Flash Cheaper than RAM

I guess I'm probably among the last to notice, but non-volatile RAM in the form of Flash is now cheaper per gigabyte than DRAM. Flash goes for about $50/gigabyte (depending on form factor) whereas RAM goes for around $70 (for PC2700). Of course the speed difference is huge: Flash is about 200 times slower for reading and about 1000 times slower for writing, and I'm guessing it's unlikely to speed up as quickly as DRAM continues to speed up. So in a way this is nothing new: hard drives have been providing slower-but-cheaper nonvolatile storage for quite some time. But assuming that the speed difference goes away, or is no longer relevant, what sorts of changes would we see in everyday computing if the main memory is nonvolatile? I guess transparent persistence, for one, comes for free.


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