From www.techspot.com

If you’re considering purchasing a new SSD, you may be receiving mixed signals. Over the past year, there’s been plenty of talk of declining drive prices, yet the cost of many SSDs remains roughly the same as it was a year ago. In fact, if you compare prices from just a few weeks ago, you might be shocked to find that prices have dramatically increased. And this is not limited to holiday deals. But why is this the case?

The short answer is, as usual, explained by supply and demand. The longer answer involves the aftermath of the pandemic. As employees started returning to the office, NAND manufacturers were left with an oversupply of chips, and consequently reduced production. However, demand has continued to soar, with current-generation games recommending or even requiring SSD storage.

Bad News, SSDs Are Getting More Expensive

To make sense of SSD pricing trends, we’ve selected some of the most popular SSDs across three different capacities and analyzed how their average prices on Amazon have fluctuated over the last year.

500GB SSD Pricing

The SK Hynix P41 Platinum is arguably the fastest 500GB drive on the market, as some of its competitors start at 1TB, but is it a good deal? A year ago, it cost $105. At one point it could be had for $41, but more often it went for $66. Now it sells for $75 – an increase, but not a dramatic one.

Bad News, SSDs Are Getting More Expensive

The Corsair MP600 Pro is a drive that we recommend for its sustained write speed. With fewer NAND chips on the 500GB version, that speed is cut in half compared to higher-capacity versions, but it’s still a decent drive. The PlayStation 5-optimized LPX version used to cost $76 at the beginning of 2023, but often could be had for $53. Now it goes for $60.

SSD model Jan. 23 July 23 Dec. 23 Jan. 24
SK Hynix P41 Platinum $105 $66 $61 $75
Corsair MP600 Pro LPX $76 $53 $55 $60
Samsung 970 Evo Plus $70 $35 $60 $60
Crucial MX500 $45 $35 $45 $50
Samsung 870 Evo $60 $40 $50 $50

The Samsung 970 Evo Plus is one of the best drives for those whose CPU or motherboard only supports PCIe 3.0 speeds. It started the last year at $70, but at one point it dropped as low as $25, or more often for $30. Now it’s back up to $60.

The Crucial MX500 is a top-choice SATA drive. It was already a good deal at the beginning of 2023 for $45, and for much of that year it could be found for $35, but now it’s up to $50.

Bad News, SSDs Are Getting More Expensive

The Samsung 870 Evo is a good alternative to the MX500. A year ago it cost $60, but since then it could be had for $30, or more often for $40. Now it’s back to $50, like the Crucial drive.

1TB SSD Pricing

Moving on to 1TB drives allows us to add several models to the comparison. The Samsung 990 Pro used to cost $170 a year ago, but dropped all the way to $60, before stabilizing around $80 for a few months. It now costs $110. Another high-end PCIe 4.0 drive, the WD Black SN850X, was about $110 in January 2023, and for a while it could be had for $60. In the past few months it has stabilized at $85.

Bad News, SSDs Are Getting More Expensive

Meanwhile, the SK Hynix P41 Platinum was $150 a year ago, but for most of 2023 it remained at $90, with dips as low as $55. It now goes for $100, making its 500GB version look bad.

The Corsair MP600 Pro LPX started last year at a reasonable $110, and spent much of the year at $70, with the lowest price being $68. It now costs $90.

SSD model Jan. 23 July 23 Dec. 23 Jan. 24
Samsung 990 Pro $170 $70 $100 $110
WD Black SN850X $110 $60 $85 $85
SK Hynix P41 Platinum $150 $90 $78 $100
Corsair MP600 Pro LPX $110 $70 $75 $90
WD Black SN770 $90 $50 $70 $75
Samsung T7 Shield $100 $75 $90 $100
Crucial MX500 $70 $48 $60 $70
Samsung 870 Evo $90 $50 $80 $90

The WD Black SN770 has been a decent option for those with a PCIe 4.0 system who wanted to save some money. Starting last year at $90, it remained at ~$50 for a few months and a lowest dip of $43. It now fluctuates around $75.

The Samsung T7 Shield is an external SSD that we have recommended throughout the year. It used to cost $100, but then dropped and was available for around $75 to $90. Today, it’s back at $100.

