SSD shipments continue dramatic growth

As SSD prices continue to tumble, consumers and businesses are snatching up an increasing number of drives. According to market research firm IHS, 10.5 million solid-state drives shipped in the third quarter of this year. That figure is up substantially from the first two quarters, which had shipments of 5.9 and 7.1 million units. Sales are expected to continue climbing, as well. IHS predicts that 17.5 million SSDs will ship in the final quarter of this year.

To be fair, that forecast is down from the 20 million units IHS predicted earlier in the year. Third-quarter shipments failed to meet IHS’ 13-million-unit projection, which is probably why the Q4 estimate was revised. Even the more conservative prediction says SSD shipments for the second half of the year will more than double the number of units shipped during the first six months.

IHS’ numbers include the solid-state drives used in everything from ultrabooks to servers. The caching-specific SSDs designed to be used in conjunction with mechanical hard drives are part of the calculation, but hybrid drives that integrate flash memory are not.

For 2012 as a whole, IHS expects SSD revenues to reach $7.5 billion on shipments of 41 million units. If my math is correct, that works out to an average selling price of $183 per drive, which just happens to be around the sweet spot occupied by a lot of the 240-256GB SSDs right now.

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    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    How close are we to getting a true hybrid that works as well as Intel’s Z-series SmartResponse?

    Seagate’s Momentus XT was a wholly disappointing effort, IMO, and there’s still a big capacity gap between SSD and mechanical.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Everyone that doesn’t have a SSD buys one… then the bubble pops when most people have one and it comes down to people just buying new computers. Same thing happened when no one had a computer and everyone started buying them up… Same with tablets…

      • bcronce
      • 7 years ago

      At 41mil units/year, it’s going to a take a while. I would be more concerned about the smartphone “bubble” causing extra demand for FLASH chips. There are many more units of phone being sold every year than HDs and PCs. What happens once the market is finally “mature” aka “saturated”?

      • Vasilyfav
      • 7 years ago

      Disagree entirely. SSDs aren’t durable enough and the tech is improving far too fast for everyone to just be content with their 128gb SSD.

      Average PC users will start dumping their media libraries onto SSDs, then wondering why they ran out of space and upgrade to another one with 4x the capacity.

      Yes, there _might_ be a bubble, but it’s going to be a long while until SSDs get there. And since write endurance is going down with every process shrink, they actually might never get there.

    • Morris
    • 7 years ago

    I’ll bet the RMA numbers are close to 50% of sales the way some of these SSDs are rushed out the door for consumers to beta test.

      • bcronce
      • 7 years ago

      HD manufacturers would quickly lose all profits with numbers like those, but I do enjoy the humor 😛

      • ColeLT1
      • 7 years ago

      Personally I have installed:
      128GB M4 work laptop
      128GB M4 boss’s laptop
      128GB M4 co-worker’s laptop
      128GB M4 Friend’s Tribes rig (all he plays)
      256GB M4 G/F’s laptop
      64GB M4 as Z68 cache drive for Boss’s home pc + WD black 1TB
      96GB Kingston SSDnow V+100 home pc (now in my TS/Minecraft/CS:GO/TF2/etc server)
      120GB Vertex 3 (after they fixed the firmware) home pc
      256GB Samsung 830 home pc
      256GB Samsung 830 Friend’s laptop
      120GB HyperX roommate’s pc
      120GB Vertex 3 Friend’s dad’s PC
      128GB Samsung 830 Mom’s laptop

      Never have I had an issue, or had to RMA a single one, and they are all still in use today. Yes, I tend to buy non-sandforce drives, but that was for the few months when they had issues, after that, no biggie, I ran a Vertex 3 with no issues at all, on an older SATAII x58 box.

      Edit: I have never bought any Async drive (like Agility), the drives with cheap flash seem to all be the ones with reliability issues, all their reviews are 50% “died in a week/month”

    • Meadows
    • 7 years ago

    $183 isn’t even [i<]near[/i<] my sweet spot as long as we're talking about [b<]storage[/b<]. (For my perspective on storage, $99 is "where it's at".)

    • blastdoor
    • 7 years ago

    Definitely the best hardware upgrade to come along for PCs since the first Athlon X2.

    Here’s an idea for a poll — which would be more painful, returning to a single core CPU or to an HHD?

      • DPete27
      • 7 years ago

      Returning to a single core CPU with a HDD

        • Vasilyfav
        • 7 years ago

        Don’t remind me. 2007 wasn’t long enough ago (yes, I’m a pretty late adopter) to make me forget the horrors of single core performance.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      Single core CPU. I barely notice going from HDD to SSD as I dont reboot my compute and I have plenty of ram.
      SDD made little to any differences expected for the occasional game playing.

      Going from quad core to single… better be a 8ghz haswell core!

