Solid-state drives offer numerous advantages for consumers: They’re faster than hard drives, more reliable (although still susceptible to failure), and more energy efficient.
However, they’re also much more expensive. According to Diskprices.com, the least expensive internal hard drives have a price per terabyte (TB) of $10.33; the least expensive SSD has a price per TB of $47.
But that might change soon, according to analyst firm TrendForce. The firm believes that an oversupply in NAND flash memory — the technology used in most solid-state storage devices — will cause SSD prices to tumble as much as 20% by the end of 2022.
And as demand for hard drives continues to drop, it’s possible that SSD technology will reach an important milestone by the end of 2023: Price parity.
What is price parity for SSDs, and why is it important?
Price parity will occur when SSDs have the same price per TB as hard disk drives. This wouldn’t be an industry-wide change — TechRadar predicts that 2TB SSD models are more likely to reach price parity, while solid-state devices with smaller storage capacities will remain relatively expensive for the foreseeable future.
But when price parity occurs, SSDs will become more common for both consumers and enterprises. Given the benefits of solid-state technology, this makes sense — few consumers would prefer to purchase a HDD if price was not a factor.
The primary issues that could expedite or delay SSD price parity include:
- Demand. Hard drive demand is slowing, and fewer manufacturers are investing in the future of the technology. Conversely, SSDs are becoming more essential for modern computing. Microsoft recently pushed original equipment manufacturers to prioritize SSDs as boot devices, which could accelerate the trend.
- Performance improvements. SSDs are faster than hard drives, but not fast enough to justify the price difference in RAIDs, web servers, and other enterprise applications.
- Reliability improvements. SSDs also have wear leveling issues, which makes them less appropriate for certain uses — but improvements in technology could change the math.
Eventually, SSDs will almost certainly replace hard drives in most computers and servers (and in the consumer market, the shift is well underway).
However, old storage technologies don’t die easily. Data tapes, which were rendered near-obsolete by hard drive tech for most computing applications, remain a standard for data backup and archiving.
As more users switch to SSDs, it’s important to remember that all storage technologies have limitations.
At Datarecovery.com, we frequently encounter misconceptions about solid-state storage technology. While we’re big fans of SSDs, consumers should understand that no data storage device is perfectly reliable.
Some important facts to remember when shopping for your next storage device:
- SSDs are less susceptible to physical damage than hard drives, but they’re still sensitive electronic devices. Some SSDs are more susceptible to electronic damage than HDDs, and all storage devices eventually fail — regardless of their operating environments.
- Recovering deleted files from an SSD is difficult, and in many cases, impossible.
- All SSDs have a limited number of write cycles. For modern SSDs, this limit is extremely high thanks to SSD garbage collection processes, but it’s still a limitation.
Whether you buy a new hard drive or an SSD — and regardless of the price point — it’s important to back up your data. We recommend keeping at least three copies of essential files, including one off-site backup (for example, a backup to a cloud service).
If you lose data from an SSD, an HDD, or any other storage device, we’re here to help. Datarecovery.com offers free media evaluations, and our no data, no charge guarantee provides peace of mind as your case progresses. Get started by calling 1-800-237-4200 or submit a case online.