Hard drive prices holding steady or falling

TR reader Noah reminded me that it's been a while since we last checked the state of hard drive prices. We've been tracking them ever since last fall's Thailand flooding shut down numerous hard drive factories, sending the price of mechanical storage skyward. Let's how things look with the latest data.

The graph below illustrates the Newegg prices of numerous hard drives since the beginning of October. To make things manageable, we've only pulled pricing data from the Monday of each week. We don't have as many results this time around because the Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 3TB and Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB are no longer in stock at Newegg. We'll keep checking in with the retailer to see if those drives return.

Among the models that are still in stock, prices have fallen or held steady. One of the biggest discounts has come to the Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB, which cost $230 at the beginning of March but runs just $180 today. Our favorite desktop drive, the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, has dropped from $160 to only $110. Samsung's EcoGreen F4 2TB also costs less now than it did in early March, although the difference there is only 20 bucks.

While those cuts are encouraging, the terabyte Caviar Black and Deskstar 7K1000.D haven't budged. The graph plainly illustrates that we're still well shy of pre-flood pricing, too. The Spinpoint F3 1TB was selling for $60 around this time last year, or a little more than half what it costs now. It seems unlikely that mechanical storage prices will return to those levels anytime soon.

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