        • willyolio
        • 7 years ago

        having boatloads of RAM more or less negates the HDD problem.

        especially if you have a RAMdisk of some kind.

          • bcronce
          • 7 years ago

          RAMDisks are almost useless unless you have a server’s amount of memory.

          I have several games in the 8GB-20GB range. I can’t purchase a motherboard that supports more than 32GB of ram without ECC.

          With only the 20GB game on a RAMDisk would leave me with only 12GB free. I currently have only 6GB of ram and I am constantly swapping because I’m up in the 8GB range for memory allocation, so 10GB of free memory isn’t that great. Give me a year or two and I’ll have 10GB commit as standard.

          Once we get PCIe SSDs, RAMDisks will be quite useless for the most part. The IO performance on FusionIO devices are within 80% of a RAMDisk and are much cheaper than memory.

        • bcronce
        • 7 years ago

        Going to an SSD has made my 10GB games patch quite a bit faster. I remember having about 1MB/s of IO when patching with a 1GB update. Now that’s more around 20-200MB/s

        I had an update that took over 3 hours once. No matter what I do now, it only takes minutes. Heck, I can kick off an update and go play a game and not even notice.

        SSD is my most noticeable upgrade in almost a decade.

          • cygnus1
          • 7 years ago

          people that discount all the things that an SSD speeds up have just never used one for themselves. there are so many things done on a computer that just can’t ever be cached effectively or that just require so many IOs to just be miserable on spinning disk. patching like you mention, or non-indexed searches. and you can let them happen in the background and never even notice them happening. FYI, I love my M4

      • Squeazle
      • 7 years ago

      …Hard Hisk Drive?

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 7 years ago

        The one he proposed must be extra hard.

      • Rand
      • 7 years ago

      Neither, going back to 1GB of RAM or something similar. That would have more impact then SSD or processor IMO.

    • Shambles
    • 7 years ago

    At my house it’s a game of pass the SSD along. So far I have a 256GB drive in my machine, a 128GB drive in my wifes machine that used to be in mine. And a 30GB SSD that is in my HTPC that originally came from my brother in law into my machine, into my wifes machine, into the HTPC. Just waiting for a 512GB SSD to get cheap enough and all the SSDs at my house will get bumped down the line again.

      • sparkman
      • 7 years ago

      Do you reinstall your OS from scratch for each bump, or do you use some kind of drive cloning software? I’m curious because I’m planning to jump from HDD to SSD soon, myself.

        • Meadows
        • 7 years ago

        Acronis TrueImage trial, solves all your first world problems.

          • Rand
          • 7 years ago

          I used TrueImage as well and just imaged everything over. Aside from needing to disable drive indexing Windows took care of everything else itself. Way too much hassle to do a fresh install, and the personal tweaks and the untold number of applications and whatever changes you wish in there.

        • cygnus1
        • 7 years ago

        Since I have other hard drives around and I do the backups anyway, I just use the built-in Windows 7 backup and restore. Have it do an image backup, and then restore the image to a new drive. No need to mess with any 3rd party software and you should be doing backups anyway, right?

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 7 years ago

    I expect my SDD/HDD combo to last for quite a while. Next upgrade will probably be to a 1TB+ SSD.

    • Walkintarget
    • 7 years ago

    God bless you guys that are holding out … its gotta be hard seeing deal after deal come and go on SSDs ! I’ve got three currently, one used as an SRT cache and 2 as boot drives – one for an HTPC and the other for a workbench rig.

    It is by far the biggest system boost you can achieve these days – it makes a relatively pokey old Core 2 laptop seem like a brand new screamer. Do what I’m doing and hit those Black Friday deals fast. That will be the best time to get both SSDs and HDDs.

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]> That will be the best time to get both SSDs and HDDs.[/quote<] It will? Deals today are far better than Black Friday deals. I imagine deals after Christmas were even better.

        • Walkintarget
        • 7 years ago

        Not agreeing with this based on the fact that HDDs still aren’t even close to pre-flood prices. You could find a 2TB drive for $70 pre flood. Todays best deal is a 2TB (Green, mind you, not an F4) for $99.

        I’m hoping that BF brings yet another drop in HDD prices, and maybe we will see a 2TB non-Green drive for $80. Doubtful, but just maybe …

        SSD prices continue to drop on lower end business SSDs, but again most of those prices are after rebate, so its not a given that you will in fact get that rebate.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      Not really, just means that they will continue to get cheaper and cheaper. Until they have the capacity of a mechanical drive, ssd’s will remain a compliment to a mechanical.

        • Arclight
        • 7 years ago

        They have exceeded that……it just costs too much.

          • Deanjo
          • 7 years ago

          When have they exceeded the size of a mechanical drive?

        • mganai
        • 7 years ago

        Not really a problem. You don’t need to have everything on an SSD anyways.

