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Is it normal to pay more per GB as SSD capacity increases?

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March 27, 2012 6:35:18 PM

I saw two SSDs that were on sale (made by the same manufacturer and in the same product family), but for one the price was $104/90GB and the other was $224/180GB. (Both prices were arrived at after instant savings, tax, and MIR were factored in)

I'm used to expecting more bang for your buck when you buy in bulk, so this surprised me. But then it hit me that it may have something to do with SSDs specifically. Is this kind of pricing to be expected?
a c 415 G Storage
March 27, 2012 6:44:31 PM

It's normal for the larger SSDs within the same model line to be cheaper/GB because the only difference is the number of flash chips - the case, circuit board and controller chips are identical.

But you have to understand that selling price and manufacturing cost are only vaguely related. Selling price is much more dependent on demand than on manufacturing cost.
March 27, 2012 6:55:30 PM

So because these two SSDs are made by the same manufacturer and are part of the same product line, the likely justification for the 180GB model's higher price tag per GB is that it is in more demand?

That would make sense, considering that 90GB isn't much space - 180GB would be a more desirable option if one could afford the difference in price. I just want to make sure this is an accurate assessment.
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a c 415 G Storage
March 28, 2012 2:36:17 AM

I'd expect that to be the case. It may be less a question of the larger drive being really popular than the smaller drive not moving much at all (two sides of the same coin, really) and so it's been discounted to help clear stock.

But only the vendor knows for sure.
March 28, 2012 1:23:31 PM

sminlal said:

But you have to understand that selling price and manufacturing cost are only vaguely related. Selling price is much more dependent on demand than on manufacturing cost.


So, "selling price is a function of demand."

Is this principle reflected at the retailer level, or do you see this also with wholesale prices? Anyone know? I imagine that retailers would be more responsive to market forces since they can/ could change prices more quickly, whereas [?] wholesalers would keep prices steady.

??

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a c 351 G Storage
March 28, 2012 4:30:43 PM
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Availability vs demand is the bigest factor on pricing.

However, also:
There is a small difference when going from say a 90 gig SSD to the 180 Gig SSD (Same make)
1) The larger the size, the higher the performance. Also true when going from 64->128-256 gig drives (Again same family).
2) The controller is Not the same when moving up in size. For example with the 90 gig drive it may be based on a single module (Bank). when you move up to the 180 gig, it will have 2 modules that are placed in a raid0 config, Hense faster performance and Slight increase in cost (Have to add the internal control for raid0.
March 28, 2012 5:09:37 PM

Aha! I remember hearing that higher volume SSDs have generally better performance than smaller volume models. This explains why, and it's easy to understand based on that principle - in addition to the definite factors of supply and demand / manufacturing cost - the price per GB would increase as storage volume increases. Thank you everyone!
March 28, 2012 5:09:54 PM

Best answer selected by bjsdtl.
a c 415 G Storage
March 28, 2012 10:18:48 PM

RetiredChief said:
The controller is Not the same when moving up in size.
That's not true in most cases where you're talking about different sizes in the same SSD series (for example, an 120 vs 240GB version of the Intel 520). It's the same controller, adding more flash chips just allows it to take advantage of the additional parallelism available by simultaneously accessing more chips. It's not generally cost-effective to build two lines of controller chips when the one that handles the maximum capacity is perfectly capable of also handling lesser capacities.

So yes, you get more performance. But it's not because the controller is different, it's because more flash chips means more parallelism. So, given the fact that the cost of the enclosure, controller, circuit board and supporting components is fixed, adding twice as many flash memory chips does not double the manufacturing cost.

It's a similar situation for disk drives - in a model line with, say, 1TB and 2TB models that use two vs. four platters, the fixed cost of the enclosure, spindle and access arms motors, controller, etc is the same for both drives. The larger model simply adds another platter and set of heads. So the manufacturing cost for a 2TB drive isn't twice as much as for a 1TB drive. (But you don't get the same performance boost by adding platters to a hard drive because they can't be accessed simultaneously.)

But as I mentioned earlier, manufacturing cost and selling price are only loosely related.
!