SSD prices continue tumbling in Q3

For years, PC enthusiasts complained that solid-state drives were too expensive. Call us when prices drop below a dollar per gigabyte, they scoffed. Well, their phones have probably been ringing off the hook lately. SSD prices have plummeted to the point where most mainstream drives fall under the dollar-per-gig threshold.

We took our first look at the decline of SSD prices back in June, illustrating the trend with a mountain of data tracing drives all the way back to early 2011. A full quarter has passed since that article, so it’s high time for an update. To find out if prices have continued their downward trajectory, we once again called upon the gracious folks at Camelegg, who provided us with another data dump for analysis—this time with even more drives. Camelegg tracks prices at Newegg, which is a pretty good indicator of prevailing market conditions.

First, let’s look at how much prices fell during the third quarter, from July 1 to October 1. Ready your scroll wheel; this graph’s a doozy.

But worth it, no? The data is clear: all but one of the nearly 40 SSDs we’re monitoring costs less now than it did three months ago. The price drops amount to only single-digit percentages for a small handful of drives, mostly lower-capacity models. However, prices declined by at least 12% for the overwhelming majority.

OCZ appears to be the most aggressive discounter of the bunch. Several of its drives are effectively half-off, and many more have experienced reductions in the 17-42% range. Intel and Samsung SSDs have also benefited from substantial price drops. The cuts haven’t been as dramatic on drives from Corsair and Crucial, though.

Our Technicolor chart doesn’t tell the entire story, especially when it comes to those OCZ SSDs. Let’s take a closer look at the day-to-day price changes for each drive since the beginning of 2012. Pay particular attention to the last quarter, from July onward. You can click on the buttons below each graph to switch between the various drive families.


Seriously, click on a few of the buttons and look at the beginning of July. The price of just about every one of OCZ’s drives spiked on July 1, the first day of the third quarter. Those spikes taint our quarterly percentage-drop numbers somewhat, and we don’t see similar behavior from any of the other drive makers.

Those brief flirtations with higher prices are just that. There are other spikes here and there, but none lasting more than a few days. Most of the time, the drives spend only a day living large before falling back down to reality. If you ignore those outliers, the decline over the past three months is still apparent, especially for the newer Vertex 4 and Agility 4 models.


Intel has had success in holding CPU prices steady, but there’s a lot more competition in the SSD market. The ongoing price war between makers of SandForce-based drives has put downward pressure on the 520 Series, which uses the same controller silicon. Even after the deep cuts that followed the 520 Series’ launch, there was still room for prices to drop substantially over the course of the third quarter.

The Intel 330 Series hasn’t been around for as long, but the 60GB and 120GB versions both got notably cheaper in the past three months. The 240GB model only arrived in August, and it hasn’t seen much action since. Neither has the 320 Series, whose prices have largely flat-lined, save for occasional cuts to the 300GB model.


Corsair’s Force Series 3 and GT SSDs have been around for a while now, and they’re getting more affordable with each passing month. The magnitude of the recent price reductions isn’t as big as for some of the other drives, but the prices are very low overall. Corsair has added a number of new models to its SSD lineup since these Force Series drives were introduced, and we may need to track the fresh additions in our next update.


Our last set of plots covers a collection of popular favorites. The Crucial m4 is more than a year and a half old, and its days of dramatic price drops seem to be over, apart from one-day discounts. Samsung’s 830 Series is only about a year old, and it’s due to be replaced by the 840 Series in a couple weeks. Perhaps to prepare for the newcomer’s arrival, the 830 Series’ price has fallen over the past three months. As we’ve seen with all of the other drive families, the higher-capacity models are dropping more than those in the 64GB range.

We added the M5S to get a sense of the latest from Plextor. This particular model has only been on the market since August, and it’s interesting to note that prices have been slashed and have then bounced back a couple of times during that relatively short span. Only the 64GB variant has resisted rebounding. There aren’t enough data to call it a trend just yet, though.

Since I opened with a discussion of cost per gigabyte, that’s a fitting place to end. We’ve run the numbers on all the drives using the median price for the last seven days.

