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SSDs are on track to beat hard drive pricing by the end of 2016.

syntax42syntax42 Member UncommonPosts: 1,378
I haven't checked SSD pricing in a few months, but the prices just keep falling.  It is almost alarming how the Samsung 850 series--which uses relatively new 3-D NAND technology--is not able to maintain much of a price premium over budget Micron BX-100 series SSDs, as seen on Amazon's web site.  

This article is a couple years old, but the prediction seems to be right on target.

http://www.tweaktown.com/news/42280/experts-claim-ssds-price-hdds-2016-beyond/index.html


Now is as good of a time as any to buy a SSD, or wait if you don't need storage now.  I am excited at the thought of being able to purchase a 1TB SSD for $100 or less, in less than a year.  I think I'll start planning for a new computer as SSD prices continue to plummet.  Anyone else looking forward to blazing fast mass-storage and ditching the old hard drive, even for storing large quantities of low-performance data?
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Comments

  • ThornrageThornrage Member UncommonPosts: 654
    When I decided to build a new computer this year, I also decided I would go all SSD. I spent about $1000 on 3TB of SSD and it would have been nice to wait for the lower prices but I have no regrets. SSD is the way to go.

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  • jesteralwaysjesteralways Member RarePosts: 2,560
    End of 2016? it is still about a year away. Frankly if the manufacturers were willing enough they could have produced more SSD and sell them in relatively low price but they just don't want to let go of the massive HDD crowd and they are not sure how the HDD crowd would react if the only cheap option they had were 128-512GB SSD.

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  • syntax42syntax42 Member UncommonPosts: 1,378
    End of 2016? it is still about a year away. Frankly if the manufacturers were willing enough they could have produced more SSD and sell them in relatively low price but they just don't want to let go of the massive HDD crowd and they are not sure how the HDD crowd would react if the only cheap option they had were 128-512GB SSD.
    That doesn't make sense.  SSD manufacturers mostly consist of Micron and Samsung.  Hard drives are mostly made by Western Digital and Seagate.  Yes, there are a few other brands, but what is important is the manufacturers don't make both.

    SSDs are still a developing technology.  There is a lot of room for flash memory to be developed into something better.  Magnetic disks have been pushing their limitations on density for a long time and haven't increased their speeds by any significant amounts in 20 years.  As the methods of producing better versions of any technology are improved, the cost naturally goes down.   We are just now getting close to the tipping point of the price per capacity being cheaper for SSDs than for the mechanical drives.
  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 6,417
    To me that looks like calculations for data center that needed to make multiple copies of their data on different hard disks to get enough data transfer speed for all their simultaneous users, but is now able to do it with just a single copy of data on SSD.

    Not very relevant for home PC builders.
     
  • syntax42syntax42 Member UncommonPosts: 1,378
    Vrika said:
    Not very relevant for home PC builders.
    If something benefits the data center computer market, chances are, it will benefit the home PC builder market.  It is possible the home PC builders may have to wait an extra few months before seeing the benefits, or the entire market price for consumer SSDs could drop at the same time as the data center market.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,088
    It all depends on what you're comparing.  If $/GB is the metric, SSDs may or may not ever be competitive with hard drives, and certainly won't in the near future.  If $/IOPS is the metric, SSDs are already far, far ahead of hard drives.  If it's $/something on a server and you're counting the entire cost of the server, that can depend tremendously on what the "something" is and how much the rest of the server costs.
  • Thomas2006Thomas2006 Member RarePosts: 1,152
    Quizzical said:
    It all depends on what you're comparing.  If $/GB is the metric, SSDs may or may not ever be competitive with hard drives, and certainly won't in the near future.  If $/IOPS is the metric, SSDs are already far, far ahead of hard drives.  If it's $/something on a server and you're counting the entire cost of the server, that can depend tremendously on what the "something" is and how much the rest of the server costs.
    May or may not be true.. Intel's new 3D XPoint SSD tech is actually cheaper to build / make then standard SSD's and provides a much higher IOPS and scales well with size. So there is a good chance we may see SSDs become cheaper then hard drives in the near future.
  • stayontargetstayontarget Member RarePosts: 6,514
    edited September 2015
    syntax42 said:
    I haven't checked SSD pricing in a few months, but the prices just keep falling.  It is almost alarming how the Samsung 850 series--which uses relatively new 3-D NAND technology--is not able to maintain much of a price premium over budget Micron BX-100 series SSDs, as seen on Amazon's web site.  


