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Data Storage Intel The Almighty Buck

SSD Prices Down 46% Since 2011 292

crookedvulture writes "Hard drive prices have yet to return to normal after last year's Thailand flooding. There's good news on the solid-state front, though. The current generation of SSDs has steadily become much cheaper over the last year or so. SSD prices have dropped an average of 46% since early 2011. Intel has largely shied away from discounting its drives, but the aggressive competition between other players in the market seems to have forced its hand. There's no indication that competition is waning, suggesting the downward trend will continue. Right now, an impressive number of drives are available for less than a dollar per gigabyte."
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SSD Prices Down 46% Since 2011

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  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @03:13PM (#40402429)

    SSD prices just fell from completely ludicrous to ridiculous as part of the normal drop in prices per GB of storage

    • by Anubis350 ( 772791 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @03:19PM (#40402505)
      Compared to Just post flood, spinning disk prices are down sure. But pre-flood prices were significantly lower than now, whereas SSDs have just been dropping like a stone recently.
      • Near as I can tell they are trying to keep 1 TB @ $99, even if 2 TBs are at $109/$119
        • That is the typical tripe. Two platter HDDs were always cheaper in $/GB compared with single platter ones.
        • by Anubis350 ( 772791 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @04:38PM (#40403539)
          I got the 4 Samsung 2TB drives in my main tower in a semi regular newegg sale for $65/each back pre-flood, and even without the sale they were ~$80. Now they're ~$120, with sales to ~$100 :-/
    • by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @03:25PM (#40402577)

      Between my $500 video card, two 28" monitors, quad-core CPU, and 8GB of high-speed RAM, it was definitely my shiny new OCZ Agility 3 that made the biggest impression on my when I booted my computer for the first time to install the OS. Those things are so fast it truly is ridiculous.

      • OCZ Agility 3

        Have you ever benchmarked that thing? Moves more MB/s than any other technology I've ever been lucky enough to touch... Kind of makes my head spin.

      • Not to get off topic, but I've found a really high res 27" display to be better than two displays of any size. I used to have dual 24"s and I switched to a 2560x1440 (WQHD) display and I haven't looked back. It was quite difficult to make effective use of two 24"s even, as I could hardly see the one while looking at the other. Now there is no annoying bezel, and plenty of pixel density!

        But I agree, SSD's rock. The only machine I have that doesn't boot the OS from an SSD is a laptop that only supports on

        • by houghi ( 78078 )

          I rather have 2 24" then 1 27". I actually have three. Each with 6 workspaces. I would not be able to do that with one screen.

        • You need smaller monitors, not bigger ones. I have 3 17 inch 3:4 (not widescreen) monitors at work and I love it. I can easily see 3 things at once, and I don't have to spend hours moving windows around. Just move stuff to the desired monitor, and maximize it. I find that having large monitors creates problems (especially when designing web applications), because you have to be careful that you aren't making the page too wide. If you have a small monitor to begin with it's hard to design pages that are t
          • No sir. That would be terrible. I write code, and I have two files open side by side next to each other. I have a second monitor, which I use to full screen things, but I prefer one large view with everything on it, side by side, so I don't have several inches of plastic in the way. Right now I have 4 things open and can see everything that is going on in all 4 places from one screen. Its great.

            Your friends with widescreen monitors should just stand it up, so they have more vertical real estate. The

          • I find that having large monitors creates problems (especially when designing web applications), because you have to be careful that you aren't making the page too wide.

            How so? If your monitor is 1920 pixels wide, and you're running Windows 7 or certain Linux window managers, try dragging a web browser window to the left or right edge of the screen, and it'll snap to cover the left or right half. Or you can focus your browser, Ctrl+right-click something else in the taskbar, and choose Tile Vertically. If a web site displays well in this 960px wide window, it'll display well on a 1024px wide netbook or a 1024px wide iPad.

      • Even my cheap ass Kingston SSD made a huge difference in the responsiveness of my system. Office suites such as Outlook, Word, and the like are very disk-bound in performance, so it's no surprise that an SSD would make life much easier for business users. Starting Outlook or Word used to take forever, and now it just takes an annoying amount of time. The super-fast Windows boot time now lets me do away with sleep and hibernation. I just shut my system down and start each day afresh!