Bad News, SSDs Are Getting More Expensive

The Crucial MX500 1TB started last year at $70, but spent much of it under $50, with $45 being the lowest price. Now it’s back up to $70. The Samsung 870 Evo is a similar story: a year ago, it was too expensive compared to the MX500 at $90. During the year it became a stronger competitor with prices under $60, down as much as $49. Now it’s overpriced again at $90.

2TB SSD Pricing

For the past year we’ve been telling you that 2TB drives offer better value than lower-capacity models, but is that still true? Let’s find out.

The Samsung 990 Pro used to cost $300 a year ago, but for a few months in 2023 it could be had for less than half of that, including a $120 deal around Black Friday. In the last month its price has fluctuated around $155 to $185. Depending on the day, that’s anywhere between a better value than the 1TB model and making that model almost irrelevant.

Bad News, SSDs Are Getting More Expensive

The WD Black SN850X started the year at a more sensible $190, and for a while it could be had for $110. Current prices are about $150, so the 1TB model is still a good option.

The SK Hynix P41 Platinum was $260 at the beginning of 2023, but for most of the year cost at least $100 less, including a few weeks at $115 near the end of the year, and a momentary dip to $108. Last January, price was much higher and uniquely consistent: never above $160 or below $154. That’s a better value than the 1TB model, but not enough to rule it out completely.

SSD model Jan. 23 July 23 Dec. 23 Jan. 24
Samsung 990 Pro $300 $150 $150 $170
WD Black SN850X $190 $110 $140 $150
SK Hynix P41 Platinum $260 $160 $115 $157
Corsair MP600 Pro LPX $200 $120 $120 $160
WD Black SN770 $160 $110 $120 $140
Samsung T7 Shield $170 $130 $150 $170
Crucial MX500 $150 $102 $120 $130
Samsung 870 Evo $175 $100 $150 $160

The Corsair MP600 Pro LPX was $200 in January 2023, but then for most of last year it could be had at $130 or cheaper, going as low as $110. Last month its price was all over the place, between $140 and $180. The former is a much better deal than the 1TB model, and the latter not so much.

The WD Black SN770 was $160 at the beginning of 2023, but for many months fluctuated around $100, including a dip to $76. Now it swings between $107 and $140, so again, being a significantly better value than the 1TB model depends on the deal you can get.

The Samsung T7 Shield has a long history of price fluctuation. A year ago, around $170 was the typical price point, but as the year progressed, around $125 became more common, with the lowest price listed at $100. Now things are back to how they were a year ago, so the 1TB model still has a place in the market, even though it’s technically worse value.

Bad News, SSDs Are Getting More Expensive

Despite many small fluctuations, the Crucial MX500 was one of the most consistently priced drives last year: at the beginning of the 2023 it was $150, but for most of the year it never cost more than $120. It stayed between $90 and $110 much of the year, going as low as $80 around Black Friday. Now at $130 it’s not a much better deal than the 1TB version.

The Samsung 870 Evo also went from being overpriced compared to the MX500 at $175, to a good alternative with prices between $100 and $120, and short dips to $90 and $80. Back to $160, very few people should consider that option.

Solid Takeaways

SSDs have been getting more expensive, and that trend is not limited to specific brands or capacities. For this reason, we don’t recommend settling for drives that you wouldn’t normally consider, such as those with slower and less durable QLC flash.

If you anticipate the need for a new SSD soon, it might be wise to purchase one now, particularly if it’s priced competitively within its current range, before prices potentially increase further. Prices are likely to decrease eventually as production ramps up and new technologies are introduced. If you don’t urgently need a new SSD, there’s no benefit in acquiring one preemptively, just to avoid possible future price hikes.

Bad News, SSDs Are Getting More Expensive

Image credit: Kina

Your intended device and use also influences whether an SSD is your sole storage option. For desktop PC users looking to store large quantities of photos and videos, a traditional hard drive is a viable alternative.

For instance, the Seagate IronWolf is still just $80 for 4TB. Laptop users who don’t mind carrying an additional, smaller external drive might consider the WD Passport, which offers 2TB for $70. For PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series owners, such drives can play older games, though with longer load times.

Bad News, SSDs Are Getting More Expensive

[ For more curated Computing news, check out the main news page here]

The post Bad News, SSDs Are Getting More Expensive first appeared on www.techspot.com

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