    The price drop on Samsung's 850 series might be because they are launching their 950 series.
    You can read about it here. http://gizmodo.com/samsungs-fastest-ssd-reads-at-a-face-melting-2-500-mbps-1732521385

    Quote:  Samsung has just launched its latest SSD — and it happens to be the fastest consumer drive it’s ever made, with read speeds of up to 2,500MBps and write speeds as fast as 1,500MBps. That is seriously speedy. The SSDs will be available from October in in 256GB and 512GB versions, and they’ll set you back $200 and $350 respectively. 

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  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 6,417
    edited September 2015
    syntax42 said:
    Vrika said:
    Not very relevant for home PC builders.
    If something benefits the data center computer market, chances are, it will benefit the home PC builder market.  It is possible the home PC builders may have to wait an extra few months before seeing the benefits, or the entire market price for consumer SSDs could drop at the same time as the data center market.
    Tricks that data centers use to serve multiple simultaneous users do not get implemented to your home computer in a matter of months. It'll take decades.

    That article was comparing costs to data centers. It's not very relevant for home PC builders.

    EDIT: This prediction might be relevant to home users though:  http://wikibon.org/w/images/b/b2/10yrStorageTechnologyCostTrends.png
    It predicts that Flash will still be more expensive than HDD in 2023, if you compare $/TB.
     
  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441
    Quizzical said:
    It all depends on what you're comparing.  If $/GB is the metric, SSDs may or may not ever be competitive with hard drives, and certainly won't in the near future.  If $/IOPS is the metric, SSDs are already far, far ahead of hard drives.  If it's $/something on a server and you're counting the entire cost of the server, that can depend tremendously on what the "something" is and how much the rest of the server costs.
    Well, in theory is an SSD with no moving parts actually easier to make than a harddrive and have a lot of less things that can fail. The more SSDs they make the cheaper they become so it isn't unlikely that they will become cheaper $/GB once they outsell regular harddrives.

    That is of course making it really simple but manifacture a regular harddrive is actually pretty hard, you get heat (Maxtor used to have issues with that before they got bought up), engine failure and a single dust particle could slowly kill the whole drive (Intel had a bunch of drives that way once). And there is also vibrations and the reading head that easily can break.

    I think SSDs will pass regular drives eventually and that regular drives will be phased out from desktops and laptops altogether in a few years. If nothing else then because it actually is easier to increase the maximum size for SSDs, particularly if they start to make 3.5" SSDs. 
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,059
    I agree with Loke666 - I think in the near future we'll see platter drives phased out of consumer computers. I think they will live for a long time in some niche markets - bulk storage devices and large server farms and the like, but I doubt you'll see pre-built PCs (or cases for consumer PC use) include provisions for them much longer.

    It's already unheard of to put a mechanical drive in a tablet or mobile device (although 10 years ago it was common in an iPod). I think the platter drive will go the way of magnetic tape or punch tape - it's still used in some cases, but it certainly isn't what it was 20-30-40 years ago.

    I think the 3.5" form factor is probably End of Life as well - desktop PCs and servers are really the only thing keeping it around, everything else has moved to either NAND soldered on a PCB of some sort (if not the motherboard for the device itself), or a 2.5" standard form factor.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,088
    Hard drives may be unheard of in a tablet these days, but so is 1 TB of storage.  There are some intrinsic costs to building a hard drive, as you must have at least one platter, regardless of the capacity.  That's why low end SSDs are already cheaper than low end hard drives.  Most people want more than 60 GB of storage, but give it a few years and you'll be able to get 120 GB cheaper than the cheapest new hard drives, and then 240 GB.  By that that point, I'd very much expect to see low end desktops and laptops ditch hard drives in favor of SSDs.

