Gartner: SSDs will reach mainstream prices in 2012

By on May 11, 2011, 5:12 PM

According to a report by PCWorld, Gartner believes solid-state drives will finally reach mainstream pricing next year -- a proposition that has taunted hardware buffs for eons. The research outfit estimates that by the second half of 2012, mainstream flash-based storage drives will reach $1 per gigabyte, putting them well within the grasp of most consumers and not just well-funded enthusiasts.

Intel's current-generation 80GB 320 series SSD (essentially an updated second-generation X25-M) is priced at $180, or about $2.25 per gigabyte. That price only goes up when you start looking at models outfitted with SATA 6Gb/s, such as Intel's 510 series or OCZ's Vertex 3 line. By comparison, it's not difficult to find 1TB and 2TB hard drives for less than a dime per gigabyte.

While SSDs have become more affordable over the last few years, Gartner expects NAND flash prices to fall by 30% this year followed by another 36% next year. Those declines are attributed to the rise of tablets and other electronics that ship with flash storage. Not only are consumers buying more flash chips, but they're demanding higher capacity solutions. Both are causing manufacturers to increase their output, which will eventually push prices down.

Although we're mostly excited about buying cheap SSDs for our desktops and notebooks, Gartner notes that those types of drives account for a small chunk NAND flash market. While flash cards and USB drives represented 38% of the NAND bit consumption in 2010, SSDs only accounted for 7.9%. With prices on the decline, that figure is expected to double to 15.9% by next year. How cheap will SSDs have to get before you're willing to take the plunge?

User Comments: 25

Got something to say? Post a comment
TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I might go in for a small one as a boot drive for the ~$1/gig price mark, but I would like to see more like ~ $0.60 per gig.

But Intels new SSD drive built into mobo might make small SSD boot drives a moot point.

Cota Cota said:

Even like that it will cost me $1000 to replace my $50 1TB boot drive thats capable off ~85MBps r/w whit 100MBps peeks and i know i know, what about the seek times? well boo who, but at least that "browse" button on installers will stop being useless for me and let me have a dedicated SSD for games

Guest said:

BS.........SDD prices are no where near HDD prices. That's fine new tech costs more, but we've been hearing the price drop BS for over a year now. Try, like, 3 years from now.

Zecias said:

u can already get ssds for $1 per GB right now

in the last month or so, i've seen three deals like this


gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I got lucky with a good Newegg sale, and some kind of weird customer loyalty discount, and ended up picking up a 90 GB Vertex 2 for about $90. And while the quick boot up times are really nice, most of the time I put my system to sleep, which is practically instantaneous anyway.

Due to the small size I keep my Steam folder on a Raptor, which is nice, but kinda defeats the purpose of the faster loading times.

The main gripe I have is that I *hate* moving stuff around from drive to drive in order to free up space.

I figure that I'd need about 500 GB in order to really have the experience that I would want, but even at $1 per GB the price for that would be prohibitive.

I guess we can just hope that the Intel tech that TorturedChaos mentioned will mature enough to the point where the intelligent cache will overcome that. But in my experience you will still need a pretty large cache, the Momentus XT drive was great on my backup computer where I run a few programs, but did not give me great performance on my primary computer. I would say 30 cents per GB would get me buying more.


$0.75 per gigabyte

Guest said:

I want a 100gb SSD for $35. I'd be happy to pull the trigger at that price.

captainawesome captainawesome said:

Gartner obviously has a twisted definition of "mainstream" .

Guest said:

no more of $0.50 per GB.

Valimere said:

I'll have to go against the grain of comments here and say that I think $1 per gigabyte would be breaking into the mainstream market. SSD's aren't meant to replace normal HDD. Their meant for speed! I?m a bit of an Enthusiast, so I pulled the trigger on a vertex 3 256 GB ver, but I only spent so much because, I don?t want my HDD to be the bottleneck anymore, and have plenty of room for most of the stuff I use. But if they can bring that price down to $1 per GB with say half the speed? That would mean they more than halved the price, with 5x-10x speed performance of normal HDD, I think there would be a nice surge in SSD sales.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

SSD is the only way to build a business PC. Nothing is more valuable than time.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

Maybe upper mainstream but still 2012 seems too soon for that to happen. With mechanical hard disks heading for the 4-5 TB capacities, SSDs seem destined to work in tandem with HDDs rather than replace them completely in PCs.

Rasta211 said:

10 cents a gig. This means waiting for Black Friday or Boxing Day(Canada). Or even online. I have never owned an SSD drive so I can't miss what I never had. Leave my computer on most of the time as well.

