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For the past few years, falling solid-state drive (SSD) prices have been one of the few bright spots for PC component consumers (or PS5 upgraders) looking for a sweet deal. As capacities increased and faster PCIe 4.0 (and then PCIe 5.0) drives became readily available, the best SSDs steadily became more and more affordable. And then in early 2023, prices basically fell off a cliff, dropping 15-30% in the first few months and another 25% in the three months after that. The middle months of this year have literally been the best time to buy an SSD ever.
But as nice as that kind of price dropoff is for consumers, it’s terrible for companies who have to saddle the massive costs of the equipment and fabs required to make SSDs. So throughout the year, we’ve seen Samsung, Micron, and Kioxia (formerly Toshiba) cut production of the NAND flash that SSDs are built around. And Western Digital and Kioxia attempted a merger that, when it fell apart, saw WD announce plans to split its hard drive and SSD divisions into two companies – a surprising move given WD only solidified itself as a major player in SSDs when it bought SanDisk in 2016. Clearly, things aren’t great in the memory business, with multiple players reporting losses and Samsung profits tanking 95% earlier this year.
But mid-way through analysts started predicting price increases for SSDs, and soon after SK Hynix predicted a rebound due to AI server demand. Then reports of revenue increases from industry players like Adata and Phison were reported, followed earlier this month by word from memory controller maker Phison (also owners of Nextorage) that the materials for SSDs are in such short supply that it has to pre-pay its suppliers. Phison is predicting a memory shortage.
Of course, limited supply combined with even the suggestion of increased demand is going to affect prices. And it seems like prices have already ticked up on many drives. As you can see on our daily updated SSD Price Index page, most drives are selling for above their lowest levels. Anecdotally, the 4TB Team Group MP34 SSD I bought earlier this year for about $150 is back down to $152 at Newegg. For those who need a lot of storage that’s much faster than even at SATA hard drive, it’s a heck of a deal.
At least some of these price bumps are likely the typical increases seen before major deal events like Black Friday. And we have seen the occasional historic low recently. Samsung’s blazing-fast 4TB 990 Pro just hit its lowest price ever at $249.
And many Nextorage drives are currently at all-time lows, like the 2TB PCIe 4.0 model that’s now down to $98. And if you want the drive for a PS5, the version with a heatsink is just $3 more.
It’s possible that the best SSD deals have already passed us by and stock is low enough that we won’t see much in the way of new lows this Black Friday deals season. But all signs seem to point to increasing solid-state storage prices heading into 2024 and for the foreseeable future. So if you need a new drive and have been holding out for a sweet deal, the coming days may be your last chance to snag one.
Of course, keep an eye on our Best Black Friday SSD and Hard Drive Deals page to find the best storage deals that crop up this season of dealing. And if you spot a drive on sale somewhere else that looks promising, head to our SSD Price Index to see if it’s ever been cheaper before.