The higher-capacity models dominate the top of the chart, as do most OCZ offerings. What impresses me most is the sheer number of SSDs costing less than a dollar per gig right now. 22 of the 38 drives meet that arbitrary mark, and all but two of those run $0.86/GB or less. A handful of drives is just a few cents shy of the $1/GB threshold, too. Indeed, only Intel’s 320 Series, plus a collection of 40-64GB models, cost north of $1.11/GB.

We should note that Camelegg’s data doesn’t include specials like coupon codes or mail-in rebates. Those deals can lower prices even further, and there’s usually at least one every week.

Comments closed
    • aim18
    • 7 years ago
    • Buzzard44
    • 7 years ago

    I’m about 4 days too late on this post, but it’s also something to note that the OCZ stock price has also slipped 50% in the past 3 months…

    That may be something to think about if you’re looking for long term support.

    • Diplomacy42
    • 7 years ago

    aka OCZ firesale. glad i’m not a stockholder.

    • Waco
    • 7 years ago

    I literally just bought an OCZ Vertex Plus R2 (the new revision that just came out) for $29 for the 60 GB model. Perfect for a Smart Response drive and nasty cheap. 🙂

    • clone
    • 7 years ago

    I’ve had 2 SSD’s, one Corsair that I later sold and replaced with an Intel 520 series…. loved them both can absolutely tell the difference when I went with the Intel 520 series.

    my 2nd system has been having issues that may be hd related so I decided to grab another Intel 120gb 520 series and was happily surprised to see it’s price had dropped from the $209.99 I bought it for to $135.99.

    I sold the Corsair for $140 4 months ago…..paid for itself kinda.

      • oldog
      • 7 years ago

      You sell old hard drives? I hope you never used it for say… work.

        • glynor
        • 7 years ago

        Why? It is trivially easy to wipe a drive before selling it (or going to the recycling center).

        It is a slight bit more difficult with an SSD, because you have to worry about spare area, but unless your data is so sensitive that you have to worry about someone caring enough to rip the drive open and physically remove the NAND, you’re fine.

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    At the price OCZ SSDs are selling and their reputation for, uh, reliability, I’d stay away from them.

      • jihadjoe
      • 7 years ago

      +1, but aren’t you safe enough if you only use it as a smart response cache?

      • Waco
      • 7 years ago

      That reliability problem only exists in your head.

    • Jigar
    • 7 years ago

    In other news, HDD makers Seagate and WD are still shooting their legs by keeping their products price higher than they should have been.

      • Krogoth
      • 7 years ago

      No, it is part of supply/demand at work. The weakening USD and Euro doesn’t help things either.

      Demand for HDDs is still very strong and it is unlikely that will change any time soon in light of the price drops on SSDs.

      SSDs still cannot match HDDs on a GB/$$$. SSD’s key advantage has been faster access speed and more bandwidth at a higher premium. The same premium has been diminishing over the years. It has reach the point that a SSD with a modest capacity (128GB) are quite affordable.

        • swaaye
        • 7 years ago

        I wonder if hybrid HDD tech will end up making SSDs superfluous for most people. You’ll get massive storage but also performance that’s dramatically better than a standard HDD design.

      • Anarchist
      • 7 years ago

      that’s what happens when Seagete and WD are the only manufacturers of HDD. But soon enough SSD will hit the $0.3/GB plateau and signal the death of spindle drives. Until then the 2 remaining HDD maker will try to maximize what they can take from people who like to keep videos they never watch on their hard drives.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      Your option today. Spend $99 to get a 2TB drive with a 3 year warranty, or spend $1600 to get bunch of 512GB SSD and having to then raid them.
      You want data serurity ? add another 99$ and you get raid1. with SSD thats another $1600

      Are you crying because you cant get a 2TB drive for 79$ with coupons like you use to?

        • indeego
        • 7 years ago

        No matter your RAID level, it is [b<]not[/b<] Data security.

          • travbrad
          • 7 years ago

          Even if my RAID goes to 11?

      • albundy
      • 7 years ago

      i surely hope so! its very entertaining!

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Race to the bottom and OCZ is leading the pack!

    I’m not sure how far these results can be generalized though. Camelegg is really cool and the data they provide is also pretty sweet, but it doesn’t draw a very accurate picture. Until it can include coupon codes and MIRs which are readily available and happen almost all the time you can only make preliminary analysis of data like this. Like OCZ has rebates up almost all the time and the 256GB models of drives drop below $180 mark quite a bit.