        • tootercomputer
        • 7 years ago

        Depends on your needs. As noted here, I have one on an old laptop, and the 120G SSD is more than enough space on this particular laptop, which I use only for office work. It’s perfect.

      • tootercomputer
      • 7 years ago

      Totally concur. And I have SSDs iln 3 different systems configured almost identically to yours (i.e., one in an SRT configuration, two boot drives, one on a four year-old C2D laptop that has been a huge system boost).

      • Squeazle
      • 7 years ago

      It’s not necessary, but that’s a silly point to argue.
      I guess it’s next on my list, but I have no big rush. I’ve got a working system, and they continue to get cheaper by the quarter. Even if I end up buying a series 3 over a series 4, they’ll drop prices across the board and give me an extra buck to replace my sound card by christmas.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      I’m going to wait for the whole shebang. About a year from now (maybe a little longer), I am going to retire my current machine to server and/or HTPC status and build something completely new, including a big SSD.

      But believe me, these deals that keep coming up make it very difficult not to pull the trigger.

      • Meadows
      • 7 years ago

      Not hard at all.

    • SoM
    • 7 years ago

    i’d get a SSD, but i want something bigger then 256GB

    for now i’m happy with my 1.5TB HD

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      Get a Z-series motherboard then!

      Considering how expensive mechanical storage is in these post-flood (cartel?) days, there’s no reason not to cache it.

        • sschaem
        • 7 years ago

        $100 for 2TB , For how long where 2TB selling for under $100 in the golden ages ?

          • Chrispy_
          • 7 years ago

          It’s all relative; In the ‘golden ages’ a 128GB SSD was still too small and a couple of hundred bucks, the median PC cost for an average Dell Inspiron or equivalent was $700 and $100 got you a 7200RPM mechanical drive.

          Now, yes – you can get a 2TB drive for $100 but it’s a 5900RPM green edition, a 128GB SSD can be found for as little as $40 with the right rebates and the median PC cost is down to under $500.

          Relatively, that $100 mechanical disk cost is still very much higher than it used to be.

      • Elsoze
      • 7 years ago

      Everything doesn’t need to go on the SSD, nor should it. Use the 1.5TB for media storage and apps you rarely use (aka that library of Steam games) and put your OS and most used apps on the SSD.

      It always amazes me that people will spend $100+ on RAM that there comp won’t even utilize but a $120 SSD seems like “too much money”. Single. Biggest. Upgrade.

        • SoM
        • 7 years ago

        RAM is cheap, got 16GB Patriot 1800MHz for $100

        it’s a no brainer to have the OS on the SSD but i’d like my games on it aswell

        i’ll live without it for now

        even with this much RAM, Win7 boots really fast

          • DPete27
          • 7 years ago

          I have a 120GB SSD with my OS and all programs on it as well as BF3, Crysis 2, and Civ 5 on it at the same time and had something like 40GB to spare. I know each person has a different amount and size of programs and games, but do you really know how much space your OS and games would take up?

            • SoM
            • 7 years ago

            my OS is 26GB

            thats without some programs which are on a different partition, around 15GB

            games are about 200GB

            • Firestarter
            • 7 years ago

            So? You get a 256GB and clean your stuff up, it’ll fit with room to spare.

            • bcronce
            • 7 years ago

            I agree. For a primary drive, 256GB is plenty. If you need more room, get some 2nd’ary drives and RAID them.

            • ColeLT1
            • 7 years ago

            Agreed, SSD is the single best upgrade I have done in years, and all my games fit fine, I average around 100GB used. I have been running raid 0 mechanical setups for 10 years, then added a SSDnow 96GB combined with my Dual WD640 blacks, then ditched the mechanical drives and never looked back.

            128GB M4 on my work laptop, 74GB free.
            256GB 830 on my home desktop with 140 free.
            256GB m4 + 320GB mechanical on GFs mx17 r3
            120GB HyperX on roommates PC

            Plus we have a home server with 7TB of space 😛

    • superjawes
    • 7 years ago

    These tumbling prices are awesome. I can’t wait to get my first SSD.

      • Rand
      • 7 years ago

      It’s not quite the greatest upgrade you’ll ever make that it’s oft made out to be, but after awhile of using a SSD daily you really do feel the difference when you use something without. The smoothness with which it handles heavy loads that leaves HDD’s grinding away for loooong periods of time is no more stressful then launching notepad on a SSD.

      Certainly worth it. But I will saying as much as I like it, I’m glad I waited until I could afford one that was reasonably sized. I could never have lived with the hassles of storing so much frequently used applications/data on another drive. Wait it out until you can get something that relegates the secondary drive to just that… secondary, 64/128GB isn’t worth it IMO. 256GB may or may not be sufficient depending on your workload.

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