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SSD Prices Start To Plunge

SSD pricing has started to shift over the last few weeks, but there have been signs of an avalanche coming for some time. Several of the largest companies are riding the wave of falling prices by slashing prices on some of their most popular models.

The biggest moves have been from relatively unknown models, such as the OEM Micron 1100, the price of which shifts up and down every day. We spotted the 2TB drive selling for $200 several times as Micron has attempted to blow 1st generation 3D flash models out of the warehouse with steep discounts to make room for newer models with 64-layer memory.

True consumer SSDs sit on shaky ground, too. One model that got our attention before leaving for Computex comes from a brand called Inland Professional. The brand has been around for a number of years and released products in different categories, like in-line surge protectors. It's now a house brand for Micro Center, a popular chain of retail stores known for aggressive CPU and CPU bundle prices.

The Inland Professional 480GB 3D TLC NAND SATA III 6Gb/s 2.5" Internal Solid State Drive (yes, that is the full name) was the No. 5 best seller on Amazon the day we left for Taipei, priced at just $79. The price has since shot back up to $99 with Prime shipping on Amazon, but it's also listed on the Micro Center website, where the 240GB model sells for $46, and the 120GB model is a giveaway at just $26.

Now sitting in the fifth slot on the Amazon Best Sellers list is the WD Blue 3D 500GB (pictured above). The popular drive sells for just $120, but the same model under the SanDisk name is an even better value at $110.

Even industry giant Samsung has reduced prices of new models. The 860 EVO 1TB moved to $248 on Amazon but was available for a few hours on Walmart's website for just $150. The two most popular SSDs on Amazon today are the Samsung 860 EVO 500GB for $128 and the Crucial MX500 500GB for $110.

NVMe SSDs have yet to ride the avalanche, but we can already feel the tremors. Newegg has the Adata XPG SX8200 480GB down to just $170, a $50 cut to the MSRP. Samsung cut 970 EVO pricing but not with the same long-blade aggression. The 970 EVO 500GB sells for $196 on Amazon. We expect that price to hold for now, but if models like the SX8200 and HP EX920 gain popularity, Samsung may try to keep pace with the prices.

The market will get even more interesting when Silicon Motion, Inc. SM2262EN products appear with 970 Pro-like performance.

Chris Ramseyer is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews consumer storage.