back to article HP plunks 16GB SSD drive into slim business PCs

Hewlett-Packard is henceforth packing flash solid-state drives into upcoming models of its ultra-slim business desktops. HP's Compaq dc7800 series desktop now has an option of adding a 16GB SSD from SanDisk. Not a lot of capacity, and the disk will add an extra $330 to the system. The disk isn't for everyone, obviously. …


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  1. Eddie
    Paris Hilton

    Call that slim?

    It should be hieght of the silver bit on the bottom or just make a laptop without a screen and keyboard.

    What software does a receptionist run that requires a Core 2 Duo?

    Paris could have done it better! :-)

  2. heystoopid


    say due to the laws of physics SSD drives have a hard limit on write cycles and do not fail safe unlike the cousins with platters ?

  3. Sampler
    Thumb Up

    No Vista then?

    As it refuses to install on a drive smaller than 40GB and is itself around the 16GB mark when installed - I had enough fun trying to install it to a 32GB SSD.

    Started with installing to a 40GB+ drive and then attached that drive to my trusty XP box along with the SSD - fired up Acronis and resized the partition down to 32GB and cloned across to the SSD.

    Popped it back in the machine and run a boot repair - away we go.

  4. Ishkandar
    Black Helicopters


    Stick those things into a laptop and they'll win a lot more fans !! Especially in these days of (still) piss-poor battery capacity !!

  5. David Cornes

    This idea has some legs

    Maybe 6 years ago I was speccing some new desktops for the company I was working with (I tend to stick to the back ends nowadays) and bemoaned the fact I couldn't even then buy boxes with just a 10GB HD, enough for the OS plus a bit of temp storage. These were intended for Customer Services systems, so would never need to store anything locally all user would be kept on servers.

    Nowadays I imagine it's difficult to buy a box with less than 100GB, which just seems such a damn waste, not to mention encouraging any user with enough sense to notice it, but not enough to realise why it's not a good idea, to use it to store their data on.

  6. Leo Rampen
    Thumb Down

    High cost?

    I have a Sandisk Sansa View 16GB that cost about £130, and is around $200 in the states.

    How did sandisk manage to make an MP3 player with 16GB, a 2.4 inch LCD screen and all the hardware required to play back Mpeg4 and music for less than HP's 16GB SSD.

    And more to the point, I saw an 8GB USB flash drive for sale on today for £18 + P&P. Considering 2 of those would cost me £36, ($72), why is this so expensive. I would imagine even if you used extra-fast flash (I don't know a huge amount about the technology) it could still cost less than $330.

  7. Andrew Badera

    Eee owner here -- RE: SSD read/write lifetime

    To the poster worrying about the lifetime of an SSD drive, any modern filesystem should be managing the lifecycle/wear of individual sectors of the drive in such a way that the drive ought to outlast most warranties. We've had plenty of these sorts of discussions on the Eee boards.

  8. Josef
    Paris Hilton

    Can't count?

    Colour me stupid but $1200 minus $730 is not exactly $330, if the "same configuration" is true. Paris for obvious reasons.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    some numbers have gone wrong somewhere....

    1200 - 730 != 330 !!!!

    1200 - 730 = 470

  10. Peter D'Hoye

    $330 for 16GB? A joke?

    Surely this must be 64GB?

  11. Daniel Hall


    I dont understand, why is that unit in the picture above is so BIG!

    If it was up to me, it would be in a super slim case, with a slot loading dvd drive, ULV processor and 2gig of SO-DIMM ~(Spelling) Ram.

    If you can fit a CPU/gfx card/ram/HDD/dvd drive in a laptop, then im sure you can fit the aove into a much smaller case with an SSD drive + slot loading DVD drive??

    /gets coat before being shouted at.

  12. Brian Murray
    IT Angle

    technology-led business

    I think this story, and HP's marketing, is missing the real point i.e. the potential business advantages. To my mind these include:

    - the reduction in energy in (and heat out?) requirements

    - the reduction in moving parts decreases maintenance and increases resilience to the local environment

    - the SSD should be higher performance.

    - the ability for companies to flash images to the SSD easily and reduce the local data requirements.

    As far as the last point goes, in reality, I dont understand why there should be a requirement for any local user data on a desktop. For a laptop is a different matter. So - particularly given the other advantages above, especially power use, I really wonder when this will appear in an HP laptop offering?

  13. Richard Lloyd

    OEMs still using the FreeDOS 'workaround'?

    OK, I know Dell were one of the first of the major OEMs to ship their machines with the (worthless for anything other than BIOS flashing!) FreeDOS "workaround", but why does this bizarre situation still exist, this time with HP? As far I can remember, machines shipped with FreeDOS because a certain Redmond company (possibly illegally) insisted that every machine comes with an OS.

    So the question remains - why can't the major OEMs ship with no OS nowadays (and hence no OS or software support of course)? That's what I want (and I'm sure most companies would too) since I want to put my own OS (Linux) on it (and many companies have a volume licence for Windows, negating the need for a pre-install OS). It's a shame that even El Reg isn't questioning this every time a major OEM releases a business PC without the option of no OS.

  14. Tawakalna
    Paris Hilton


    all well and good, Aitch-Pee, but next time can you make sure that you check the BIOS on your desktops before chuckin' em at us? I don't want another week of users moaning their bags off about their shiny new dc7700 sff desktops not werkin' properly while incompetent HP support staff located in a starnge foreign land called "Croydonabad" give me the runaround on the phone and a BIOS revision isn't posted to your interweb site for days.