    But that doesn't mean that hard drives are going to disappear from the consumer space entirely.  When you can get a 20 TB hard drive, there will be people who find ways to fill it with stupid junk and need more capacity yet, and there will be more people who mistakenly think they need ridiculous capacity and don't realize that SSDs are significantly faster than hard drives.  Hard drives aren't disappearing from OEM machines until they conclude that consumers can be convinced to overpay for SSDs more easily than for hard drives.

    If SSDs are ever cheaper than hard drives on a $/GB basis, that's a long way off yet.  SSDs need complex fabrication processes for every single bit of storage, and that's intrinsically not cheap.  Yes, Moore's Law helps, but hard drives scale, too.  Until then, hard drives make fine products for backup or bulk media storage.
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,059
    Sure the unwritten law of hard drives states that whatever capacity you have, you will fill it up. But that's the same as the unwritten law of garages, or attic space, or any other storage for any item really. There is a tipping point, an amount of storage that is necessary for functionality, and then anything over that is luxury. Now that point is different for every person, and every use of a machine, but it still exists no matter what application or person your looking at - there are extremely few applications that require infinite storage. This is why tablets don't come with 1Tb of storage - anywhere near that amount of storage it isn't necessary with the tools available on tablets today and it would be a luxury. So yeah, platter drives are bigger now - that may not always be the case, but for the extremely near future it is. But regardless, that doesn't mean that SSDs today aren't already approaching that tipping point in size for most consumer users. Today, a 1TB SSD would be big enough as a stand alone drive for a very high percentage of all PC users, it wouldn't eliminate backup drives or external storage, but the OS is only so big and WIndows specifically hasn't moved it's footprint a lot size-wise since Vista. Now, 1Tb SSDs aren't price competitive today, but give them 2-3 more years, and that price will lower even more than it already has, and most are sitting in the $300-400 range as of today. It doesn't necessarily have to beat the $/GB metric. Yeah, making silicon chips isn't an easy process. But that's all done in the fab. Putting together the SSD package from silicon chips is vastly less complicated than platter drives. There is a huge infrastructure in place for platter drives now, which is what has helped commoditize them. We are still seeing the commoditization of SSDs, I believe their price will continue to fall significantly as we see the Fab processes improve, we see new and better technologies come out at a frightening pace (that won't continue forever, but I do expect it for the near term), and manufacturers tighten down their supply chains and manufacturing processes. Now a lot of you may say "no I could never get by on 1Tb", and some of you may be saying "I could actually do with about 80Gb and throw everything else on external storage". It's kind of like RAM - sure, 64G is better than 8G, but once you get past that tipping point, it's luxury, not necessity.
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,059
    I swear I had spaces between my paragraphs when I typed that, but I'm too lazy to go back and edit it, so feel free to read or ignore at your pleasure. Need to submit that as a bug report if I can figure out what went differently.
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,059
    edited September 2015
    And I didn't even bring up cloud storage - some people may just poo-poo it away, but it's significant.

     Just something as simple as Amazon/Apple/Google storing music purchases in the cloud and allowing you to stream them anywhere, or services like Pandora or Spotify that don't even require purchases, or Netflix - think about how many videos are available there, and how much storage you aren't required to have locally in order to view them. A lot of those types of files are exactly what you would use "bulk storage" for anyway.

    And I think we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg with this, as network speeds continue to expand coverage and increase speed, and as new applications for remote storage get dreamed up. Sure, you can't use it when your not online, but it's still a significant amount of storage that's available.
  • DarLorkarDarLorkar Member UncommonPosts: 1,082
    I doubt that we will see prices equal between HD and SSD until HD start to go back up in price.  Once the majority of computers ship with SSD less manufacturers will make HD's and so the prices will start to creep up on those to match lower SSD prices.

    May even have a time in the future of HD's being more expensive than SSD's if enough companies get out of the business. But might have totally new tech or at least different in 10 years as well. Just no telling how it will work out yet.

