Thailand is currently experiencing the worst flooding it's seen in over 50 years, and the deluge is wreaking havoc on the PC industry. PC makers face the very real possibility of running out of hard drives, and they're reportedly turning to the gray market to secure supply. Dwindling inventories have also pushed up the price of bare drives. We first noticed this effect when putting together our latest system guide, and it's only gotten worse since. Here's how the Newegg pricing of a handful of popular desktop drives has changed since the beginning of October.
Although some drives have been impacted more than others, the overall trend is clear. We're looking at price increases in the 80-190% range, with the uptick beginning around the middle of last month. Now is definitely not a good time to be in the market for mechanical storage.
Those results only cover 3.5" desktop drives, but 2.5" mobile models are similarly afflicted. In fact, they may be in an even more precarious position as notebook makers scramble to ensure they have enough drives to put into systems.
The supply problems are expected to persist through the current quarter, which means we could see prices climb even higher in the coming months. Thailand faces much bigger problems, of course, and my heart goes out to the millions directly affected by the flooding.