STORAGE REPORT 2019

Vast amounts of storage is needed to be able to handle the vast number of games on CD/DVD and direct downloads.

Destiny 2 is about 105 GB installed. Red Dead Redemption 2 is about 150 GB installed. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is 175 GB installed. Halo: MCC is 130GB.

The HAF 932 has room for 5 disks in the main drive bays. Consumer disks now range up to 8 TB and larger models are expected to be widely available in 2020.

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At present there are 3 hard disks in the HAF 932. In 2019 a pair of Seagate 4 TB disks were procured to allow to handle primarily the Steam library. Then the first of the planned 8 TB disks was procured. There is adequate room to handle Origin and uPlay in addition to Steam. The older small capacity disks were removed to be installed in other machines.

Steam can find games on a hard disk that has been installed. This means its possible to move vast numbers of games around easily with little worry. Origin has improved and games can be moved to another disk.

M.2 USB

No surprise that a low cost M.2 USB case has been developed. This eliminates the need for a secondary M.2 slot like the ones seen on the X470 and X570 motherboards. The convenience of using USB makes it trivial to clone the system SSD and swap it for a capacity boost etc. Existing USB M.2 cases are SATA only, so far no adapter for NVMe has been discovered.

HD VIDEO

HDTV at present is 1280×720 progressive or 1920×1080 interlaced. MiniDV tapes are about 13 GB for 60 minutes of NTSC or HDTV video. The video quality is far beyond DVD which averages about 7 megabit. MiniDV are about 45 megabit which is about

4K VIDEO

At present 4K UHD video is still a bit early in the consumer market against the entrenched DVD. 4K BD disks are about 100GB of compressed video.

ROAD AHEAD

The Seagate disks are handling the game library handily with the larger HAF 932 disk cage.

The 4 TB disks are very low cost which makes them easy to deploy. Then larger 8TB disks have now come down in price making them more viable.

Corporate hard disks range up to 14 TB so there is some limit to the maximum storage capacity. But with 5 drive bays that limit is far from becoming as issue.

Seagate and WDC have worked on heat assisted disks which have not yet been introduced. If this technology can be mass produced it would be likely a benefit more for large media library.

Larger disks tend to be slower to fill with games which is a slight advantage. At present, the 8 TB disk is a bit more than double the cost of the 4 TB disk. Still the large capacity hard disks are desirable in face of the growing game library.

iTunes uses lossless compression and even 200,000 compact disks is no match for modern hard disks. World wide, well over 250 billion compact disks have been sold. While sales have softened since 2000 when sales peaked at 2.455 billion units, the compact disk is likely to be available for may years to come.

HAMR disks will enter at 16 TB and larger capacity models will follow suggesting that growing game collections will not be an issue.

Low cost SATA cards can leverage the front panel bays. Front panel boxes with up to 8 drives are available and this can add flexibility to the machine.

THE RISE OF THE SSD

At present a total of 31 TB of hard disks and SSD products for several machines. This means the Micron 15 TB SSD can cope with the staggering volume of disks presently in use.

As time goes on the price of SSD products has declined considerable and the price per PB compared to hard disks has narrowed significantly. In 3Q19 enterprise $/PB was approximately 8x higher than high-capacity/nearline HDDS, or down from about 9x and 15x in the prior and year-ago quarters.

SDD technology will be awash with 200-300 layer 3D NAND SSDs in 2022 and 2023, and consequently even lower cost per bit. While Micron has 15TB in 2019, the idea of 50TB SSD drives is unreal.