Why it has to be all SSD?

Manufacturers are moving on from the traditional slow and prone-to-break hard drives to SSDs, which is a good thing. But new problem arise, storage space is now a premium option. Most Windows-based ultrabooks or tablets now have less than 300 GB space. If you are in the market of an ultrabook or Windows tablets, probably you know that giving more 64 or 128 GB of storage space will cost you at least 100 bucks. Some tablets like the Surface Pro only have a shy 64 GB as the baseline model. That’s pity. Manufacturers and fanboys are insisting that the price of SSD is still expensive. I totally agree, but why it has to be SSD? What if we have small SSD of 32 or 64 GB for the system and program files complemented by a massive amount of other kind of storage solution.

Enter the trusted-for-years cheapest solution

In the smartphone world, there is one easy and cheap solution to increase the storage space. It is an SD card (or micronized version of it) that is trusted, cheap, and quite fast. I said quite fast because it is fast enough to read and write most personal files like music or video. You might say, the largest SD card is currently just 64 GB. Then I could say that SD cards are small. You can fit 10 SD cards inside a tablet. Of course we don’t want to put that amount, but at least the possibility does exist. The second advantage is SD cards are considerably cheap. A quick search at Amazon, a 64 GB SDXC only costs less than 30 bucks. Remember that Amazon is a retailer, if you are a manufacturer that wants to buy thousands of them, the price will be somewhat cheaper, right? Lets say the cheapest 64 GB Surface Pro cost 900 bucks. To make it 512 GB like the top-of-the-line model would need 7×64 SD cards which add around 210 bucks. Still 1110 bucks, far less than the 1700 bucks Pro. Don’t argue about the RAM cost, it is not that expensive.

The configuration

Lets get technical. The C: and system partitions is still stored on the mighty fast SSD. Give it 64 GB. It is safe to say that we have at least 55 GB of formatted space. It is enough for 10 GB of recovery partition, 15 GB Windows and system space (Windows 8.1 only use 12 GB after the installation), and another 30 GB for your apps, programs, games, or anything else. The Users folder that holds personal files could be stored inside the SD cards, or if you prefer the old fashioned way, the D: drive. In order to make the SD cards simple to the end user, all SD cards could be formatted to something like RAID 0 configuration, so no matter how many SD cards inside, it will appear as just one to the end user. With RAID 0, the gap of speed might be even closer to the SSD, as if it has 512 GB of SSD. Even then, we don’t even need our files to be read that fast, right?

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