Print 59 comment(s) - last by Complinitor.. on Jun 28 at 11:16 AM

  (Source: TechReport)
Decreasing SSD prices and increasing HDD prices bring to formats closer and cost

One of the things that has long kept many people from adopting an SSD to replace the hard drive inside their computer or notebook has been cost. Traditionally, a SSD is much more expensive than a normal hard drive and SSDs always have considerably less storage than a comparably priced hard drive.

However, the adoption of SSDs is growing significantly in the computer industry with more and more people willing to pay the price for better performance.
The good news for those who are currently in the market to purchase a new SSD is that prices are in a steady and substantial decline according to TechReport. The steady decline in price of SSD storage combined with the increase in price for hard drive storage resulting from a massive flooding in Thailand means the difference in price between the two storage formats is getting closer and closer.
The data comes by way of a company called Camelegg, which tracks prices at Newegg. According to the data, which looks at some specific popular SSD models, prices are coming down significantly. One example is the Intel 510 series SSD's that started out over $600 in March of 2011 and in June of 2012 are now below $500. Most enthusiasts shy away from the Intel SSD's because they tend to be some the more expensive devices out there.
A more commonly purchased SSD on the enthusiast end of the spectrum would be something along the lines of the Corsair Force Series GT. The data shows that the 240 GB version of that SSD started at slightly less than $500 in July of last year and in June of this year the price dropped to roughly $350. That's a $150 price reduction in a bit less than a year.
OCZ and its popular line of Vertex 3 SSDs have seen similar price reductions starting at a bit more than $500 in April 2011 and dropping to just over $200 as of June of this year for 240 GB model.

Other popular SSDs have seen similar price declines over the last six months to one year making this a prime time to purchase SSD storage.

Source: TechReport

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By Reclaimer77 on 6/22/2012 10:13:14 AM , Rating: 5
You can now get the Samsung 830, Anandtech's top pick, for $300! Just a few years ago I paid $300 for my 80gig Intel X-25s.

I knew it would happen, but I didn't know it would happen so soon. The SSD's prices are plummeting.

I know some tech Luddite is going to flap his gums about the price still being "too high" and the storage "too low" compared to HDD's. Seems to be missing the point...

RE: Whoa!
By Brandon Hill on 6/22/2012 10:16:22 AM , Rating: 5
Once you go SSD, you never go back. It's the biggest performance boost you can give an aging system and well worth the cost.

RE: Whoa!
By troysavary on 6/22/2012 10:20:25 AM , Rating: 2
NCIX here in Canada had OCZ Vertex 3 120 GB drives on sale for around $80 as a Father's Day special. Made the decision a no-brainer. I've got 3 TB of mechanical storage already in my main PC, so I really didn't need a large SSD, just enough for OS and some games.

RE: Whoa!
By Solandri on 6/22/2012 6:04:13 PM , Rating: 2
Newegg had it for $80 plus a $10 rebate, dropping the price to $70. A 120GB SATA3 SSD which easily scores 500+ MB/s on both read and writes for $70. I picked one up the moment I saw it.

But the way prices are dropping, I'm having second thoughts and thinking I should've held out for a larger drive. I already have a slower 120 GB SSD which I intended to replace with the Vertex 3. But having a 200-250 GB SSD would free me from having to swap data files between it and the HDD for some of my work.

RE: Whoa!
By Kurz on 6/22/2012 10:23:54 AM , Rating: 2
I think I'll take the plunge when it hits $.50 a Gigabyte.

Only time I wish I had an SSD is during bootup.
Every thing else I can deal with.

RE: Whoa!
By Reclaimer77 on 6/22/2012 10:26:36 AM , Rating: 2
Only time I wish I had an SSD is during bootup. Every thing else I can deal with.

You're only saying that because you don't have one yet. Once you me, you don't really realize what you're saying.

RE: Whoa!
By Brandon Hill on 6/22/2012 10:33:12 AM , Rating: 5
Put two SSDs in my friends works machines; they are heavy into Autocad for civil engineering work. The difference was astounding in Autocad, and that's not even taking into account the faster boots and overall increased system performance.

As you said, once people get a taste, they will gorge themselves :)

RE: Whoa!
By Etern205 on 6/22/2012 4:10:02 PM , Rating: 2
I would like to see some videos of that because all the ones on YT are just booting up and there was another where they hooked up multiple SSD (I think it was 24) in raid 0, but that just silly as no one will hooked up that much SSDs.