    Like if the discounts happened once in a blue moon I think the data would have a higher confidence associated with it, but they happen all the time.

    I think a little differentiation would have quite a bit of meaning. Like a 3.5″ drive would totally set themselves apart from the rest of the pack, especially if they’re affordable. More room, more chips, controllers could be designed for more chips (like OCZ owns Indellinx), means more speed. A lot of technology segments could benefit from this… Like smart PSUs that actually communicate with the system (Corsair is the only one that makes one of these). Hybrid HDs…

    Not just doing it for one drive and spinning it as a exotic specialty product, but doing it across all their products.

    • CaptTomato
    • 7 years ago

    I’ll pay $250aud for a 512g, but I really want 7fiddy for $199.

    • Decelerate
    • 7 years ago

    This is a nice case of first-mover advantage in the quality department:Intel released some seriously decent drives and now they can very profitably ride on that reputation, at least higher than the competition.

    Razer’s the new guy to seem to adopt this strategy. I hope more will do so.

    • grantmeaname
    • 7 years ago

    …A handful of drives is just a few cents shy…

    Typo in the ending roundup.

    • glacius555
    • 7 years ago

    Twenty-four dollars on that picture. They’re still not cheap enough, if that’s all i can shell out 😛

      • Sencapri
      • 7 years ago

      Twenty-three dollars in that picture?

        • glacius555
        • 7 years ago

        True that :-O

        Note to self, never post comments after a long day..

          • Sencapri
          • 7 years ago

          a long day at work filling out TPS reports does that to you lol

      • rrr
      • 7 years ago

      Like we care…

    • travbrad
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]The higher-capacity models dominate the top of the chart, as do most OCZ offerings.[/quote<] That's because no one in their right mind would buy an OCZ drive for the same price as a Samsung, Crucial, or Intel drive. Maybe they have resolved most their issues, but all that unreliability in the past has lowered the consumer's perception of their value.

      • cegras
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]That's because no one in their right mind [/quote<] Ironically, people in their right mind would buy such a drives, if they look forward at the company's current efforts and not at the Sandforce fiascos everyone was having anyways.

        • Corrado
        • 7 years ago

        I have 3 SandForce drives from OCZ, granted they were all bought in the last 3 months. After the firmware updates, they are as solid as any other. I have an Intel 330, 2 Vertex 3’s, a generic “MicroCenter” SF drive (made by AData), and a Crucial M4. I’ve noticed zero difference real world in any of the drives since I’ve put them in. No BSOD, no slowness, no nothing.

          • Meadows
          • 7 years ago

          “Last 3 months” is the key part. Check within half a year, then it’ll be more relevant.

    • Wirko
    • 7 years ago

    Geoff, have you tried to somehow filter out those one-day or two-day spikes from the graphs? They are quite annoying and completely meaningless when the graph is meant to show trends over a year.

    On another note … I think that drawing the lines for 64GB and 256GB drives on the same graph is not a very good idea because the change is much less obvious for the smaller drive. Maybe, just maybe, the graphs would be more informative if each one showed the trends for same/similar capacity, same brand, and different models.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 7 years ago

    WAKE EVERYONE UP! SSDS ARE BELOW $! PER GIGABYTE!!!

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      YAWN. WAKE ME UP WHEN THEY ARE BELOW @% PER GIGABUTT!

        • Meadows
        • 7 years ago

        25, or apostrophe-5? US or UK layout?

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          Neither…I wrote ‘at-percent’ and that’s what I meant. Not my problem if people can’t figure out what that means, but I can tell you it’s lower than ‘dollar sign-exclamation point.’

            • Meadows
            • 7 years ago

            Dollar-exclamation was a joke suggesting that he typed the entire line while holding down Shift. I rode that train of thought too. I reckon you didn’t get as far.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            Oh, I ride the crazy train to your stop and beyond, Meadows.

            • lilbuddhaman
            • 7 years ago

            NO YOU DON”T.

            ugh nevermind (insert ascii picture of me giving you the finger)

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 7 years ago

            You’re a quick one!

      • Corrado
      • 7 years ago

      Nah, they’ll just move the goalposts again and say ‘.50/gig is as high as I’ll go’. The people that say things like that are just constant whiners.

