GB to hide the fact that native QLC is awfully slow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xlucine View Post
    QLC is still substantially faster than spinning rust in 99% of situations
    As someone who has experienced a god-awful Intel 660p NVMe QLC SSD which will cause the whole OS to stutter when it runs out of cache with response times in the 10-20 second (not milisecond!) range and maximum write speeds of about 70-80MB/s while cooking at 70+°C, I'd still rather write large amounts of data to spinning rust at a consistent 150+MB/s than this garbage.

    IMHO we're already past the point where SSDs were synonymous with "performance" and have drifted into the stage where they perform worse than the spinning rust they were supposed to replace for some use cases, and it's only gonna get worse from here in the quest of more capacity at the harsh cost of any sort of performance or reliability.
    Last edited by Bambooz; 23-06-2021 at 09:24 PM.

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