RE: Whoa!
By Kurz on 6/22/2012 10:37:50 AM , Rating: 2
Oh I want one, I've seen what performance gains can be had.
ATM I just don't want to fork over the cash just yet.

Probably later this year when costs get pushed down further I'll pick one up. I am looking to get at least 256GB even 512GB if the deal is right. (I have a lot of Games and apps on my primary Parition that I use all pretty frequently.)

RE: Whoa!
By Lord 666 on 6/22/12, Rating: -1
RE: Whoa!
By Kurz on 6/23/2012 10:53:34 AM , Rating: 1
I have a Full Time Job.
I only treat myself about once a year.
Last year was a TV, Year before that was my PC.

Why spend money on something that only speeds up loading time? Its not like my PC is going to make me money.

I rather wait for prices to come down and save a bit of money. I don't make big bucks yet.

RE: Whoa!
By Lord 666 on 6/24/2012 9:34:45 AM , Rating: 2
Fair enough about your stage in career, but tell me how your TV is going to make you money. Other than xbl or movies, big waste of time.

All of my rigs have been instrumental for my incoming cash flow. All but one of the my families machines (6 in total and not including the four iOS devices) have been converted to ssd. Cost savings on electrical and time savings on rendering.

RE: Whoa!
By jtesoro on 6/25/2012 9:58:03 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe in his line of work his PC isn't where he makes his money. Different strokes for different folks.

RE: Whoa!
By geddarkstorm on 6/22/2012 2:07:40 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously. I think people forget that it isn't just sustained, raw speed that matters, but also that SSDs have several orders of magnitude lower latency than HDDs. The difference in response times are palpable. Definitely biggest upgrade any machine can get.

RE: Whoa!
By paydirt on 6/22/2012 3:30:21 PM , Rating: 2
When I first installed an SSD on my home machine, I was astounded that even teh Internets were faster. Modern browsers check the hard drive to see if you already have an updated version of the website in cache. With SSDs, the delay is unnoticeable and pages load even faster.


RE: Whoa!
By invidious on 6/22/2012 10:32:29 AM , Rating: 2
It is most noticable on boot up but the real difference is having all of your cache folders on the SSD, the system just flows so much better. The only cache that I reroute to a HDD is for archiving programs that are CPU limmited.

RE: Whoa!
By Starcub on 6/22/2012 4:13:48 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure I would do that, given the write cycle limitations of flash media.

RE: Whoa!
By Calin on 6/23/2012 2:35:05 AM , Rating: 2
The limitations are several years at 8GB per day writes. And after that, parts of the disk might become un-writable, but still readable. Much better than what the magnetic hard drives do (parts of it not writable and not readable, and trying to save the data usually makes all of it unreadable)

RE: Whoa!
By Reclaimer77 on 6/22/2012 10:24:06 AM , Rating: 2
Totally agree. It's also amazing for laptops that get stuck with slow ass HHD's for battery savings. I put one of my X-25's in an old laptop and the thing felt like a totally different beast.

The power savings are also considerable. I wonder if someone could calculate that over HDD's to see how much that brings the cost even closer, or maybe push it into the black?

I know for data centers and enterprise solutions, the power savings alone are starting to make SSD's a VERY compelling option.

RE: Whoa!
By Brandon Hill on 6/22/2012 10:30:26 AM , Rating: 3
Also think of the cost savings versus taking it to the Geek Squad or getting a brand new machine. I know some people that take their machines to the Geek Squad when they get bogged down or just get a new machine after three or four years because the HDD makes churning noises and Word "Takes forever to load".

Pop in a $100 SSD and problem solved in most cases. That's way cheaper than a new computer or whatever obnoxious rates that Geek Squad charges.

RE: Whoa!
By Reclaimer77 on 6/22/2012 10:49:02 AM , Rating: 2
lol oh man, remember having to sit through "defrags"? UGH! No. Never again.

The constant churning sound, like you said, when trying to load a big program up haha. Man those were the days eh?

I remember Anandtech's big SSD review last year or so. When a Raptor HDD took 40 seconds to load three programs and the Intel SSD did it in like 13 seconds. That's all you need to know right there. Insane random reads ftw.

RE: Whoa!
By Brandon Hill on 6/22/2012 10:52:50 AM , Rating: 2
You don't know churning until you've dealt with 5.25" Bigfoot hard drives from back in the day (mid to late 90s I think).