    But i doubt the by 2016 date anyhow.  7-10 years  would be more my guestimate for moves in pricing  like the OP is referring to.  But again i think SSD's will never be as low in price as HD's are now on a price per GB.
  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004
    There is another issue though, entirely seperate from the cost/gb, and that is lifespan, an SSD is more likely to fail than a HD, and much sooner, so while i can see there is a huge number of positive aspects to SSD's, and i wouldn't consider building a new pc these days that didn't have one, i also think that HD's will continue to have a place in modern PC architecture, and probably for a good long while yet, and for NAS, i wouldn't consider anything else.
  • MalaboogaMalabooga Member UncommonPosts: 2,977
    Phry said:
    There is another issue though, entirely seperate from the cost/gb, and that is lifespan, an SSD is more likely to fail than a HD, and much sooner, so while i can see there is a huge number of positive aspects to SSD's, and i wouldn't consider building a new pc these days that didn't have one, i also think that HD's will continue to have a place in modern PC architecture, and probably for a good long while yet, and for NAS, i wouldn't consider anything else.
    http://techreport.com/review/27909/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-theyre-all-dead

    unless youre really driving your SSD every day, it will last probably longer than mechanical.

    But i agree, HDs arent going away soon, certainly not at the end of 2016. Because, for your typical consumer, most of stuff doesnt require speeds that are provided by SSDs. Samsung is just releasing its new tech and it certainly wont be anywhere in ballpark of HD prices, youre looking at least couple of more years.
  • syntax42syntax42 Member UncommonPosts: 1,378
    Vrika said:
    syntax42 said:
    Vrika said:
    Not very relevant for home PC builders.
    If something benefits the data center computer market, chances are, it will benefit the home PC builder market.  It is possible the home PC builders may have to wait an extra few months before seeing the benefits, or the entire market price for consumer SSDs could drop at the same time as the data center market.
    Tricks that data centers use to serve multiple simultaneous users do not get implemented to your home computer in a matter of months. It'll take decades.

    That article was comparing costs to data centers. It's not very relevant for home PC builders.

    EDIT: This prediction might be relevant to home users though:  http://wikibon.org/w/images/b/b2/10yrStorageTechnologyCostTrends.png
    It predicts that Flash will still be more expensive than HDD in 2023, if you compare $/TB.
    That's the exact same graph the article I linked uses.  The linked article got their information from that wikibon.org site.  Their prediction was based on the cost of flash memory in terms of price per capacity.  


    The price drop on Samsung's 850 series might be because they are launching their 950 series.
    You can read about it here. http://gizmodo.com/samsungs-fastest-ssd-reads-at-a-face-melting-2-500-mbps-1732521385
    The Samsung 950 series is competing in the high-performance market for now, and charges a price premium for that performance.  The Samsung 850 series doesn't offer much in terms of performance over general-use consumer SSDs, so their pricing point needs to be closer to those.


    Phry said:
    There is another issue though, entirely seperate from the cost/gb, and that is lifespan, an SSD is more likely to fail than a HD, and much sooner, so while i can see there is a huge number of positive aspects to SSD's, and i wouldn't consider building a new pc these days that didn't have one, i also think that HD's will continue to have a place in modern PC architecture, and probably for a good long while yet, and for NAS, i wouldn't consider anything else.
    In a consumer desktop/laptop, a 250GB SSD will last well over 10 years.  If you write 50GB per day (a new game), and the cells are good for an average of 2000 writes (typical endurance), it will take you about 10,000 days to wear out the flash memory.  That's just over 27 years.

    In a NAS situation, you might be reading from it more than you write to it.  When the price per capacity is cheaper, there will be no logical reason to use mechanical drives, as long as your writes per day are not going to wear it out faster than 10 years.  
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,088
    Malabooga said:
    Phry said:
    There is another issue though, entirely seperate from the cost/gb, and that is lifespan, an SSD is more likely to fail than a HD, and much sooner, so while i can see there is a huge number of positive aspects to SSD's, and i wouldn't consider building a new pc these days that didn't have one, i also think that HD's will continue to have a place in modern PC architecture, and probably for a good long while yet, and for NAS, i wouldn't consider anything else.
    http://techreport.com/review/27909/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-theyre-all-dead

    unless youre really driving your SSD every day, it will last probably longer than mechanical.

