Hardware changes are the increasing cost of malloc and the increasing importance of caching considerations. The implications are that we want to favor contiguous containers over node-based containers both because they have fewer allocations per item and also because they are more cache friendly.
This isn’t earth shaking news. Alex Stepanov, the STL’s creator, has been quoted as saying, “Use vectors whenever you can. If you cannot use vectors, redesign your solution so that you can use vectors.”
Read more at my blog post http://www.slashslash.info/2013/10/ode-to-a-flat-set/