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SSDs May Get Pricey This Year With NAND Prices Expected to Rise 40%

(Image credit: Markus Gann/Shutterstock)

In 2019, NAND and DRAM prices dropped to an all-time low. This led to cheaper SSDs and memory than we've ever seen before. These times appear to be coming to an end though. A DigiTimes report today cited unnamed sources at chipmakers claiming that prices for NAND flash memory, a non-volatile type of storage used in storage components like SSDs, will rise by up to 40% by Q4 2020.

Various factors can contribute to this boost, such as increased demand or issues with supply, such as Samsung's latest incident where its Hwaseong plant landed out of order for 3 days due to a one-minute power outage.

Without named sources, it's hard to bet it all on DigiTimes' report. But if it's true, it would point to a tough year for PC builders. Just last week, market research DRAMeXchange also predicted that Q1 2020 DRAM prices would rise by 5% in Q1 2020

So if you want to buy a new SSD or even want some more DDR4 RAM, now would be a good time to start looking. 

  • Samuel White
    We get these articles at the beginning of every year on Hard drives and Ram.
    Reply
  • AlistairAB
    Yeah it is always a bunch of nonsense. Samsung wishes prices would go up. As fabrication nodes improve the cost per GB goes down. Even if their profit stayed the same, prices would still be dropping.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    AlistairAB said:
    Yeah it is always a bunch of nonsense. Samsung wishes prices would go up. As fabrication nodes improve the cost per GB goes down. Even if their profit stayed the same, prices would still be dropping.
    If you look at memory prices today vs memory prices about eight years ago, $/GB has not gone down at all. The difference today is that there are many more things that use DRAM-like process, so Samsung and other DRAM fabs can move capacity to those other things to reduce supply and keep prices from going down any further.

    The power outage at one of Samsung's DRAM fabs isn't going to help either, that puts them thousands of wafers behind and those things typically have ripple effects for months to come. The joys of JiT/LEAN manufacturing, little to no inventory to buffer cock-ups in the supply chain. I had been tracking memory prices for a couple of months and many models have gone up ~10% over the last week.

    Also, this year, Sony and Microsoft will be ordering huge amounts of RAM and SSDs for the PS5 and XB launches.

    There is no shortage of reasons to expect all memory to go up this year.
    Reply
  • AlistairAB
    InvalidError said:
    If you look at memory prices today vs memory prices about eight years ago, $/GB has not gone down at all. The difference today is that there are many more things that use DRAM-like process, so Samsung and other DRAM fabs can move capacity to those other things to reduce supply and keep prices from going down any further.

    The power outage at one of Samsung's DRAM fabs isn't going to help either, that puts them thousands of wafers behind and those things typically have ripple effects for months to come. The joys of JiT/LEAN manufacturing, little to no inventory to buffer cock-ups in the supply chain. I had been tracking memory prices for a couple of months and many models have gone up ~10% over the last week.

    Also, this year, Sony and Microsoft will be ordering huge amounts of RAM and SSDs for the PS5 and XB launches.

    There is no shortage of reasons to expect all memory to go up this year.

    https://jcmit.net/mem2015.htm
    It's been hard to get prices lower than 2013 levels (which is why Sony was able to surprise Microsoft with 8GB in the PS4, prices had just dropped so rapidly), but it's been getting cheaper and cheaper to make the ram, so it won't stay up.

    That's a logarithmic graph by the way, so a straight line is a severe decrease in prices.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    AlistairAB said:
    That's a logarithmic graph by the way, so a straight line is a severe decrease in prices.
    The DRAM points haven't gone much lower than the 2012-2013 low. I wouldn't call 25-30% over 7-8 years a "severe" decrease. In the years prior to that, it used to be a factor of ~10X per five years, now that legitimately qualifies as drastic.
    Reply
  • AlistairAB
    InvalidError said:
    The DRAM points haven't gone much lower than the 2012-2013 low. I wouldn't call 25-30% over 7-8 years a "severe" decrease. In the years prior to that, it used to be a factor of ~10X per five years, now that legitimately qualifies as drastic.

    You said $/GB has not gone down at all. In the last 18 months the average price for DDR 3000 16GB has dropped from $220 to $80, about 64 percent cheaper. If you only compare with the lowest price in 2013 it doesn't look amazing since there was a crash in the DRAM market then, but the average per year price has dropped quite a bit since then, finally in 2019. OLOY memory is just as low as $57 for 16GB.

    My point was more about how 16GB costs Samsung a lot less to make compared to in 2012 however, regardless of market pricing.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    AlistairAB said:
    You said $/GB has not gone down at all. In the last 18 months the average price for DDR 3000 16GB has dropped from $220 to $80, about 64 percent cheaper.
    The price of DRAM has cyclic ups and down, those are just short-term fluctuations. As a consumer, what matters to me is whether I can get more RAM for my money than I used to on a scale of 4+ years. I built my current PC back in 2012 and as far as that is concerned, prices haven't gone down in any meaningful way compared to how I used to double the RAM for half the cost (more than quadruple the MBs/$) between my previous PCs.

    AlistairAB said:
    My point was more about how 16GB costs Samsung a lot less to make compared to in 2012 however, regardless of market pricing.
    And my point was that according to your own graph, DRAM prices was dropping by ~10X every five years prior to 2010 and only dropped by ~30% relative to 2012-2013, a DRAMatic slow-down in the overall trend. I compared lows because you need to pick a point to compare from and in a cyclic market, lows or highs are the easiest to identify visually. If you compare the high from 2014 to the 2017 high, the difference is only ~20%.

    No matter how you slice it, the trend is more than an order of magnitude slower than it used to be.
    Reply