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      Actually the price $/GB is now around $1.42/GB, which means that SSD's are outpacing the rate at which HDD's were growing in size 12 years ago into the multi-gigabyte range. I can go down to my local Canadacomputers and get a 120GB SSD from OCZ for $83. Or 240GB for $169. Round about 12 years ago, you were still paying $1.83/GB up here.

      • There are SSD's at the $1/GB range (your typo). Though what you meant was 1.42GB to the dollar, or $.69/GB. I'm glad to see this trend, but we still have another 50% drop or so to go before they become truly widespread. It's close, but can't say it's a surprise.

    • Why do you say ridiculous? It is just a different technology that is much more expensive to manufacture per GB than a HDD, but has some awesome advantages, and at least one big disadvantage on the price, and questions about longevity. But are SDD much more profitable to manufacturers (ignoring Intel)?
      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        > Why do you say ridiculous?

        Ten times more expensive?

        I suspect that the vast majority of people would call that "ridiculous".

        • To me, that's like saying a Porsche is ridculously priced compared to a Kia. Both companies are providing a good product at a fair price, and neither company is out of line profitable. But the Porsche is an amazing sports car, and the Kia is just (mostly) dependable generic transportation. I've had SSDs since the 120GB versions could be had for $120 on sale, which is almost 2 years now. It was the best money I've ever spent on a computer. Now I have an external hard drive for the really big files I need to
    • They still haven't hit the sweet spot, simply because the ones they are discounting are the smaller drives which most of my customer's OS drives simply wouldn't fit,and neither will mine.

      I try to install all my games to a separate drive and my OS drive is at 96Gb used which means a 128Gb would already be nearly full and from the looks of what I've been seeing the drives that are getting dumped on the sales the most are the 40Gb-60Gb. That might be good for a cache drive but you sure as hell aren't fitting

      • I'm sure as hell not gonna do a clean install and VLite to try to squeeze Win 7 onto some 60Gb.

        I actually managed to get a Windows 7 Pro install on a 64GB SSD. I simply created a junction link in order to move the User folder to an actual hard drive without messing with the registry. I did the same to move my large programs (mostly games) to the hard drive. I love how fast it boots up. I do will I had at least a 120GB SSD through if not a 200+ GB one. Windows 7 takes up a vast majority of my SSD.

        • Did you disable hibernation (assuming you don't use it)? Frees up some space used by hiberfil.sys. On a system with a lot of RAM, hiberfil.sys can eat up a decent slice of an SSD.
      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        Why is the OS drive taking up 96GB?
        Just make symlinks or whatever windows calls them.

    • by Guspaz ( 556486 )

      It's a lot more straightforward than that: NAND chips follow Moore's law (and so does their pricing), while magnetic storage doesn't. SSDs are dropping by Moore's law, and will continue to do so as long as Moore's law holds up for flash memory. It's not that the $700 160GB Intel SSD was ludicrous or ridiculously priced, it's that flash memory really cost that much back then, and the prices we see today are just about where Moore's law would predict they'd be.

    • Not sure what your beef is, I have one and I think it was worth every penny.

  • They speak the truth (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MetalliQaZ ( 539913 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @03:19PM (#40402497)

    It seems to be the nature of things that prices go up and rarely come down. Interesting for manufacturers, in that they were all forced to raise prices at the same time. Now you have a situation where they can all keep prices high as long as none of the big players steps out. Almost like a natural price fixing scheme.

    On the SSD front, the technology has finally matured so that reliability is good enough and cost is low enough for the mainstream. I think it is important for anyone in the market to make sure that they purchase the latest generation of drives. Speed doesn't matter that much (the rest of your computer is probably couldn't utilize it) but the newer firmwares are much less likely to corrupt your data. The parts are also more fault tolerant.

    Really, the biggest issue is probably the difficulty of moving existing OS installs to a new drive. Too bad, because a completely solid state PC is so nice to use.

    • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @03:35PM (#40402701) Homepage Journal

      SSDs also have OCZ and Crucial leveraging MLC and SandForce's controllers to deliver optimized and boosted performance and extended life for reduced cost. SandForce SF-2200 chipsets compress data as it goes out to the chips, reducing write volume and thus giving fractional write amplification. This improves performance and reduces storage wear, improving product lifetime--hence the use of MLC. Of course already compressed data doesn't have those benefits, hence why OCZ's Vertex line has better write speeds--they use synchronous chips that write as fast as they read (Agility drives use much cheaper chips that read faster than they write, so for compressible data they're FAST but for non-compressible data they're slow), and use compression just to extend drive lifetime.

