Seagate: SSDs Will Never Match Per-Gigabyte Costs Of HDDs

Megalith

24-bit/48kHz
Staff member
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
13,003
While Seagate could be right and SSDs will never be as affordable as HDDs, even high-capacity SSDs should be reasonably priced in the future.

Prices of solid-state drives have declined dramatically in the recent years because NAND flash got significantly cheaper as a result of numerous technological breakthroughs and tough competition between several players. SanDisk Corp. and Toshiba Corp. predict that by 2020 the cost of non-volatile memory will decline so significantly that enterprise-class SSDs will match prices of enterprise-class hard disk drives in terms of per-gigabyte price. Seagate strongly disagrees with this prediction.
 

Grentz

Fully [H]
Joined
May 5, 2006
Messages
17,144
Reasonable price is not the same as cheaper/same price as. I have no doubt SSDs will get very cheap and cost effective, but standard HDDs have been dropping in price as well and gaining capacity that keeps them ahead in the $/gb realm.
 

fdiaz78

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Messages
2,123
I haven't purchased a platters hd for myself in years and have been recommending my clients to go with ssd's when hd size is not critical. Even then you can purchase a half gigabyte drive now for reasonable prices
 

Spire3660

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
1,032
Reasonable price is not the same as cheaper/same price as. I have no doubt SSDs will get very cheap and cost effective, but standard HDDs have been dropping in price as well and gaining capacity that keeps them ahead in the $/gb realm.
HDDs are NOT getting cheaper. i paid $90 for 3tb four years ago. it has yet to go below that price again. We are averaging around $35/TB right now on spinning rust.
 

trparky

Gawd
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
971
SSDs don't need to be as big as traditional hard drives are.

If they can get a 500 GB SSD to be roughly $75 to $100 that would be the sweet spot for pricing on an SSD. Most people don't need more than 500 GBs of storage for the drive that holds your most used data, operating system, and programs. Everything else can be shoved off onto one of those larger hard drives for archival purposes.

I myself have a 500 GB SSD and it's more than enough to hold Windows, my most used programs, and some data as well. I'm only using half the storage capacity of the SSD. I'm sure that the average person wouldn't come close to filling a 500 GB SSD either.

We just need to get this idea out of people's heads when buying a new computer that a freakin' super large hard drive isn't necessary.
 

trparky

Gawd
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
971
Oh... and Seagate, please stop blowing hot air out of your mouth and improve hard drive reliability. Your reliability is shit.
 

pothb

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
4,997
All hdds have pretty bad reliability every now and then...
I've not had seagates fail on me... but I don't go crazy on HDDs apparently. Only one failed and that's a maxtor that was pretty damn old.

Anyway, SSDs don't need the price to be as low, It needs to be worth the price difference and not have writing limitations. I have not looked it up, but that's still a... sort of an issue right? I heard it isn't as much of an issue anymore, but that's all.
 

rat

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,915
HDDs are NOT getting cheaper. i paid $90 for 3tb four years ago. it has yet to go below that price again. We are averaging around $35/TB right now on spinning rust.
4 1/2 years ago I paid $40, NEW, for a Samsung 2TB drive. Cheapest NON Seagate (refuse to ever buy them again) 2TB drive I can find now is $64.95.

There's a reason SSDs have picked up despite having a higher price per GB aside from noise and speed... hard drive makers got fucking greedy.
 

GotNoRice

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
9,600
spinning rust
lol SSDs get trendy and all of a sudden people think they are a forum badass for making snarky comments about mechanical storage :p

BTW, I still have functional hard drives from the 1980's that don't have a spec of rust on them. If your hard drives are rusting, you should probably investigate what you are doing wrong.

This obviously comes down to what your storage needs are. If you don't store much, then go ahead and have an SSD as your only drive. It would be like having a sports car as your only car, but if you don't have a family and only need two seats, maybe that is good enough. I haven't added mechanical storage to my main computer in quite some time, but I am up to over 30TB in my File Server. Wake me up when I can do that using SSDs without paying the price of a car.
 

SixFootDuo

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 5, 2004
Messages
5,638
Over the years I've trained myself not use SSD's for storage.

While I would love to have massive SSD's I just am not sure how I would use them at this point in time. Be very cool if this happens.

For now, here are benchmarks for my new Samsung 1tb 850 evo ( 2 x 500gb raid0 )

 

Hornet

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Messages
6,612
I think the problem with mechanical HDD is that platter density is reaching it's limits, and it's difficult to continue increasing it's density without introducing some new technology like helium tech or the laser tech Seagate is developing, all of which will actually increase the cost of these high capacity HDD. Even then, they cannot continue increasing it's density indefinitely. There's only so much you can do when you have to physically imprint your data on a surface.

