News Microsoft's Reportedly Trying to Kill HDD Boot Drives for Windows 11 PCs by 2023

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Trendfocus Vice President John Chen tells us that replacing a 1TB HDD requires stepping down to a low-cost 256 GB SSD, which doesn't provide enough capacity for most users. Conversely, stepping up to a 512 GB SSD would 'break the budget' for lower-end machines with a strict price limit.
I think they'll go even lower than that. I wouldn't be surprised if instead low-end laptop makers would consider sticking in say a 64GB or 128GB eMMC drive, which is like combining the worst of both worlds. After all, if the requirement is at least 64GB, why bother settling for anything but the bare minimum?
 
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I've strongly advocated against buying anything without an SSD for at least seven years, and at this point 512GB SSDs are cheap enough that no one should use a hard drive as their primary boot device. Power users will want 1TB or even 2TB, but I have a lot of less technically savvy friends and family who have 500GB or 1TB storage devices that only have 100GB or so of data on them. Even a 256GB SSD would be sufficient in such cases, though again I would much rather have 1TB.

Death to the HDD! Long live the SSD!
 

King_V

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I'm of mixed opinion on this. I mean, if you're a little savvy, you can tweak some options/scheduling for what Windows tries to automatically do, to make HDD use tolerable, but it's a bit rough. Depending on what the machine is being used for, it's workable.

For most users, however, with Windows 10 the way it's been for a few years, and Windows 11 probably being more of it, HDDs are painful to endure. Hence, why I can absolutely understand why Microsoft is pushing OEMs in this way.

Honestly, though, I think they should still allow it, just as an option that someone would have to select, with a bold warning that "THIS WILL MAKE YOUR SYSTEM REALLY SLOW" or something more market-friendly in those terms.


And, I concur with @JarredWaltonGPU - hell, when I made the switch for my dad, I went with a 1TB 2.5" MX500 (there was a sale), though, it turned out his total usage of EVERYTHING, including OS, was only 55GB.

I could've easily gone with 256GB or 512GB, but, my bang-for-buck reflex kicked in. That said, I'd probably swap him to a smaller drive if it ever came up, and probably switch that 1TB as a secondary drive in one of my son's machines (games getting a bit on the "large by huge" side these days).
 

LolaGT

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Win can get by on a pretty small boot drive. I've been on win10 128 GB SSD boot drive for years now.
A quick look says 40 GB free, and that number doesn't change as I tend to not pile up trivial junk on my boot drive, although I'm sure I have 10 or 20 GB of things that don't need to be there but are convenient for super quick load times. .
Stuff I really care about are all on various other internal/external drives, HDD and SSD
 

PiranhaTech

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I almost was reluctant to agree until I found out that a 256GB SSD is $20-25.

SSDs are chip-based and don't have giant metal plates, a metal housing, and moving actuators, so the time will come where SSD will be standard. The price for storage below 1 TB will come where it will be cheaper anyways.

You can have both an SSD and a magnetic drive in a laptop. I don't see any excuse, especially by 2025. People have lived with a D: drive before.
 

Kamen Rider Blade

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I've strongly advocated against buying anything without an SSD for at least seven years, and at this point 512GB SSDs are cheap enough that no one should use a hard drive as their primary boot device. Power users will want 1TB or even 2TB, but I have a lot of less technically savvy friends and family who have 500GB or 1TB storage devices that only have 100GB or so of data on them. Even a 256GB SSD would be sufficient in such cases, though again I would much rather have 1TB.

Death to the HDD! Long live the SSD!
I'd recommend that you attach "Optane" as the type of SSD for the OS instead of standard SSD's.

"Optane" or 3D Xpoint FTW for OS Drives!

I want that Ultra Low Latency QD0 or QD1 Read/Write IOPS & Latency along with consistency across the entire Drive Fill spectrum.

Regular SSD's for games or other High Linear Read/Write needs.

Regular HDD's for bulk storage due to it being the cheapest cost per GB.
 
A 128GB SSD is like $20 these days. I don't think regular HDDs can go that cheap, even with a single platter.

It's only people still rocking old computers that'll have trouble. They should just stay on whatever windows version they have, or pay someone to upgrade their hard drive if they can't do it themselves. Everything with a HDD should be swappable.
 
