Mainstream SSD prices plummeted nearly 50% in the past year

By on June 22, 2012, 2:30 PM

Finally dipping below the heralded $1 per GB mark, it appears overall SSD prices have been on a precipitous decline over the past year. This observation comes from The Tech Report who analyzed data from camelegg.com, a website dedicated to tracking prices at Newegg.

Their overall findings show that Crucial, Corsair, OCZ and Samsung SSDs have been mostly in line with price cuts for their 240GB and 256GB offerings. In many cases, these SSDs have shed more than half their original cost since launch. Meanwhile, 120GB and 128GB SSDs also fell at similar although slightly more modest rates. As of the past week, many 120GB and 128GB SSDs are now hovering under the $120 mark, making them viable alternatives to traditional hard drives for a growing segment of consumers.

Despite the overall trend of falling prices, Intel has continued to treat their SSDs quite differently than competitors. Prices on Intel's drives have come down only slightly and remain stagnant for long periods of time.

Well-known industry vendors like OCZ have typically based their designs on third-party controllers, like those by Sandforce and Marvell. Many of those offerings come in 4-channel and 8-channel configurations with varying numbers of chips, typically in multiples of 8. Intel, on the other hand, is the only company I'm familiar with that offers its own proprietary controller with a 10-channel design. But, even Intel has begun using third-party controllers in some of its SSDs, so maybe we'll see better overall prices from Intel in the future.

Another statistical peculiarity are smaller and monstrously large SSDs. Drives which were 60GB or less are markedly more expensive per gigabyte -- many hit $100 for half the storage of a slightly higher priced 128GB SSDs.

Although The Tech Report doesn't touch on 480GB+ SSDs, some anecdotal price checking reveals that, overall, there is a premium to be paid for solid state drives with unusually high-capacities as well. For now, 128-256GB seems to be the sweet spot.

 



User Comments: 17

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ikesmasher said:

its great. Its a shame they dont come down to HDD prices though D:

mevans336 mevans336 said:

I've noticed this as well. I have a Samsung 830 256GB as my primary drive and I was thinking of picking up an 830 128GB or a Crucial M4 128GB as a scratch drive for my video work to move that off my primary drive.

Guest said:

You have SSD for videos? Trololo

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You have SSD for videos? Trololo

Being able to dump and retrieve raw video quickly is an amazing thing to have, especially when you're editing in real time.

I also have the Samsung 830 256GB. I got it for $0.98/GB a month ago, it's soooo nice and speedy.

Apologizing on copyediting, but "Intel has continued to ---->threat<---- their SSDs quite differently than competitors." I believe treat was the intended word. =)

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

WOW this is cool news...

nismo91 said:

yup, local prices here show that 120gb agility 3 / force 3 cost ~50% less than when I bought it last november. yeah, ive been considering in getting another SSD for my laptop as well

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I've waited for the prices to be where they are right now. I don't mind paying for an SSD, now that the prices are better than $1 per GB. I wonder where the prices will be next year this time.

Scshadow said:

Amazing when they said they were going to squeeze the small players out of business by lowering prices drastically, what a surprise that they do. I don't think they're done yet. They just gotta lower it slow enough that they don't get noticed too much from either bad rep or maybe legally(price fixing or whatnot).

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

You have SSD for videos? Trololo

Being able to dump and retrieve raw video quickly is an amazing thing to have, especially when you're editing in real time.

I also have the Samsung 830 256GB. I got it for $0.98/GB a month ago, it's soooo nice and speedy.

Apologizing on copyediting, but "Intel has continued to ---->threat<---- their SSDs quite differently than competitors." I believe treat was the intended word. =)

Yes that's really the point of SSDs... changes the way you use the computer when your storage is so much faster and less latent.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I still think the prices are WAY too high - though I do now have a 600GB intel 320 and a 512GB Vertex 4. Pricing on these babies has a long way to go and so do capacities.

treetops treetops said:

my wallet aches for a 1tb ssd for 100$

maybe in 2 years

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

my wallet aches for a 1tb ssd for 100$

maybe in 2 years

It may take more than two years but at least prices are now low enough for me to consider an SSD drive for my OS Partition. I feel Data storage will be dependent on mechanical drive for quite a few years to come.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

I still think the prices are WAY too high - though I do now have a 600GB intel 320 and a 512GB Vertex 4. Pricing on these babies has a long way to go and so do capacities.