    But i agree, HDs arent going away soon, certainly not at the end of 2016. Because, for your typical consumer, most of stuff doesnt require speeds that are provided by SSDs. Samsung is just releasing its new tech and it certainly wont be anywhere in ballpark of HD prices, youre looking at least couple of more years.
    Exhausting the write endurance is hardly the only thing that can kill an SSD.  Hard drives and DRAM both have write endurance that is, for most practical purposes, infinite, but that hardly means that they never fail.
  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,768
    Quizzical said:
    It all depends on what you're comparing.  If $/GB is the metric, SSDs may or may not ever be competitive with hard drives, and certainly won't in the near future.  If $/IOPS is the metric, SSDs are already far, far ahead of hard drives.  If it's $/something on a server and you're counting the entire cost of the server, that can depend tremendously on what the "something" is and how much the rest of the server costs.

    The only reason I came to this thread was to see if the $/GB metric would be mentioned.  They could give SSDs away for a buck but if it only holds 64k, it is not worth it.

    Speed is great.  I need capacity.
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  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 8,967
    Looking forward to the day when HDs go the way of the floppy.  And the day battery performance has a big breakthrough.

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  • MalaboogaMalabooga Member UncommonPosts: 2,977
    Quizzical said:
    Malabooga said:
    Phry said:
    There is another issue though, entirely seperate from the cost/gb, and that is lifespan, an SSD is more likely to fail than a HD, and much sooner, so while i can see there is a huge number of positive aspects to SSD's, and i wouldn't consider building a new pc these days that didn't have one, i also think that HD's will continue to have a place in modern PC architecture, and probably for a good long while yet, and for NAS, i wouldn't consider anything else.
    http://techreport.com/review/27909/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-theyre-all-dead

    unless youre really driving your SSD every day, it will last probably longer than mechanical.

    But i agree, HDs arent going away soon, certainly not at the end of 2016. Because, for your typical consumer, most of stuff doesnt require speeds that are provided by SSDs. Samsung is just releasing its new tech and it certainly wont be anywhere in ballpark of HD prices, youre looking at least couple of more years.
    Exhausting the write endurance is hardly the only thing that can kill an SSD.  Hard drives and DRAM both have write endurance that is, for most practical purposes, infinite, but that hardly means that they never fail.
    He is talking about lifespan. And failing connected to that.

    Otherwise, i didnt see any evidence that SSDs fail more than HDDs from "regular" failures. I would say that just getting a bad drive is similar in both cases (with sources claiming SSDs are actually more reliable in that aspect).

    Getting a HDD still akes sense for storage, and will most likely make sense at the end of 2016. Unless something revolutionary happens in mean-time.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,088
    Looking forward to the day when HDs go the way of the floppy.  And the day battery performance has a big breakthrough.
    If they found a way to magically get ten times the capacity in all batteries, vendors would use the advance to make devices with 1/10 as big of a battery and use the space savings to make the device a few mm thinner, with battery life the same as before.  And then charge extra for the stronger materials needed to allow a thinner device to maintain its shape.
  • SomethingUnusualSomethingUnusual Member UncommonPosts: 546
    If someone is using an SSD for long-term storage, they are spending too much money... Capacitors and Batteries discharge over time, no voltage, no data. The idea of an SSD isn't even about storage, but performance. If both are required, hybrid is the way to go.

    Nevertheless, a price drop is great and inevitable. Personally, I'll stick to my SSD for only OS, drivers, some software (Not including software that requires a lot of write activity. Just isn't stable as mentioned, the data will degrade over time and the life-span of an SSD in the current market is horrible.) and my HDD for long term storage -- audio, video, images, projects, source code, disc images.
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