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SSD Prices Falling Faster Than HDD Prices

By - Source: Pingsom | B 80 comments

Pingdom has posted a chart comparing the price decline of hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state disk drives (SSDs).

While SSDs remain considerably more expensive than hard drives on a per GB level, the flash-based storage devices are coming down in prices much faster than HDDs have.

According to the data released, SSD memory cost 120 times as much as HDD memory in 2007, but only 32 times as much in 2011. The average price for a HDD per GB was $0.075 in 2011, the SSD cost $2.42 per GB. The lowest per GB price for a SSD was $1.50, while HDD could be purchased for $0.053 per GB. According to Pingdom, the 2011 average price per GB for the SSD is about the same as it was for HDD in 2002. SSDs are expected to be priced at about $1 per GB sometime in the second half of next year.

Despite the rapid price decline, it is unlikely that SSDs will be matching the price level of hard drives anytime soon unless hard drive technology will hit a substantial physical barrier. That barrier has been pushed out continuously for as long as modern hard drive has existed. The most recent increase in capacities has been driven by perpendicular magnetic recording technology and it appears that heat-assisted magnetic recording could surface in 2013 or 2014 to push the limits even further. Seagate, for example, believes that heat assisted recording will increase the maximum storage density of perpendicular magnetic recording by at least 50x.

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  • 26 Hide
    CaedenV , December 21, 2011 11:33 AM
    What amazes me is just how quickly they chew through the bandwidth standards. When they first came out remember they were no faster (and often slower) than a HDD. The idea was that they were going to be for low power devices that required very little space. Within months they saturated the SATA standard, and within 2 years they saturated SATA2. When SATA3 came out it just took 2-3 months to saturate that as well, and we know that is where the bottleneck is because there are already drives that max (or close to max) out the PCIe2 x4 standard!
    When I first started video editing 'way back' in 98 RAID was required to sustain the ~40MB/s required for 2 video streams, and you needed those 2 drives in at least RAID0 to have enough space. ~2002 you could do the same thing on a single drive, and have one large enough to store a project on a single drive. Things progressed rapidly until 1TB drives came out, which could sustain a good 60-80MB/s. But the build has been rather slow after that, and now most HDDs can only push a sustained 120-140MB/s, compared to the 550MB/s of an SSD. Seek times on HDDs have always hovered around 8ms, and have never really improved, while the SSDs are 0ms. It really is mind blowing to look back at.
  • 23 Hide
    snotling , December 21, 2011 11:34 AM
    amdfangirlNow all we need is better Btfs support on Linux for the mass proliferation of SSDs.

    Yeah because we all know that the masses use linux everyday...
  • 23 Hide
    dickcheney , December 21, 2011 11:29 AM
    gavenrgood to see. I would rather spend money on processor's and videocards.


    The gains in Windows general snappiness are worth it. I never looked back and never would.
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    amdfangirl , December 21, 2011 11:06 AM
    I wonder if they include TLC SSDs in this prediction.
  • 16 Hide
    gavenr , December 21, 2011 11:08 AM
    good to see. I would rather spend money on processor's and videocards. :) 
  • -4 Hide
    cmartin011 , December 21, 2011 11:18 AM
    on a 160 gskill for 240 at the time want 250 for same price better keep waitin...
  • 23 Hide
    dickcheney , December 21, 2011 11:29 AM
    gavenrgood to see. I would rather spend money on processor's and videocards.