RE: Whoa!
By nick2000 on 6/22/2012 11:09:07 AM , Rating: 2
I preferred the chirping noise that they were doing as opposed to the noise of current HDDs.

RE: Whoa!
By DigitalFreak on 6/22/2012 12:57:45 PM , Rating: 2
I can one up you there. 9GB 5.25" full height SCSI drive from the early 90s. Sounded like a jet engine.

RE: Whoa!
By ainarm on 6/22/2012 3:40:26 PM , Rating: 2
Even more, how about the 20 meg MFM and RLL *hopefully I remember that right* drives that originally came out. Slow, hot, and loud.

RE: Whoa!
By Solandri on 6/22/2012 6:21:21 PM , Rating: 2
OMG does that bring back bad memories. For the younguns among us, you know how if you take four 2.5" drives and stack them 2x2 they're the exact size of a 3.5" drive? Well imagine taking six 3.5" drives and stacking them. That will get you a full height 5.25" HDD.

RE: Whoa!
By Complinitor on 6/28/2012 11:16:41 AM , Rating: 2
9" floppy. That is all.

RE: Whoa!
By ShaolinSoccer on 6/22/2012 11:48:41 AM , Rating: 2
lol oh man, remember having to sit through "defrags"? UGH! No. Never again.

Windows has automatic defrag while idling. It's been like that for a long time now.

RE: Whoa!
By Etsp on 6/22/2012 1:26:53 PM , Rating: 2
I think you see superfetch churning your HDD constantly and are thinking that it's defragmenting, but that's not what that is. Windows now defaults to running a defrag once a week, but superfetch is what runs when your system is idle (...or in Vista, not so idle...) and it's constantly reading from the hard drive.

RE: Whoa!
By semo on 6/22/2012 12:46:07 PM , Rating: 2
I've convinced a few friends and clients to upgrade and the the feedback has always been very positive. Low end Atom netbooks don't benefit as much as they are so CPU limited to begin with, but it is worth it for anything else (even dusty old P4 systems with SATA).

RE: Whoa!
By tdktank59 on 6/22/2012 6:57:47 PM , Rating: 2
Got a new MBP 17" came with 4GB of ram and a 7200 750GB hard drive. Swapped the platter drive with the optical drive and put a 256GB Curcial M4 in as a boot drive and upgraded the ram to 16GB (cheaper than getting the 8GB upgrade through apple)

Man this computer rocks. (get over it I bought a MAC, I can afford it and I like my splat key) Takes 10-15 seconds to boot to desktop with my last apps running (Typcailly: Chrome, Skype, Adium, Pandora One). I have 2 virtual machines (both are placed on the SSD for booting purposes) They both boot in under 15 seconds to a usable desktop!

the SSD basically just FLAT OUT ROCKS!

RE: Whoa!
By herrdoktor330 on 6/22/2012 11:53:24 AM , Rating: 2
*raises hand* I'm liking the prices and performance. Do not get me wrong... But I'm the kind of dude that needs a 2+ TB option. I'm what you might consider a "pack rat" and a "high bandwidth consumption broadband user". I have 5.6 TB in one SMB server and I still need more. Not to mention my entire Steam/Origin folder is starting to hit the 1TB range on my gaming rig. I'd happily throw out my HDDs once I can get a 2-3 TB SSD for $120. But until then, I need the bigger space platters are offering.

But I'll be happy to see HDDs go when we hit that point of SSD storage.

RE: Whoa!
By anactoraaron on 6/22/2012 12:05:05 PM , Rating: 2
Uh you do realize that games are primarily sequential reads and writes (during install) don't you? Meaning you won't see that much of a difference between a SSD and newer HDD...?

But then again there's always someone saying "I just bought 1TB worth of SSD space for my games and I don't understand the hype of ssd's" "they are overrated"

RE: Whoa!
By anactoraaron on 6/22/2012 12:21:36 PM , Rating: 2
To expand on this a bit more:

The majority of media (movies, music, pictures, games, etc.) are sequential reads and don't get that much of a boost from a SSD. Look at the load times for Far Cry 2 seen here from the famous 'SSD Anthology' from 2009:

Sure this is old and new SATA 3 SSD's are blazing fast but increased platter density and other improvements in HDD's have kept sequential reads relatively close between the two.