      With all the manufacturers making good use of SandForce's better chips, and SandForce's strategic pricing (read: they're relatively cheap because they want to be a major consumer and enterprise supplier of SSD controllers, which would make them richer than charging a fistful of cash per chip), a lot of inexpensive SSDs have shown up. Essentially Intel tried to hold prices high, and SandForce stepped up and decided to help the whole market undercut them in order to gain market dominance (Intel uses SF chips in 2 models; they previously used Intel proprietary controllers, and have also used Marvell controllers).

      That's called "competition," son. It's what big businesses try to prevent with patents, lock-in, vertical integration (so you can't undercut their prices ever), supply chain control (so you can't get the raw materials to make a competing product without buying from them), etc.

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      I've got a first generation OCZ Vertex, that I've been running pretty close to non-stop for 3 years with the 1.16 firmware on it. Nearly continuous reads/writes including a pagefile. I know a lot of the first generation drives had some problems they're still pretty good even first generation wise. I've also got an agility 3, really nice. Good boost over the Vertex, I'm quite happy with both. I can't wait for the traditional drives to die. Now they just need to get up into the TB range, and be cheap eno

    • Really, the biggest issue is probably the difficulty of moving existing Windows installs to a new drive.


    • I might be suffering from some form of Stockholm Syndrome from using Windows for so long but I like reinstalling the OS, gives me an excuse to update all the drivers, not keep all the old stuff I don't use anymore.

      I recently installed to an SSD from a flash drive I prepared earlier for a friend and it didn't take more than 15 minutes (not including all the other software of course).

    • by fa2k ( 881632 )

      Too bad, because a completely solid state PC is so nice to use.

      For a desktop you shouldn't really notice if it's "all SSD" or not, as long as your hot data is on the SSD. For a laptop is cool that you don't have to hold it still while it's working (I sometimes pack my laptop with a hybrid drive while shutting down anyway; if it breaks I'll get an SSD)

  • really simple (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @03:29PM (#40402625)
    Well, WD and Seagate better still be price gouging to save up funds to buy out a flash chip manufacturer or they're screwed. At my repair and custom builds shop, it's down to a simple rule that if you don't need tons of storage, go with the much faster high lifetime SSD option and if you do need tons of storage, a 500GB-1TB drive is the way to go and they're around the same price. At this rate, I bet WD and Seagate have about 6 months to start making SSDs or they're bankrupt.
    • by rhook ( 943951 )

      The rule of thumb should be always use an SSD for the system drive. If the customer also needs storage it doesn't cost much to add in a 1TB or larger HDD. It only takes a minute to configure Windows to store home directories on the HDD, and you can even make a custom image that is already configured this way. With SSD prices where they are now there really is no reason to use a HDD as the system drive anymore.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @04:30PM (#40403443)

    At the rates prices are falling, 512 GB SSD drives will be common in laptops soon, which I think is a very comfortable size for a laptop drive. 256GB (common base laptop SSD now) is OK but anemic.

  • ... small (I don't need more than 60GB) but fast SSD (250MB/sec sustained write, 400MB/sec sustained read) that plugs directly into a PCI-Express slot (4x or larger to get some speed), and works reliably in Linux (e.g. NOT a Marvell controller). Given the larger capacities generally available today, it would seem to make more sense to achieve this smaller faster design with some redundancy.

    An interesting alternative (but still needs to be NOT based on a Marvell controller) would be a PCI-Express card that

    • Check out the OCZ RevoDrive OCZSSDPX-1RVD0110 and its brethren.
      From Newegg:
      Sandforce controller
      Read: Up to 530 MB/s
      Write: Up to 435 MB/s
      Random Write 4KB (Aligned): 70,000 IOPS
      Seek Time: 0.1 ms
      8W active power use
      110 GB, $140

    • by amorsen ( 7485 )

      You will be looking for a long time, sadly, or you would have to pay a high price. The device you propose would sell in very low numbers. Plain SATA is fast enough for consumers and consumers don't bother with slots anyway. That means you are talking about an enthusiast-only product. What is wrong with SATA anyway for your use? Why do you want the drive to be attached to the PCI-E-card?