On seminconductor however, there's still a long way to go before we hit a physical limit of how many memory cell you can cramp into a chip (and how many of them you can have in a drive). And it would be way beyond anything you can achieve on a physical drive.

Semiconductor also have the advantage of being cheaper per component as it's process technology continues to improve and shrink. Whether the cost of SSD can be cheaper per capacity than HDD in the long run remains to be seen, but I wouldn't rule them out. It may happen once conventional HDD hits a capacity wall.
 

dvsman

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 2, 2009
Messages
3,153
RE: Consumer HDs

The problem for Seagate is that the case size 7.5 or 9.5mm are limited, you can only fit so many spinning disks in them. But dram capacity seems to be shrinking more and more with stacking or 3D or all sorts of alternative tech all fitting into the same size case. Given the recent intel announcement (I think it was intel at least), there looks to be a giant leap forward in SSD capacity coming down the road in the next few years as well. As people have already posted, traditional HDs seem to be reaching their max size. The only place for HD prices to go is up.

Why would I say this? Check google news on Seagate and other HD makers.

Remember: low prices come from economies of scale and are based upon a large volume of production and sale. As people stop buying HDs (like the last few years), they will make less. As they make less, the prices for each unit will go up. If HD prices go up, they lose their last bit of competitiveness with SSDs (where prices are only going to go down).
 

maxius

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 17, 2001
Messages
3,370
While Seagate could be right and SSDs will never be as affordable as HDDs, even high-capacity SSDs should be reasonably priced in the future.

Prices of solid-state drives have declined dramatically in the recent years because NAND flash got significantly cheaper as a result of numerous technological breakthroughs and tough competition between several players. SanDisk Corp. and Toshiba Corp. predict that by 2020 the cost of non-volatile memory will decline so significantly that enterprise-class SSDs will match prices of enterprise-class hard disk drives in terms of per-gigabyte price. Seagate strongly disagrees with this prediction.
Very boastful how about reinventing the wheel of spinning media lets see quieter hd's with faster spindle speeds 10k/15k/30k+ RPM and above 200mb/s read/write. the HDD needs to catch up to current tech.
 

Flogger23m

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
10,707
If they can get a 500 GB SSD to be roughly $75 to $100 that would be the sweet spot for pricing on an SSD.
That is still rather pricey. $75-100 can buy you 2TB of data on an HDD. So I'd have to spend 4+ times the amount just to be able to hold as much data as I did 3 years ago, while now using significantly more space than I did back then.

Keep in mind the time you spend uninstalling, reinstalling later (because you had to temporarily move to make space) or finding things to delete. The loading time you save with SSDs will flatten out. And filled SSDs install stuff slow, so you won't want to be running the drive when its almost full. My files are getting bigger as time goes on, and I keep adding more. At the same time, programs are getting significantly larger. I don't want to continue using the same capacity as it fills up.

Now if all you do is facebook, then yes, 500GB is plenty. But I suspect that group is dwindling in use as they all use phones these days in place of computers. The average person doesn't use their computer for anything as hard as that may sound.
 

Lunas

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 22, 2001
Messages
9,876
Only because seagate will refuse to price them like that...

5 years ago a 32 gig sd card was 50-60 bucks 10 years ago it was 200+ today I see 32GB cards going for 11 dollars... ssd are more like to follow those type of trends than hdd so I actually see the opposite of what seagate is saying happening ssd will be cheaper than hdd due to the fact less rare earth material is in a ssd.

Some ssd are already inline with the costs of hdd.

There is one reason seagate is saying this and that is a pr spin to make the new laser guided hdd they have relevent going forward when they should not have even wasted the r&d costs on it.
 

hdgamer

Gawd
Joined
Sep 28, 2009
Messages
816
Problem is with large capacity ssd's vs hdd's is if you have one fail, you can at least recover from a failed hdd. As far as I know, when an ssd fails it's toast along with all the info on it. And doesn't it have a certain time frame of storing info when not plugged into anything?
 

trparky

Gawd
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
971
That is still rather pricey. $75-100 can buy you 2TB of data on an HDD.
...
Now if all you do is facebook, then yes, 500GB is plenty.
Not really.

I have Windows installed on my boot SSD along with a bunch of programs including games and my data such as documents, pictures, etc. and I'm only using half the storage capacity of my 500 GB SSD.

Most people don't store nearly the amount of data that I do on my SSD let alone the amount of programs I install. So for the vast majority of people a 500 GB SSD would be more than sufficient for their needs. Keep the big HDD for data archival purposes.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2013
Messages
539
lol @ using HDDs for anything other than backup

I laugh anytime I see people with quad SLI Titan Xs with an SSD "OS drive" while running their games on HDDs.
 