The majority of applications (OS, Autocad, photoshop, office, etc.) are primarily random reads/writes and benefit greatly from a SSD. Which is why Anand recommends a 'hybrid' storage setup with a SSD for your OS & Applications and HDD for media, music, games, etc.

RE: Whoa!
By Digimonkey on 6/22/2012 1:57:26 PM , Rating: 2
While true for most games, I could see games that involve open worlds getting a boost as usually there is some amount of stutter when they need to go to the hard drive to load in new meshes or textures.

RE: Whoa!
By herrdoktor330 on 6/22/2012 9:40:26 PM , Rating: 2
I think you may have missed my point: I need a bigger SSD. 512GB is OK. But I want more than that in 1 drive. Sure, on my gaming rig I could get away with a 256GB for OS and core programs with a 60GB for an Intel Cache drive to cache my 1.5TB. But in order for me to move away from HDDs altogether, I'd need SSDs 2TB+ in size. My music collection takes up 1.5TB alone.

RE: Whoa!
By anactoraaron on 6/22/2012 10:45:55 PM , Rating: 2
I think your assumption is SSD's will replace all storage and I don't think SSD's are ever going to replace HDD's for mass storage purposes. There's a limit to how small the NAND flash can be with regards to p/e cycles. I don't think we could get a 2TB ssd unless it's at 14nm (or smaller) and at that size I think we would be talking about ~100 p/e cycles... which may make it useless (like a less than 1 year lifespan/warranty useless). Perhaps we may somehow see a 3.5" SSD with that kind of storage but it would be way too expensive for consumer adoption. There are large PCI-e SSD's now that are made for enterprise use but they are $1000 or more.

Point is mechanical storage isn't completely going away unless something new comes along and SSD's are at a great cost/GB vs performance increase now so it's a good time to jump in.

RE: Whoa!
By Black1969ta on 6/23/2012 11:10:41 PM , Rating: 2
If 2-D storage was the only possible Solid state devices, I would agree with you.

However, prototype 3-D transistor are already slated to be introduced within a year or two. Beyond that, IBM and Intel are both working on Laser-on-Silicon technology (Lightpeak, aka Thunderbolt) and Holographic storage will offer incredible cubic density.
For reference Google Holographic Disk storage, they came out several years ago, (before, Blue-ray, I think) Back in 2007 HVD standardized 200GB, 10cm Disks, and planned the same same @ 5TB! Compare that to 9.6 GB for DVD or 50GB for current Blueray!
I think the problem with HVD is cost. Maybe something to do with Sony blueray vs. HDDVD. but nothing has ever been released according to the wiki, when I looked at Burners they were like $10k and reader drives were still $3.5k.

RE: Whoa!
By Black1969ta on 6/23/2012 11:14:02 PM , Rating: 2
And those drives used standard red lasers and green lasers, with increased density from Blue lasers or maybe UV lasers, a storage system like Star Trek Next Gen is not unfathomable.

RE: Whoa!
By TakinYourPoints on 6/22/2012 11:44:44 PM , Rating: 3
OS and applications on one drive, big media on another.


RE: Whoa!
By Reclaimer77 on 6/23/2012 8:17:18 AM , Rating: 3
I think I have missed your point. I don't understand why you can't just run a SSD for the OS and crucial apps, and use a big HDD for storage at the same time. Is there something I'm missing here? Why do you NEED 2TB of SSD only storage?

I was running Windows 7 and World of Warcraft, a very large game, as well as a few other big games on only an 80gig Intel SSD for over a year. Along with assorted programs. Trust me, a 512GB SSD is plenty big enough. I also have tons of media on big HDD's. Sure I would like to have ALL SSD storage, but it's not really a requirement.

RE: Whoa!
By Qapa on 6/24/2012 2:13:13 PM , Rating: 2
Well, HDDs will not go away anytime soon... and you won't want them to... they will keep their lead in price/Gb for quite some time and will keep being the best choice things like your music collection - there would be no point in keeping that in an SSD.

So do take the plunge and get the 256Gb or 512Gb SSD... you won't regret it!

Oh, and I'm not quite sure about the need or the usefulness of having that SSD, and then the 2nd SSD as a cache to your 1.5TB HDD.. but maybe if you still have some games / apps that will be there it can still make a difference...

RE: Whoa!
By TakinYourPoints on 6/22/2012 3:54:16 PM , Rating: 2
You can get a 512GB Crucial M4 SSD for $400 now. That is plenty for even massive Steam folders.