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Ok so triple the cost, for what? 70 times the performance almost assuming the HDD is getting 100MB and that NVME is getting 7000? Sounds like a good trade off for me. I got clients who want cheap. We get them cheap. Then wonder why it is so slow. yea you have a hard drive. You didn't want the upgrade. Its like common people. its a no brainer upgrade.
 
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USAFRet

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I'd recommend that you attach "Optane" as the type of SSD for the OS instead of standard SSD's.

"Optane" or 3D Xpoint FTW for OS Drives!

I want that Ultra Low Latency QD0 or QD1 Read/Write IOPS & Latency along with consistency across the entire Drive Fill spectrum.

Regular SSD's for games or other High Linear Read/Write needs.

Regular HDD's for bulk storage due to it being the cheapest cost per GB.
Optane is on the way out.
 
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I've strongly advocated against buying anything without an SSD for at least seven years, and at this point 512GB SSDs are cheap enough that no one should use a hard drive as their primary boot device. Power users will want 1TB or even 2TB, but I have a lot of less technically savvy friends and family who have 500GB or 1TB storage devices that only have 100GB or so of data on them. Even a 256GB SSD would be sufficient in such cases, though again I would much rather have 1TB.

Death to the HDD! Long live the SSD!
I built my desktop 9 years ago and put an SSD into it. Ever since then I have pushed SSD to friends and family. I even worked at Best Buy for a while and the people with the $1k+ budgets I tried to get them on SSD.

While power users can use bigger SSD, I like to segment the drives. Lots of motherboards have 2 M.2 slots now so you can have you can have your 512GB SSD for OS/Applications and then 1+TB for anything else. I've found it is hard to fill 512GB with applications even on my personal desktop I have 40GB free on a 240GB drive and I need a lot of different things for work on it.
 
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Eximo

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Yeah, maybe retail stores still carry machines with hard drives only? Every major OEM seems to have SSDs in all models.

I even went to Walmart, there are a few eMMC at the bottom, but then it goes right into SSDs. (If you filter out all the refurbs on the marketplace) One 128GB eMMC mislabled as hard drive.

I think this has already happened for the most part.
 

Palador

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Where I am, most laptops still come with an HDD as the only drive. I recently got one for my dad and set it up for him before later shifting the OS to an SSD. I was honestly surprised at how snappy the HDD felt as a boot drive compared to what I remember them being like. Certainly, I always advise people to go the SSD route, but I can see situations where someone would be happier cutting costs, while getting a lot of storage over getting faster storage.
 
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256GB is $25 and 512GB is $35 these days (pc part picker)...probably dramless but cheap enough for low budget
Still much faster than an HDD for the majority of users as well.

I was honestly surprised at how snappy the HDD felt as a boot drive compared to what I remember them being like.
Fresh installs on a HDD will feel somewhat snappy. There hasn't been time for files to be fragmented, applications to take up extra storage, etc...
 
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wifiburger

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I've strongly advocated against buying anything without an SSD for at least seven years, and at this point 512GB SSDs are cheap enough that no one should use a hard drive as their primary boot device. Power users will want 1TB or even 2TB, but I have a lot of less technically savvy friends and family who have 500GB or 1TB storage devices that only have 100GB or so of data on them. Even a 256GB SSD would be sufficient in such cases, though again I would much rather have 1TB.

Death to the HDD! Long live the SSD!

yeah right.... HDDs aren't going anywhere
 
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Wouldn't the true solution for budget-oriented systems be a SSHD, which sadly have been all but abandoned?

That being said a 128GB SATA based SSD isn't exactly expensive these days, Newegg has one on sale for $18, and is plenty fine for a budget system, and having a second hard dive for bulk storage means you've only added, at most, $20 to the cost of a budget machine (the cost of an SSD), not exactly a make or break price for anyone, not even in the developing market and ultra low price market.

Silicon Power Ace A55 2.5" 128GB SATA III 3D TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SU128GBSS3A55S25AE - Newegg.com
 
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g-unit1111

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There's zero reason anyone should buy a new computer with a mechanical HD as the primary boot drive. SSDs are infinitely better and much faster. Especially in the day and age of constant updates. You can't have a slow drive for that.
 
I going to bet it did not have much memory and that was the problem it had not the hdd.
laptops usualy have 5400rpm drives
i have one aswell, it has 8GB ram, takes several minutes to get usable, while whole PC experiewence consist of constantly waiting for drive to load something...cloned drive to samsung 850 evo 250GB and windows load instantly (same drive content)
 
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