Quartz-1

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 20, 2011
Messages
4,257
I've got to disagree with Seagate. While 5 years is optimistic, I fully expect to see price parity within a decade. The thing is, with SSDs, it's purely a matter of scale. You just (gross simplification alert!) wire up enough chips to hit your capacity and price points. And the latter depends upon how cheaply they can be printed and fab capacity.
 

FLECOM

Modder(ator) & [H]ardest Folder Evar
Staff member
Joined
Jun 27, 2001
Messages
15,695
BTW, I still have functional hard drives from the 1980's that don't have a spec of rust on them. If your hard drives are rusting, you should probably investigate what you are doing wrong.
either you didn't get the joke or don't understand how magnetic media works ;)

also nobody cares what Seagate thinks, they need to make hard drives that don't suck first
 

pxc

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 22, 2000
Messages
33,064
I think flash memory scaling is overoptimistic in some of the prior posts. 3D stacked NAND flash is facing some large problems on bulk processes beyond the next node. While increasing the number of stacks can extend density improvements, the process may be moving from bulk to (FD)SOI to get another couple of shrinks.

The cost of 3DXP isn't as low as bulk silicon NAND flash, so it could be a while before there's price parity between solid state and magnetic storage in the TB range.
 

BillR

Born Again Cynic
Joined
Feb 17, 2002
Messages
18,540
Were DVDs ever cheaper than VCR tapes?
VHS blanks hit the market back in the 70's and started at about $30.00 a pop.

If you wanted to buy an actual movie to watch they were $60.00 and up which is how the rental business started, nobody would buy a pre-recorded movie at that price.
 

Lunas

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 22, 2001
Messages
9,876
VHS blanks hit the market back in the 70's and started at about $30.00 a pop.

If you wanted to buy an actual movie to watch they were $60.00 and up which is how the rental business started, nobody would buy a pre-recorded movie at that price.
Were DVDs ever cheaper than VCR tapes?
the switch happened around 2004-2006 vhs was declared dead in 2008
 

BillR

Born Again Cynic
Joined
Feb 17, 2002
Messages
18,540
I think flash memory scaling is overoptimistic in some of the prior posts. 3D stacked NAND flash is facing some large problems on bulk processes beyond the next node. While increasing the number of stacks can extend density improvements, the process may be moving from bulk to (FD)SOI to get another couple of shrinks.

The cost of 3DXP isn't as low as bulk silicon NAND flash, so it could be a while before there's price parity between solid state and magnetic storage in the TB range.
Memory prices (of any type) have come a long way. Back in 1985 I had a need to use a program in FoxPro and my then new Zenith 286/6 needed RAM...Unheard of amounts of RAM at the time, 2 megabytes.

The only way to get that much RAM in that day was add on cards filled with 256k chips. I need two cards and they ran me a grand each which was a huge OUCH!!!

Now as we all know 16 gigs of DDR-3 can be had for about $100.00 or so, DDR-4 will soon be hitting that price point as well.

It's all relative, the prices on SSD will drop as they become the standard (not counting for inflation etc.)

It's just the natural flow of the business.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
814
SSDs don't need to be as big as traditional hard drives are.

If they can get a 500 GB SSD to be roughly $75 to $100 that would be the sweet spot for pricing on an SSD. Most people don't need more than 500 GBs of storage for the drive that holds your most used data, operating system, and programs. Everything else can be shoved off onto one of those larger hard drives for archival purposes.

I myself have a 500 GB SSD and it's more than enough to hold Windows, my most used programs, and some data as well. I'm only using half the storage capacity of the SSD. I'm sure that the average person wouldn't come close to filling a 500 GB SSD either.

We just need to get this idea out of people's heads when buying a new computer that a freakin' super large hard drive isn't necessary.
500gb ? maybe for you perhaps. you don't sound like you do much media archiving :rolleyes:

from my own usage, 512gb on my samsung 850 pro, this is now the bare minimum for my OS drive, as well as for games, and apps.

For actual download storage .... i previously used 2 x 1tb hdds, one of which was dying, so i replaced with a 1x4tb HGST 7k4000 enterprise drive due to it's higher mbtf.

theres actually now recently been a refresh for 4-6tb drives by Western Digital, which has a higher cache. Whether it is as reliable as hgst i wasn't sure, but i wasn't going to take a chance. But their most likely better than seagate however.

