In March, I predicted that we’d see SSDs selling for $1 per GB by late 2012. I’m happy to say it’s possible we may get there sooner than that.
In fact, if you shop around now, it’s possible to find USB flash drives for very close to $1 per GB, and sometimes you can get an SSD for $1 per GB if you find a sale. It will be short-lived, you can’t be picky about brand or controller, and you’ll probably have to deal with a rebate, but you can do it.
Pricing looks to drop because DDR3 RAM is increasingly unprofitable, so manufacturers are looking to shift capacity to flash memory, which is more profitable. That, in turn, will probably cause DDR3 prices to go up a bit. But increased volume in flash memory will drive SSD prices down.
OCZ and Kingston, of late, have been especially aggressive in selling SSDs for around $1 per GB for short periods of time. Right now the Kingston V+100 96 GB SSD sells for around $130, but has reached the $100 mark, reportedly, this year. (I haven’t seen it that low). Checking Dealnews.com reveals the occasional deal on OCZ drives, especially the 60 and 120 GB models, at around $1 per GB. Regular pricing on these drives is typically closer to $1.60 per GB right now, which is still lower than it was in March. About 20% lower.
At that pace, perhaps by next March we’ll be in the $1.25-$1.30 range per GB, and $1 per GB this time next year. I’m talking mainstream prices there, without shopping around for short-lived promotions and messing with rebates.
USB flash drives will reach the $1 per GB level before SSDs do. A flash drive can get away with using a much simpler controller, since it’s pretty safe to assume they’ll get a lot fewer write-rewrite cycles than an SSD would get. And the flash drive can get away with using slower memory if it’s available and cheaper, since it’s limited by the USB connection.
If you’re shopping for either, before paying regular price, it’s probably wise to do a price check with the Camelizer first.