January 15, 2012

Is this the year SSDs will get cheaper than disk?

Filed under: Computer joy — dalvenjah @ 8:39 pm

I’ve been wanting to start tracking this for a while; we’ll see how well it works. Solid state disks have been showing up more and more and getting cheaper and cheaper; but they were still a good deal more expensive than traditional “spinning rust” hard disks. Then, the unfortunate Thai floods started in July (and are apparently some areas of Thailand are still flooded), affecting both Seagate and Western Digital hard drive factories. Since those two companies now encompass most of the world’s hard disk manufacturers — Western Digital is on track to finish acquiring Hitachi’s manufacturing, and Toshiba, Fujitsu, and Samsung are still there but represent a relatively small portion of the market — it had a huge impact on the price of spinning drives, and has already started affecting availability. In late October, drives started doubling in price, and people started making runs on stores; in late November, it was hard to find certain drives at NewEgg or Fry’s.

So here’s my attempt to start comparing drives, both raw street price and by cost/GB, to see when SSDs become a cost-effective option against spinning disks. We’ll see if it actually happens this year.

As of 1/15/2012, we’ve still got a ways to go:

Size Type Grade Manufacturer Model Cost Cents/GB
2TB Spinning SATA Consumer Seagate ST2000DL003 $145 7.25
2TB Spinning SATA Consumer WD WD20EARS $149 7.45
2TB Spinning SATA Consumer Hitachi 7K2000 2TB $160 8.00
2TB Spinning SATA Enterprise Hitachi A7K2000 2TB $450 22.5
2TB Spinning SATA Enterprise Seagate ST32000644NS $408 20.4
3TB Spinning SATA Consumer Seagate ST3000DM001 $232 7.73
3TB Spinning SATA Enterprise Seagate ST33000651NS $498 16.6
3TB Spinning SATA Enterprise Hitachi 7K3000 3TB $652 21.73
600GB Spinning SAS Enterprise Seagate ST3600057SS $492 82.00
600GB High-speed SATA Consumer WD WD6000HLHX $288 48.00
600GB Spinning SAS Enterprise Hitachi HUS156060VLS600 $457 76.16
200GB SLC SSD Enterprise Seagate ST200FX0002 $2,907 1453.50
200GB MLC SSD Enterprise Seagate ST200FM0012 $1,504 752.00
200GB MLC SSD Consumer OCZ OCZSSD2-2VTX200G $308 154.00

(Note, these aren’t price guarantees; they’re going to fluctuate constantly. The price links are to the searches where I found the prices listed. I’ll try to update once every couple of weeks to see where things go.)

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