6tb+ they may now be resorting to different hdd developments such as helium, shingled and HAMR to achieve. And those types of technology is more suited for archival, rather than running actual apps from, which may actually make sense, because apps don't really need as much space compared to videos and music (flac anyway).

considering some games are now reaching between 20-60gb, 512gb is not going to be nearly enough, if your going to be installing a couple of games similar to that size range, ontop of your OS, as all as other applications being present. Not to mention that higher capacity ssds tend to have better performance, which is why 512gb ssds seem to be where performance tends to be better compared to hdds, vs say 60gb ssds where the speed is not that much better than a hdd if interpreted these articles right. maybe things have chance with ssd technology thats tries to achieve speeds similar to the higher capacity ssds via tweaks in controller i guess.

seems to me though that NAND ssd, will be irrelevant once intel/micron's x-point arrives sometime in 2016-2018 because of even better latency, performance, endurance, better scaling for capacity, cheaper to make (from what i read though initially it may be priced between ddr and current nand pricing, though that is just an estimate).

NAND is only going survive if they can keep prices competitive against x-point once that comes out, and even then i think for main OS drives, people would still pay out more just to own one. And may use nand ssds if they are cheaper, for secondary storage for gaming ;) we will see.

nand has one issue though. it's probably not considered suitable for long term storage, because it's been shown that if a ssd is not powered after weeks or months, you start losing data. in hdds you don't have this problem, which is magnetic weakness that does happen, but can easily be fixed using apps like diskfresh to restrenghten the magnetic strength that holds the data. and it will also be scheduled automatically ^^; you'd still need to manually do a chkdsk /f /r /x /b for your hdds once a year to counter bit rot, cause were still using an outdated ntfs :{

anyway sorry for digressing but back to storage..... in addition to 512gb ssd + 4tb hdd which i use for my desktop itself. I also use 6x2tb for my NAS. I also have an additional 5x1tb for another NAS. both NAS used for long term storage and also backup. whereas 4tb hdd on desktop if for downloads to my pc as a temp storage, though i tend to leave it there unless it's really worth keeping which i would then forward to my NAS later :p

for videos, h265 is only just being tested these days, and hasn't yet really become the mainstream just yet. h265 encoding is good because it saves on capacity storage because the file size is lesser than a h264 but achieves the same quality but using better compression. So until it does, videos will still be using either h264/x264 for now :x

anyway my point is 500gb is not nearly enough for heavy media users or gamers for that matter.

for gamer or even a not so heavy media user, i'd suggest 4-6tb as recommended; ontop of using a 512gb ssd separately for OS along with regular apps.
 

cgrant26

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 23, 2003
Messages
3,416
the switch happened around 2004-2006 vhs was declared dead in 2008
DVD first showed up nationwide around 1998. The format exploded in popularity and In 2001, DVD sales surpassed VHS sales for the first time. In 2003, DVD rentals surpassed VHS rentals. VHS was considered a dieing format at that time. A lot of sources say VHS officially died in 2008, if you discount the 5%-10% stragglers that couldn't say goodbye to their VHS collections, VHS was dead by 2004-05.
 

Lunas

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 22, 2001
Messages
9,876
DVD first showed up nationwide around 1998. The format exploded in popularity and In 2001, DVD sales surpassed VHS sales for the first time. In 2003, DVD rentals surpassed VHS rentals. VHS was considered a dieing format at that time. A lot of sources say VHS officially died in 2008, if you discount the 5%-10% stragglers that couldn't say goodbye to their VHS collections, VHS was dead by 2004-05.
but it was around 2004-2005 when the pressed movie price in vhs and dvd equalized... and around that time when recordable dvd were cheap enough to replace blank vhs...
 

anthrex

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
1,873
HDDs are NOT getting cheaper. i paid $90 for 3tb four years ago. it has yet to go below that price again. We are averaging around $35/TB right now on spinning rust.
Yep still pissing me off that this happening. I just automatically put something here whenever HDD news come up.
 

potency

Gawd
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
848
I'd suppose that SSDs will grow in capacity and fall enough in price that eventually the demand for platter-based drives will dwindle, as their trade-offs will outweigh their raw capacity, making them a niche device, obsolete and not profitable enough for most companies to manufacture.
 

Dekoth-E-

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
7,599
I mean, the statement at face value makes perfect sense. Standard hard drives with present technology are always going to offer better Cost/Gb than a SSD. Sure we might have some breakthrough at some point that makes SSD memory density so cheap it out classes standard platters, but that is pretty unlikely. I mean, they aren't saying SSD's won't continue getting more affordable, just that platter will always be the bigger bang for your $.
 

rat

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,915
Yes, I do. I just put them on one of the four multi-Terabyte hard drives that I have connected to my computer.
Same here. My 500GB apps drive (soon to be replaced by an SSD) is barely half full... but I've got over 10TB of offline drives just for archiving. Getting a NAS with a USB port and automating a backup of the nas to the USB connected external drive was the best day of my drive managing life.
 
Top