NAND Flash Memory Pricing Nosedive Means Cheap, Large Capacity SSDs Are Coming For Everyone
Your next solid state drive (SSD) upgrade might offer more storage for your dollar than any previous SSD purchase. DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, forecasts that the average selling price of NAND flash memory chips will drop 10 percent sequentially in the third and fourth quarters of this year, despite Q3 traditionally being the peak season for consumer electronics.
Growth in consumer electronic sales has been weaker than expected. Pile on top of that expanding an expanding supply of 3D NAND flash memory chips and you have the making of a near-perfect storm for lower prices. In theory, this should lead to cheaper SSDs. It could also lead to larger capacity drives in the marketplace.
"The effects of the price decline are not all negative because lower NAND Flash prices can actually encourage device makers to raise the density (storage) specifications of their products," DRAMeXchange says.
We have already seen this to some extent in the smartphone market. There are a few different flagship models that tout 256GB and even 512GB of onboard storage. In the mid to high-end segment, many smartphone makers have gone from offering 32GB and 64GB SKUs of any particular model, to 64GB and 128GB options.
This trend will continue for the foreseeable future. DRAMeXchange anticipates prices will keep falling into at least the first half of 2019, which is traditionally a slow season. On top of that, Toshiba is opening a new chip manufacturing plant that should be operational next year.
In the meantime, you can already score some nice deals on larger capacity SSDs, particularly in the 2.5-inch SATA category. Here are few that we found with a quick search on Amazon:
Performance varies by model, obviously, though any of the above models would be a significant improve over a mechanical hard drive. You can also find deals on faster NVMe drives. They're more expensive than SATA, but if you need faster performance from your storage, there are some compelling options out there, like a 250GB Samsung 960 Evo for $101. That's 22 percent below its normal price.