I've been using SSDs since 2009. Prices were stable up until earlier this year, now they're cratering. You may not get your 2-3TB SSD anytime soon but I think that's kind of beside the point. Just use a big SSD for your OS and main apps/games while keeping your media on secondary hard drives or your server. The difference in performance is well worth it IMHO.

RE: Whoa!
By Lord 666 on 6/22/2012 4:01:47 PM , Rating: 1
Unfortunately, there is a performance hit to 480/512 from 240/256.

RE: Whoa!
By TakinYourPoints on 6/22/2012 9:38:52 PM , Rating: 2
Not true at all. Anandtech has quite a few reviews comparing SSDs and the difference in performance based on capacity is negligible:

Even if there was a big difference in performance, the difference between a "slow" SSD and a "fast" one is minuscule compared to any of them and a mechanical hard drive.

RE: Whoa!
By Lord 666 on 6/23/2012 1:27:05 AM , Rating: 2
Compare the specs of Sandforce based drives; Intel 520 240gb vs 480gb.

Might not be that big of a difference in one unit, but in a RAID platform, it definitely matters!

RE: Whoa!
By Reclaimer77 on 6/23/2012 8:42:24 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure exactly how links to Newegg help settle this debate.

It's important to remember when you talk about that performance "hit", we're talking in the tenths of milliseconds here. To something already amazingly fast compared to any HDD's. It's like saying a jet going Mach 3 is suffering a "hit" of two miles per hour if you make a certain change to the aerodynamics.

Yes the 480gb does suffer with some write performance tests. But for random read performance it has, I consider that a small tradeoff. It's not like you would actually notice that difference using it. Intel traditionally uses controllers biased toward reliability in exchange for some speed. We all know this and accept it, and I believe this is the right thing to do. Intel SSD's have industry leading reliability with less than a 1% failure rate.

The 520 480gb is an enterprise drive. I wouldn't worry too much about using two $700+ SSD's in a desktop RAID if I were you lol. Besides, if you raid SSD's together they can't use TRIM. Which, at least in my opinion, is a complete deal breaker. Especially with drives this expensive.

RE: Whoa!
By TakinYourPoints on 6/24/2012 3:15:04 AM , Rating: 2
Why are you posting paper specs to counter practical benchmarks?

RE: Whoa!
By Lord 666 on 6/24/2012 9:48:10 AM , Rating: 2
Was being lazy from my mobile device. Those benchmarks don't compare Sandforce drives where density hit have been more noticeable.

In response to reclaimer, I never stated desktop raid. My focus has been on enterprise...think 16 bay chassis dl380 g8. The debate still revolves around "spindles" too. Not only are the 240s faster than 480s in absolute speed, in a raid10 array qty 4 240gb will smoke qty 2 480 at less cost but same storage.

The problem about anandtech is it needs to focus a bit more on the enterprise vertical. There were a spurt of enterprise articles, but since has faded.

RE: Whoa!
By Reclaimer77 on 6/24/2012 11:33:47 AM , Rating: 2
The problem about anandtech is it needs to focus a bit more on the enterprise vertical. There were a spurt of enterprise articles, but since has faded.

I would prefer they spin off an entirely new site for that. Anandtech is perfect just the way it is, with an amazingly informative wealth of knowledge there for the desktop user/enthusiast.

RE: Whoa!
By Lord 666 on 6/24/2012 12:27:54 PM , Rating: 2
Spinning something off of Anandtech or combining the best of both worlds would be a great addition. Sort of like how to bastardize consumer gear to make it work for enterprise, but on a budget.

Typically business spend, not prosumer/enthusiast purchases, drives adoption and lower costs. SSDs seem to be where lessons learned from consumers is trickling up to business.

RE: Whoa!
By herrdoktor330 on 6/22/2012 9:43:59 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about that man. I got alot of games. ;) And games that aren't in my Steam collection.

But I agree with you 110%. I bought a Z68 board when they came out with the idea of taking full advantage the SSD cache feature. Just haven't gotten around to buying the drives yet. But rest assured, I will.

RE: Whoa!
By TakinYourPoints on 6/22/2012 11:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, same here, way more games than I'd like to admit. :)

That said, I don't need 1TB+ installed at all times. The tradeoff in performance and having to cycle through games installed has been more than worth it for me.

Just food for thought. :)

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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