Slashdot reported: "Traditional magnetic hard drive platters could be on the way out, thanks to SanDisk's launch today of a hard drive based on flash memory chips. The device can store 32GB of data and is meant for notebooks . SanDisk claims that using flash chips means faster access and better reliability, so less danger of a serious system crash wiping out all your valuable data if you drop your laptop. The downside, though, is price. At an extra $600 dollars, are price-conscious consumers going to be interested?"
These drives are reffered to a SSDs (sold state drives). At this point in time, the Intel X25-M is the only one to get, as others have issues with degraded performance over time. 80GB for about $260 and 160GB for about $580.
They have a 2.5inch form factor for notebooks, but can be used in a desktop system with a mounting adaptor, and they have a standard SATA interface.
re: the degradation over time, is that the degradation that occurs from writing to the device? If so, I'm wondering whether that may not be such an issue for sample storage, because it would rarely be written to. If it is related to writing, then I suspect that the brand may not be quite so important.
It looks like only Windows 7 supports the trim function. I just purchased a Crucial CT64M225 64 GB drive which supports the trim function as long as the latest firmware is installed. This is supposed to be one of the fastest drives available for a little over $200.
As far as I can tell from reading http://www.anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=3531 the TRIM function only speeds up writes. So, if the drive is to be used only for static storage of large sample libraries, the TRIM function is not very relevant.
If I get an SDD for sample storage, it'll be the cheapest possible one I can find for a given capacity. The main requirement is seek time, and it's my understanding that all SDDs are *extremely* fast in this regard.