        • pedro
        • 7 years ago

        We only said we wanted to be woken up now. We never said we’d actually buy an SSD when they hit $1/GB.

        I’ll buy when they’re $0.20/GB (about 2 yrs from now hopefully).

          • Elsoze
          • 7 years ago

          The single biggest upgrade you can get for any computer these days with more than a reasonable amount of space for less than $100 but you’ll pass…. cool story bro.

            • indeego
            • 7 years ago

            He wants to spend that money on parking cores for his i7.

            • pedro
            • 7 years ago

            I have a 2.66 GHz dual core Core2.

            • indeego
            • 7 years ago

            So anything modern is pretty much wasted on your SATA 3 Gbit/s chipset…

            • Waco
            • 7 years ago

            I’d bet a good amount of money that you couldn’t tell the difference in normal use between an SSD on a SATA2 connection versus a SATA3 connection.

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            Pretty much.

            SSD’s greatest advantage over HDD has always been faster access speed. This is why SSD-driven systems “feel” more snappy and smoother than their HDD counterparts. SSDs can offer more bandwidth than their HDDs, but this advantage isn’t noticeable outside of moving GBs worth of data on a daily basis (Datacenters).

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      Only $1600 to replace my 2TB drive. whats a deal!

        • indeego
        • 7 years ago

        How many mechanicals to match 4K speeds of my old ass Intel Gen 2 SSD. How is the noise, cooling, random access time, physical space restrictions, etc?

        Let’s compromise?

          • Waco
          • 7 years ago

          How many? One, if you use a Intel SRT with a decent SSD. 😛

            • rrr
            • 7 years ago

            Using an SSD to match an SSD? Circular logic.

            And BTW, actually it doesn’t match, SSD caching in most if not all tests shows a performance somewhat below an actual SSD for OS drive.

            • Waco
            • 7 years ago

            For a cost that’s extremely low compared to monstrous SSDs.

            I went from a RAID 0 array of Vertex 3s to an accelerated 7200.10 750 GB drive and a Vertex Plus R2. It’s indistinguishable in real use.

            • rrr
            • 7 years ago

            Like you need monstrous SSD, when bulk of your data can be held on HDD minus those that are worked on all the time.

        • Krogoth
        • 7 years ago

        You don’t need 2TiB of SSD capacity in a normal desktop, hell it is kinda hard to use for that in a workstation.

        Only high-demand datacenter servers require such capacities.

        • Arclight
        • 7 years ago

        I can give you a good deal on a 5 TB PCI-E SSD. It only costs around 100 000Euros.

    • Bauxite
    • 7 years ago

    320’s aren’t dropping much because they are a dirty little (awesome) secret in enterprise:

    supercapacitor + intel brand/distribution

    Although where is the 160gb?

    • hiro_pro
    • 7 years ago

    i love cheap ssd.

    is it time to replace the 60gb drives with 512gb drives? i keep seeing the agility 4 and the m4 512 gb drives flirting with $300…

      • Farting Bob
      • 7 years ago

      512mb wont get you very far unless you are running windows 95 on it.

    • UberGerbil
    • 7 years ago

    The Crucial M4 was on sale yesterday (24 hours only) at NewEgg: 256GB for $159. I almost jumped on it, but don’t really need one at the moment (and I hate buying depreciating products if I don’t have an immediate use). But if I had a laptop that needed an upgrade, man. Anyway, I expect we’ll see that kind of sale price pop up again before long.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Yup, 0.62-0.67/GB is a pretty common sale or MIR price. Anyone shopping for SSDs who sees a good one at that price should feel ok buying…I think the latest round of serious price drops due to 2x nm node is about over.

        • UberGerbil
        • 7 years ago

        Since the only SSDs I’ve considered or purchased have been the 830s, the M4s, and the Intel drives, it’s been a little less common — at least until quite recently.

    • indeego
    • 7 years ago

    So in terms of SSD reliability, pricing, it benefits consumers not to be cutting edge. Just get the tail end of the current generation before next generation comes out, repeat for next generation, etc… You’ll hopefully get reliable firmware by that time.

    • Zarf
    • 7 years ago

    I know OCZ had some pretty major stability and reliability problems with their drives in the recent past. Are they still trash, or have they improved? I’m considering getting a new SSD for my desktop – 128 GB just isn’t enough space.