It's all relative... 480/512GB is very usable and the speed decimates hard disks. They physically can't achieve the latency figures and the only limit to SSD speeds atm is controller and interface bandwidth. You can just keep doubling the controller channel bit widths and doubling the bandwidth of the SSD. How can a HDD compete with that?

Sure as a storage medium, they have a long way to go but for running OS and software 240GB or 480GB is a pretty practical capacity.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

What practical PC user is willing to spend $250-700 on a single drive? You can't call any of us here on the forums really "practical" PC users - we're outliers among the hundreds of millions or maybe even billions of PC users. Most people don't care as long as it "works" when they try to use it. For the price I paid for my 600 GB SSD I was able to build the RAID array in my fileserver including the RAID controller and all of the drives. With that I can get over 400 MB/s on Bonnie++ and am limited to my network speeds for file delivery. I know the use case isn't the same "by any stretch of the imagination" but I think it's this type of pricing disparity that makes it difficult for me to keep throwing money at these SSDs. I don't care about booting fast - I almost never shut down my machines in the first place so having a fast boot drive is almost meaningless to me.

These days, apps are getting bigger and bigger. Many of my games are over 10GB installed and some are even over 20GB. People are becoming more informed about lossless audio formats and HD video formats. What good are these fast SSDs if I still have to store all my content on spindle based drives?

Don't get me wrong, I agree with you that there is no comparing the performance of an SSD to a typical spinner, but I personally feel there is a huge amount of potential improvement possible when it comes to SSDs - and not necessarily in the area of speed.

Guest said:

Fully agree with what LNCPapa said. IMHO SSD are pointless to the extreme. These things should be primarily used for data which is rarely modified (movies/iso/etc) to prevent NAND flash from degrading. Instead SSDs are used as system drives and for storing every day documents. As a result SSD lifespan is circa 3 years if you're lucky.

I went with 2 SSDs to see for myself. I'm absolutely certain that I will never buy another SSD with that kind of price tag. If they drop to like 120$ for 1TB then maybe. I do have similar situation like LNCPapa. I do own hardware RAID cards. For a price of 1 reasonably big SSD (512GB+) I can buy 8+ HDDs which will outclass SSD at every turn. Plus I have full 2 disk redundancy with RAID6 setup. Invested mainly in SSDs to see how those things cope with big directories - couldn't care less about booting time as it takes few minutes anyway (RAID kernel). Throw at them 80k or 150k files into one DIR and they choke exactly the same as HDDs. And reliability of SSDs is a problem. All data stored on my SSDs is mirrored every hour to standard HDD RAID 60 array. Better safe than sorry.

Hopefully in 10 years time nobody will remember SSDs. Egg-heads will construct something 10 times better.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Boot time is not the only benefit to using an SSD. I knew this two years ago when I said I would not even consider purchasing an SSD, until the prices dropped to $1 per 1GB.

Hopefully in 10 years time nobody will remember SSDs. Egg-heads will construct something 10 times better.
You are turning your back to the gold mine when you know there is gold inside. Your only argument being that the drives are too small in capacity. Now that the prices are slowly becoming more attractive to everyone, more SSD drives will be sold. I see no reason why manufacturers will sit back and ignore this capacity issue. At the moment HDD capacities is the biggest competitor of all when it comes to SSD sales.

TJGeezer said:

I saw a lot of comments questioning how SDDs can really improve computer use for most people. Maybe, but Darth Shiv made the crucial point I think:

"Yes that's really the point of SSDs... changes the way you use the computer when your storage is so much faster and less latent."

If that's so, and I've drummed my fingers more than once while large files underwent changes, that makes SDDs a rather disruptive technology. Even if, as Seagate said, they're only complementary to HDDs now, I'd expect to see their use diverge from HDDs in ways that could prove very interesting as price/capacity ratios continue to improve. The market looks much more interesting now than it did even six months ago.

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