    The gains in Windows general snappiness are worth it. I never looked back and never would.
  • 26 Hide
    CaedenV , December 21, 2011 11:33 AM
    What amazes me is just how quickly they chew through the bandwidth standards. When they first came out remember they were no faster (and often slower) than a HDD. The idea was that they were going to be for low power devices that required very little space. Within months they saturated the SATA standard, and within 2 years they saturated SATA2. When SATA3 came out it just took 2-3 months to saturate that as well, and we know that is where the bottleneck is because there are already drives that max (or close to max) out the PCIe2 x4 standard!
    When I first started video editing 'way back' in 98 RAID was required to sustain the ~40MB/s required for 2 video streams, and you needed those 2 drives in at least RAID0 to have enough space. ~2002 you could do the same thing on a single drive, and have one large enough to store a project on a single drive. Things progressed rapidly until 1TB drives came out, which could sustain a good 60-80MB/s. But the build has been rather slow after that, and now most HDDs can only push a sustained 120-140MB/s, compared to the 550MB/s of an SSD. Seek times on HDDs have always hovered around 8ms, and have never really improved, while the SSDs are 0ms. It really is mind blowing to look back at.
  • 12 Hide
    gavenr , December 21, 2011 11:34 AM
    SSD is like HD is to cable. Once you go HD or SSD you never go back!!
  • 23 Hide
    snotling , December 21, 2011 11:34 AM
    amdfangirlNow all we need is better Btfs support on Linux for the mass proliferation of SSDs.

    Yeah because we all know that the masses use linux everyday...
  • 0 Hide
    memadmax , December 21, 2011 11:49 AM
    Any articles about the "heat assisted recording"?
    I'm very interested in this and as yet can't find anything.
  • 12 Hide
    mrmaia , December 21, 2011 11:50 AM
    If HDD prices dropped as fast as SSD's, they would be practically free today. HDDs are close to reaching their price asymptotes, and won't fade away from the market in the next years - especially with ever-increasing media file sizes and internet bandwidth.
  • 8 Hide
    billybobser , December 21, 2011 11:56 AM
    I'm guessing, people at the moment are more concerned with gb per £ than speed per £.
  • 2 Hide
    jgutz2006 , December 21, 2011 12:00 PM
    Its interesting to see the actual numbers, but this should be blatantly obvious to anyone as there are higher prices (and likely margins) to play with in RAM, and the transistor densities and production processes shrinking drastically, the technology has an obvious future whereas with magnetic discs, they need to invent a completely new way or organizing, writing and accessing those blocks of data before there can be huge technological leaps.
  • 2 Hide
    Soul_keeper , December 21, 2011 12:12 PM
    Many of the SSD prices have been going up the past few months from where i'm sitting.
    ie: holiday demand is high

    The M4 is more expensive than it was in october for example.
  • 7 Hide
    snotling , December 21, 2011 12:27 PM
    memadmaxAny articles about the "heat assisted recording"? I'm very interested in this and as yet can't find anything.

    (JEDI gesture) This information is not useful to you...
    (unless you're a HD manufacturer)
  • 4 Hide
    custodian-1 , December 21, 2011 12:29 PM
    memadmaxAny articles about the "heat assisted recording"? I'm very interested in this and as yet can't find anything.


    Heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR)
  • 4 Hide
    alyoshka , December 21, 2011 12:29 PM
    A dollar per GB wouldn't be a bad buy now.... worth waiting for, atleast most people will be able to afford one for their frequently used programs and data stuff. I think it's worth the wait.
    I bought mine for around 4$/GB so it'll be a welcome change if I got the another one at 1$/GB. That would be a good idea to RAID them out then.
  • 2 Hide
    custodian-1 , December 21, 2011 12:30 PM
    Sorry Google "Heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR)"
  • 9 Hide
    rawful , December 21, 2011 12:33 PM
    snotlingYeah because we all know that the masses use linux everyday...


    Just like we all know the masses know about the differences between hard drive technologies or are willing to pay so much more for less space.
  • 2 Hide
    jacobdrj , December 21, 2011 12:43 PM
    mrmaiaIf HDD prices dropped as fast as SSD's, they would be practically free today. HDDs are close to reaching their price asymptotes, and won't fade away from the market in the next years - especially with ever-increasing media file sizes and internet bandwidth.

    True: Hard drives prices will probably not drop further than their 2011 historical lows (pre floods), due to material costs... But that belittles the fact that the density will continue to increase. Hence, a hard drive 3 years from now, will still go for $50-$150, but the price per GB will drom from $0.07/gb to $0.10/tb...
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