If you haven’t heard, there’s a hard drive shortage due to floods in Thailand, where many drives and/or components are made. So now, rather than 1 TB hard drives being priced lower than a tank of gas in most cars, prices are rising fast.

That will discourage upgraders, and could cause the cost of PCs to rise.

A sub-$200 PC, which is pretty much expected this time of year, depends on a steady supply of $35 hard drives. If those ultra-cheap PCs aren’t in the sales channel already, they’ll have to compensate by putting smaller drives in them. And when the supply of smaller drives dries up, the supply of really cheap PCs will go with it.

Higher-end PCs will become more scarce, and the price will rise, due to the increased cost of the drives.

It could be that SSDs will take up some of the slack. SSDs are made elsewhere, so those supplies should be safe. Increased demand could spill over into SSD prices, too.

So if you’re looking to make a mass-storage purchase, prices are going nowhere but up (and already are up approximately 25 percent in most cases). If you can put off a mass-storage purchase until spring, your wallet probably will thank you.