    Edit: Also, YEEEEAAAAAAAH! I’m glad to see SSD prices falling. I need to see if I can get a decent SSD build for under $500 now, since that seems to be the budget I deal with the most.

      • hiro_pro
      • 7 years ago

      i keep hearing how bad the agility line is too. however, every time i go to upgrade to ssd the agility drive is a ton cheaper than everything else. i’m running an agility 2 240 gb drive in my pc for about 2 years now, an agility 3 240gb drive in my laptop for more than a year and i just dropped an agility 4 256 gb drive in the wife’s laptop. all three machines are on more than off. the pc is always on. i have had only one issue in that time. the drive will not boot if you accidentally unplug the sata cable (who knew?).

      • Wirko
      • 7 years ago

      Yout better don’t hope for very low prices. One day we may learn that 90% of all SSD manufacturers use some obscure but hi-tech component, glue for example, from one factory, and that factory somehow turned to ashes overnight. Wouldn’t be the first time. Or the second.

      • Corrado
      • 7 years ago

      The firmware was updated on the sandforce drives. I have a bunch of Vertex 3’s and have had no issues in months of use.

    • Vulk
    • 7 years ago

    <Sarcasm>Yawn… Call me when they hit 10 cents a gig.</Sarcasm>

    It’s awesome watching market forces actually work compared to unthreatened monopolies keep prices artificially high, and if stories about Haswell pricing are to believed, actually trying to increase prices to further fatten margins…

    Hopefully that market won’t contract and become less competitive any time soon.

    • Sam125
    • 7 years ago

    Cool, I might buy an SSD for my PS3 if prices continue to drop.

    Also, I’m loving the new overlay charts. Very snazzy!

    • judoMan
    • 7 years ago

    This is awesome information, Geoff. Your graphs are wildly informative and communicative.

    Thanks!!

    • TheBulletMagnet
    • 7 years ago

    I’m really afraid of history repeating and we will see these ssd divisions consolidated and being bought up until once again we’re left with only 2 or 3 ssd manufacturers, like what happened with platter based drives.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Maybe, eventually, but there are some distinct manufacturing differences between HDDs and SSDs. The main one is that flash is a commodity market with at least a few manufacturers – if there’s any ‘point of failure’ it’s this, if one flash manufacturer gets a sustained process node lead others will slowly leave the market. The controllers are also commodity-ish for now, in that they can be licensed and rebranded – Sandforce controllers are the most obvious example, Marvell is the other. I don’t recall HDD platters ever being commodities like flash.

        • UberGerbil
        • 7 years ago

        Yes, the barrier to entry is a lot lower, so you can have companies that are more “assemblers” than manufacturers competing on little more than price. Some of those may exit the business when margins fall too far, but if consolidation results in rising prices then you’ll see others jump in again. It’s not like hard drives where the factories that produce platters are good for nothing else: NAND is a commodity used in many things, and both LSI (who owns Sandforce) and Marvel make their bread and butter building controllers they sell to one and all, so those aren’t going away either. It’s possible that the “all in house” companies like Samsung and Intel, who have their own NAND and controllers, could establish a permanent lead over the folks who just put together commodity NAND and 3rd-party controllers, but performance is already good enough for most consumer applications, so the scope for competing on any basis other than capacity/price is limited (reliability, perhaps).

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          I think Intel and Samsung are happy to maintain higher margins by using their own flash, or possibly bin the best flash for themselves first and maintain margins through higher prices due to at least perceived superior products.

      • Shambles
      • 7 years ago

      With Seagate eyeing OCZ it’s likely coming faster than you may think. Hopefully at least the Crucials, Samsungs, and Intels continue to product competitive SSDs over the next few years. Also hopefully some of the third tier SSD markers can manage to survive as well.

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    UPDATE (I know it’s always changing): You can get the Samsumg 830P 128GB for $90 at Newegg. (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147163)

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    Judging by the color coding, I’ve deduced Geoff’s favorite SSD – the Crucial M4.

    And yeah, if there was a good way to include MIRs the charts would look quite a bit different. I’ve seen plenty of drives that are listed as higher price on the last chart at $0.62-0.67/GB with MIR.

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