Why are SSD's still so expensive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by outsidethebox, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. outsidethebox macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2008
    Why are we still being charged nearly $2/GB for SSD storage? I've been waiting to pull the trigger and get a 256GB SSD, but the prices are still all around $500.
    I remember last year people were saying "just wait a six months, SSD will start to become mainstream and drop significantly", and similar diatribe the year before. But fast forward, and its mid-2011.

    When can it be feasibly guessed that SSD's will actually start becoming reasonable for the average consumer? I fail to see why they are 7x the price but deliver half the storage (a 750GB 7200rpm can be found for ~$80 these days) - are SSD parts made of gold or something?

    I would have thought they would have become mass-market and a standard in all computers and laptops these days, but they still remain hugely out of reach for almost all consumers.
  2. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    SDDs are superior in basically every aspect other than storage size

    1. lower power
    2. more durable
    3. longer lifespan
    4. much faster (3-5x faster than the fastest 7200rpm drive)

    every year, ssds have dropped about 50% in price and doubled capacity. Give it time.
  3. Peteman100 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Flash is still pretty expensive. Things should get better in a couple more years.
  4. ESPN macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2011
    Wait for it to decrease.

    Macs in 2003

    256 MB of RAM - 1500$
  5. RainCityMacFan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2007
    There's a lot of demand but low supply.

    It's expensive to make NAND, yet it's used almost everywhere. But like others have said, give it time. In the meanwhile, many of us have optibay setups where we put our apps on the SSD and our documents/movies/music on the HDD.
  6. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
    Compared to CPU cache, these things are dirt cheap.
  7. Snesley Wipes macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2009
    The reason they are still so expensive is because there are a lot of suckers still buying them! When the suppliers have strong sales at these high prices, they are damn well not going to lower the price.
  8. escogido macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2011
    I disagree. Like everything new, it takes years before the prices drop to affordable. I remember getting my first CD burner, what a piece of crap it was, ruining every other CD, but I still paid almost 400$ for it back then, in a couple of years, they dropped to about 100-150$. Same happened with HDs, I remember when 20Gb hard drives just came out, I was smart enough to not make same mistake and waited a year and the cost was about 30% cheaper. With SSDs it's the same story, it's a much more complicated tech, and that's why it's taking more time for prices to drop, and in some sense I agree with you, companies need to build capital, great example in the automotive market with Tesla, they built a roadster to build capital and perfect the tech before they actually built a sedan.
  9. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    Like escogido says, I think a lot of the high prices comes from the companies' need to recoup the expenses to develop the tech and manufacturing equipment.
  10. 42streetsdown macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2011
    Gallifrey, 5124
    the materials to make SSDs are more expensive, but it's mostly R&D costs + demand.
  11. nwcs macrumors 68000


    Sep 21, 2009
    There have been rumors of price fixing in NAND flash for years, too. Investigations haven't come out with positive proof but with enough investigations going on you have to suspect some shenanigans may be present.
  12. Erasmus macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    I expect the cost of purified silicon makes gold look cheap. Also, there is indeed a lot of gold in computer circuits, I would expect the same to hold true with NAND flash.
  13. eron macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    Agree totally.
  14. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    Smarty Pants!
  15. cube macrumors Pentium

    May 10, 2004
    Moore's Law. You can expect the price of SSDs to halve every 2 years.
  16. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    That is a somewhat bad example as for CD Burners most of the cost was R&D and not so much manufacturing.
    With Flash manufacturing is actually a big chunk and while Moore's Law still holds, shrinking seems to be more and more a problem. Each process they need to set aside more unused space. Life expectancy shrinks and we are very close to the limits already. There are only guesses as to how many shrinks are still possible.
    I think many people expect prices to lower too fast.

    But what really matters is when usable sizes are affordable. With 120GB being affordable we already hit the first milestone I think. The next one will be at 256GB probably in about a year and then it will be 512 and really cheap SSDs at prices of current HDDs. Today 120GB is still only enough space for few enthusiasts and still to expensive for the mainstream.
    SSDs will never be as cheap as HDDs capacity wise.

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