    @Leo - 'tis called "ripping people off" - corporates have done this for years, used *special* memory with the notches in different locations to force you to buy their own proprietary and insanely overpriced RAM from them and not use generic; used non-standard mobos to force you to buy theirs at extortionate rates; and shoved big metal straps inside pcs to stop you ripping the boards out and replacing them with your own <ahem>"Compaq"<ahem>

    £165 for a 16Gb drive? fook that. What muppet apart from a non-IT departmental manager would pay for that?

    But where, pray, is the Paris Hilton angle in this story?

  15. Richard Kay

    @Richard Lloyd

    "So the question remains - why can't the major OEMs ship with no OS nowadays (and hence no OS or software support of course)? That's what I want (and I'm sure most companies would too) since I want to put my own OS (Linux) on it (and many companies have a volume licence for Windows, negating the need for a pre-install OS)."

    Given the minimal difference between FreeDOS and no OS I really don't see any problem with the manufacturer testing that the hard disk can be formatted by this means. The only issue of interest is whether the hardware has driver support for whatever other OS you want but don't want to pay the hardware vendor to install for you.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    There's a sucker born every minute

    $430 for SSD in a desktop that already costs $770.

    I like SSDs for notebooks, but it just doesn't make sense in a desktop - especially not for a receptionist.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    WTF is up with SSDs

    Something is wrong when I can get a 16gb SD card from NewEgg for $80 but the new 16gb SSD in this HP is $470.

    If the performance of a single SD card isn't good enough, there should be a way to stripe data across two high-speed 8 GB cards, which are now ~$35 each.

    I am seriously confused by the price discrepancy between SD cards and SSDs.

    As for concerns about reliability, write-leveling means that these drives effectively never run out of write cycles.

  18. Degenerate Scumbag

    @ LEO Rampen

    That 8GB drive you saw was probably about 1/40 of the transfer rate and capable of surviving far fewer rewrites. Flash of a suitable spec to replace desktop HDDs is much more expensive.

  19. Narnian

    Not That Good

    We tested the solid state drives in the new tablet PCs and they were actually slower. I have also tested booting an OS off of USB drives and they are also slower than booting off of CDs. I don't think we are there yet.

  20. joseph oberzeir

    SSD for Windows - Bad Idea

    SSD drives are flash based and have upper limits on writing to any particular region on the disk. "Wear leveling" algorithms built-in to the SSD mitigate this to some extent. Problem is, Windows operating systems, their owners and clueless suppliers, install all kinds of crapware which may have logging functions - that can't be turned off. From spyware-like process monitors to freeware firewalls, these logging processes drive the little blinking LED mad and can use up the limited life of a SSD. Perhaps the larger problem is that for many PCs they can never be "Green" again. One of the largest uses of electrical power in a PC goes to the disk drive. On many PCs today, because of such logging activities, the hard disk drive never shuts down. This means the power-supply never goes into standby. This means the PC uses (at least) 100x more energy than it would have without the crapware.

    How many PCs in your business burning a hole in your pocket?

  21. Tanuki

    Low power, silent... I like it!

    Seems overpriced... but I can see the point.

    [I'm currently running a number of "Foxboard" Linux-based servers, each of which has as its local storage a pair of 4Gb USB memory-sticks. At a *peak* power consumption of a mere _five_ watts, they make brilliant local syslog-servers]

  22. Skuld

    SSD myths

    Let's stop this bullshit people.

    1st gen flash stuff had 10k writes, modern flash will outlast magnetic disks multiple-fold.

  23. Fab De Marco
    Thumb Up

    Why can't both run in harmony!

    OK Power saving and carbon footprint b0llox aside. why can't a SSD run the OS and Office apps and then use a normal HDD for data storage.

    I have developed the habit of creating a 20GB partition for XP and Office then using the rest of the drive for whatever I want. (makes regular formatting of the machine easier).

    This begs the question...

    How will a 16GB SSD with XP Pro on it fair againsts a 38GB 10k rpm Raptor with XP on it?

    We need a deathmatch!

  24. michael


    yes but when will I be getting a laptop (everyboady in my 300 person company uses laptops)

  25. David Cornes

    MS Volume Licensing

    "So the question remains - why can't the major OEMs ship with no OS nowadays (and hence no OS or software support of course)? That's what I want (and I'm sure most companies would too) since I want to put my own OS (Linux) on it (and many companies have a volume licence for Windows, negating the need for a pre-install OS)."

    The terms of the various permutations of Volume Licensing may have changed in the past 4 years (when I tried to buy some Dells without Windows), but I doubt it: the desktop OS licenses included in VL agreements don't actually cover you to put a clean OS onto a bare metal machine. You need to have an OEM licence (the little sticker with the long code on the side) *first*, and then the VL will allow you to put either an upgraded version (ie. XP onto a PC which had 2000 Pro or Win9x on it), or in certain cases downgrade rights (that is you pay for XP but can install 2000 instead).

  26. joseph oberzeir
    Thumb Down

    SSD - Still a Bad Idea

    SSD of recent mfg have sectors that are said to have lifetimes of 2 to 5 million writes. A logging process often will write to the same sectors, for tree balancing, pointer updates - whatever - for every actual data record written. So, after some time the SSD sector virtualization is going to declare the sector bad and transparently substitute another. Still you've just killed a sector. How often you say? That's a good question.

  27. John

    Pricing kind of sucks.

    As an eee owner, I have been loosely following the pricing of SSDs to replace the 4GB unit in mine. Newegg now has 16GB drives for $179. These were considerabily more expensive just a month ago. Still not cheap enough, but a better price than the $300 upgrade from HP on a desktop that doesn't need it...

  28. John Kirkham


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