Last Year’s Low SSD Prices are in the Past

Last year was a challenging one for SSD manufacturers, but beneficial for their customers as solid-state drive (SSD) prices dipped to per-record lows. However, as we reached the year’s end, prices began to rise, with a notable surge over the past few weeks. Nevertheless, prices are still under the level observed at the beginning of last year, notes TechSpot, which compared SSD prices in January, July, and December 2023, and January 2024.

The fluctuations in SSD prices are driven by the supply-demand equation. When the workforce started returning to offices post-pandemic, leading to a slump in computer demand, NAND manufacturers ended up with a chip surplus. This led to a price drop, followed by a reduction in production. Now, as demand starts recovering – modern games, for example, run only on SSDs.

SSD demand graph

In the 500GB segment, the SK hynix P41 Platinum drive turned out to be the fastest among the models considered. A year ago, it retailed at $105, fell to $61 by December but is currently sold at $75. The Samsung 970 Evo Plus underwent the most significant relative slump – an optimal offer for PCIe 3.0 systems – began 2023 with a $70 price tag, fell to $35 (sometimes even $25) in the summer, and is now priced at $60. Notably, the Crucial MX500, which sold for $45 in January 2023, remained at the $35 mark for most of the year, and has now risen to $50, marking a year-on-year increase.

SSD price comparison graph

In the 1TB SSD category, the most expensive of the models reviewed, the Samsung 990 Pro, exhibited the most dynamism. It cost $170 at the beginning of last year, fell to $70 (sometimes $60) by July, and is now priced at $110. On the other hand, the external Samsung T7 Shield, priced at $100 at the start of 2023, ranged from $75-$90 throughout the year and has now returned to its original pricing. The WD_Black SN770, an affordable option for gaming systems with PCIe 4.0, was priced at $90 at the beginning of last year, hovers around $50 for several months (falling to $43), and is now selling for around $75.

1TB SSD Price trend graph

In the 2TB SSD segment, the priciest models had the highest losses. The Samsung 990 Pro, priced at $300 in January 2023, had its price halved over several months (even $120 during Black Friday) and now fluctuates between $155–$185. The external Samsung T7 Shield, sold for $170 at the beginning of last year, fell to $125 and even $100 in the summer, and has now returned to its original price. Most of the other models reviewed are yet to recover their initial prices.

The trend is clear: SSD prices are on the rise, and it’s not limited to specific models or capacity. For this reason, TechSpot advises against opting for models usually overlooked, such as drives with slower and less durable QLC memory chips. Those foreseeing a need for an SSD soon are recommended to buy now, especially if an attractive price is offered. However, if there’s no immediate need, there’s no sense buying an SSD prematurely just because they haven’t surged significantly yet. Indeed, prices will rise, but as production increases and new technologies emerge, they will eventually decrease. For long-term storage of large volumes of data, photos, and videos, HDDs remain the optimal choice.

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