      60GB SATA SSD is cheap, but it will have very few chips on it, so sustained performance will not be very impressive. The ea

    • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

      OWC sells PCIe SSD drives alongside their more traditional 2.5" ones.

      Not as small as 60GB (seems 120 is the smallest), but they use Sandforce controllers: []

      While it's predominantly a Mac-based site, there's nothing stopping you using the drives with other machines.

  • RAID is pretty common for HDDs, because drives do fail and RAID gives you instant (for RAID1) and automatic recovery. Is there a point to have SSDs in RAID? For most setups the speed benefits are not important (>200 MB/s is enough to move the bottleneck to the CPU for most workloads). Combining multiple smaller devices into a large volume is useful, but that is more "volume management" than "RAID". I find that bit-rot is overhyped on HDDs, but it's also mitigated by scanning for it (i.e. reading all sect

    • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

      RAID is pretty common for HDDs, because drives do fail and RAID gives you instant (for RAID1) and automatic recovery. Is there a point to have SSDs in RAID?

      Yes. You RAID SSDs for exactly the same reason(s) you RAID hard disks.

    • Keep in mind that currently, the Intel desktop RAID RST does not pass TRIM command to the SSDs when in a RAID volume. Supposedly that will change in a newer version of the RST driver. Not sure when, but it's a feature to be added and has been in the works for some time now.

  • by CopaceticOpus ( 965603 ) on Friday June 22, 2012 @12:36AM (#40407665)

    I created some back-of-the-envelope predictions in July 2009 [] about the cost for 10TB of storage using either type of drive technology. Unfortunately, neither technology has kept pace with my predictions, but SSDs are making much better progress.

    Actual July 2009 Prices for 10TB: Platter = $750, Flash = $28,125
    Actual June 2012 Prices: Platter = $567, Flash = $8200

    Previous Prediction for July 2010: Platter = $528, Flash = $9,868
    Previous Prediction for July 2012: Platter = $262, Flash = $1,215
    Previous Prediction for July 2014: Platter= $130, Flash = $150
    Previous Prediction for July 2019: Platter= $23, Flash = $0.80

    It's a shame to see that after three years, the prices are closer to where I hoped to see them in a single year. I think it's time to update my predictions based on what has happened over the previous 35 months. (Yes, I know this in unscientific and silly!)

    New Prediction for July 2012: Platter = $562 [], Flash = $7916 []
    New Prediction for July 2013: Platter = $511 [], Flash = $5188 []
    New Prediction for July 2014: Platter = $464 [], Flash = $3400 []
    New Prediction for July 2015: Platter = $422 [], Flash = $2228 []
    New Prediction for July 2019: Platter = $287 [], Flash = $411 []
    New Prediction for July 2024: Platter = $178 [], Flash = $50 []

    These predictions seem much more achievable than last time. In fact, I expect that platter drives will exceed this pace as the industry recovers. I can't believe that platter drives will only see around a 50% price reduction per TB over the next seven years. However, that's been the pace of improvement from July 2009 until now.

    The most interesting date will be when the technologies reach price equivalence. This would be August 2020 according to my model, at the price of $260 for 10 TB. My gut feeling is that equivalence will be reached a couple of years earlier than that, but who knows? We'll just have to watch and see!

  • by A_Non_Moose ( 413034 ) on Friday June 22, 2012 @02:38AM (#40408471) Homepage Journal

    Got an Asus G73JH whose boot time was in the 2 minute range (from bios menu to desktop plus another
    30+ seconds to be usable once on the desktop...ack) on a > 1.5 year old windows7 install.

    If I were not in .edu, wipe and is, did a system image (had to fight that, too)

    Pure SSD was still too pricey and storage too small, so I tried a hybrid drive (8G SSD attached).

    One word: "Wow".

    Fresh install of win7, 20 seconds flat and ready to go.

    Restored image as mentioned above: 45 seconds +/- 10 sec and off to the races.

    Now, granted I could have gotten a cheap and small SSD and put it in the second bay, but until I
    can get a 750G+ SSD for less than $200 *aaaand* boot in 20 seconds, I'll likely stick with
    straight mechanical but I'm really liking the hybrid route.

    A hybrid with enough room for a complete OS (128G or so?) would more than give me what I seek
    if done right.

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.