The other thing you have to consider if what if the device fails? We all know you can buy multiple sata hard drives for the price of one SSD.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Not sure when I'll bite the bullet and get an SSD drive... I mean I've experienced ones performance first hand so it's always in the back of my mind.

Drive size is not particularly a concern since it's not that hard to default your download and documents folder to a secondary drive (which I would do anyways), though out of stubborness/legacy thinking I'd want minimally a 120/128GB drive. Those are around $200-$250, and even this time next year I honestly I'd be surprised to see a $50 price drop for that size drive.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Honestly, anything at the $1 per gigabyte and lower could easily fit into the mainstream. It will only move down in pricing as NAND production is advanced and demand pushes the products along. I know enthusiasts like to pipe up about wanting large storage for cheap, but it's the mainstream consumer mobile markets that will really push the SSD demand (as it already has been). Desktops will always have the HDD option for mass storage (which i can't see disappearing anytime soon), but mobile computing devices are really one of the only platforms that "need" that SSD power efficiency and mechanical stability. The thing is, they also need large enough capacity to keep the consumer from getting frustrated with always having to carefully manage their resources. Current larger capacity drives tend to be cost prohibitive, and that's where the hardest push for mainstream pricing will occur. Then those of us who want an SSD for desktops will reap the rewards

Hank10156 said:

Seriously, they play marketing games with this hard drive media just like Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit and everything else. They could sell these SSD's for ten cents per Gig right now but they choose to let the marketing teams control everything. And boy have they got all of you "CONSUMERS" on the hook line and sinker....I run a powerful system set up within my budget.. Let all of you grit your teeth trying to keep up with the Joneses!.....Hmmmmmmmmmm?

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Hank10156 said:

They could sell these SSD's for ten cents per Gig right now but they choose to let the marketing teams control everything.

I'm sure we would all love to see a detailed cost analysis of component pricing, manufacturing and packaging overhead that justifies that statement... Since, it seems, you have insider information about true costs that nobody else on the planet is privy to.

Guest said:

$1 per 1 gig will mark a sea-change moment for the transition towards sdds - its only a matter price right now - ssd is clearly the better option if you can afford it..... So when prices do reach the dollar or less per gig point you will really start to see mainstream adoption of ssd, not only in tablet/mobile devices but in desktop/server applications.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

SSD prices will get better obviously, but equal to spinners by next year?

Have you seen the latest ones hitting 500mbps with SATA6?

So no, I don't agree with the authors opinion.

Guest said:

Ok I guess I am the old guy here and will pull out the (when I was just getting into computer story)

but after going to comdex for the first time in Vagus I picked up a huge 80md hard drive for the great price (it was at that time) of only 240.00....I remember think I now have all the room I will need for a long time.

So just my 2 cents is 1.00 a GB will get me to spend my money

Guest said:

alot of different comments whoever thinks what...but really if you only knew that making one 500gb ssd is just not more than $20..sells for 500-1000usd.....thats a f888in buisness...openup your eyes dont get into it cos its like a drug once you do it your in it, your (his)

Guest said:

I wonder what the prices of mechanical hard disks would be like next year. In south africa we pay too much for old technology. The cheapest 2tb external hdd is around $120. Can only imagine what a basic 80gb ssd would set me back.

Guest said:

.25 cents per gb or i will not buy...

We are always going to need more storage...the market is moving away from portable media such as dvd's and cd's and companies such as Steam and google music/youtube/Netflix/Itunes are the future, and we are going to need GB's to store those files. Look at Alienwares new m11x series of laptops they do not even come with cd drives! SSD's will have to come down big time to keep up, and I do not think that will happen. My guess is cheaper 1TB 10,000 rpm 32 mb+ catch HD's will come out as standard and ppl will Raid 0 them as a normal practice and be absolutely fine with the speeds. SSD manufactures need to do something to make there drives operate in colder temperatures too, I dont want to turn up the heat in my office one hour before I can boot up my pc..

Guest said:

A HDD is more likely to fail than an SSD drive, because there are moving parts in a HDD. A typical MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) of a HDD is about 500,000 hours, operating in an optimal environment. A typical MTBF of an SSD drive is about 2,000,000 hours, operating in an optimal environment. So, in theory, you will buy 4 HDDs for every 1 SSD drive.

Guest said:

Honestly, I hope ssd's come down in price.I plan to have one 128 GB in my laptop, and 4 in my desktop in raid 5. with hard drive prices where they are now, ssds are becoming more freindly every mday.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.