Solid State Drives are faster, more energy efficient, and quieter than hard drives, just to name a few of the reasons many computer users prefer SSDs over HDDs. But they also cost more, which is why you often find laptops with 1TB hard drives selling for less than models with 256GB SSDs.

That’s probably not going to change this year. Analysts at DRAMeXchange report that mainstream SSD prices are expected to go up by as much as 16 percent in the coming months, which means that while PC makers will probably continue to ship systems with SSDS, it’s likely that most mainstream models will continue to sport 128GB or 256GB drives rather than pricier 512GB or 1TB models.

There are multiple reasons for the price increase. But they basically boil down to supply and demand.

PC and phone makers are buying up inventory in order to meet customer demand. But at the same time, SSD manufacturers are shifting their focus away from existing 2D-NAND MLC solid state storage to 2D-NAND TLC and 3D-NAND storage technologies.

All told, that’s driving up the price of the formerly cheap(ish) stuff.

So the same thing that’s been true for the past few years will likely continue to be true for much of 2017: if you want faster storage, buy a device with an SSD. If you want more storage and don’t care as much about the speeds, get a HDD. And if you want the best of both worlds, consider a hybrid solution that uses both technologies, with the operating system and software running from an SSD, and a large hard drive holding all of your documents, music, movies, photos, and other files.

via ComputerWorld

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8 replies on “Rising SSD prices mean most 2017 laptops will probably have 256GB or less”

  1. I’m still running mostly spinning discs. But then again I haven’t built a machine for almost 5 years now…

  2. Maybe someone should try another round with the SSHD hybrids, only this time use a 128GB+ SSD that is user-accessible as a partition.

    1. Probably too complicated and too expensive to be worthwhile. There might be a niche for them somewhere, but with people moving to the cloud (and streaming) for music and video, the need for terabytes of local data is greatly reduced.

  3. And yet, older SSD technology is still stupidly fast and robust for almost any use case. This underscores the advantage of skimping on RAM and storage upgrades for PCs if you don’t mind popping open the case yourself and buying cheap storage. Unless you’re a power user who needs incredibly high performance, even a bargain-brand SSD will be more than adequate. I’ve used SSDs from a variety of manufacturers and the day-to-day performance is only marginally different between them (Intel, Samsung, Sandisk, Silicon Power, and Adata; these have been paired with everything from the Core 2 Quad Q6700 to a mobile Skylake i7 U-series to a Trinity-based APU).

    The other funny thing to note is that SSDs tend to increase in performance as the storage size increases due to the ability to access more flash modules in parallel, so by limiting the storage size to save costs, they are at least partially offsetting the performance gains from newer manufacturing techniques. I think most people would rather use a larger SSD with slightly less performance.

    1. Good post.

      Have you ever done that on a brand new laptop or just to upgrade an older one?

      I want 500GB or larger SSD when I buy a new laptop but it is so expensive!

      1. I’ve done both. It’s been a couple of years since I bought my last laptop, and back then the upgrade price for an SSD was still twice the cost of an aftermarket 256GB SSD, so it was a no brainer to buy the machine with an HDD and then upgrade.

        It’s still worth checking upgrade prices, since manufacturers love to markup prices of add-ons and upgrades to ridiculous levels. You can buy a new 500GB SSD for around $130-$150 from places like Newegg.

        I also upgraded an old, low powered laptop (Thinkpad x100e) to an SSD and it definitely breathed new life into it. It didn’t turn the computer into a speed demon, but it was enough to get a few more months of use out of it before it finally gave up the ghost.

        In order, I have a 256GB Crucial m4, a 256GB Crucial MX100, and a 512GB Crucial MX200. All are still fully functional, though the m4 took a few months off after a bug in the firmware (long fixed) caused it to play dead after unexpected power loss.

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