Discussion ITT: We predict how low the price floor on 120GB/128GB SSD drops

Mar 27, 2009
12,952
31
106
#1
Last edited:

Hellhammer

AnandTech Emeritus
Apr 25, 2011
701
0
81
#2
$30 would be a 14% drop from the current price, which is plausible given that annual NAND price drops have been in the 20-25% range and the lack of DRAM also lowers the BOM by a bit.

I don't think 120/128GB SSDs will drop much lower than that, perhaps $25 being the bottom. Even though NAND is getting cheaper, the cost includes so many other components (controller, assembly, validation, shipping, retailer margins...) that the NAND cost is starting to be marginal in the grand scheme of things.
 

JimmiG

Platinum Member
Feb 24, 2005
2,026
1
106
#3
I don't think 120/128GB SSDs will drop much lower than that, perhaps $25 being the bottom. Even though NAND is getting cheaper, the cost includes so many other components (controller, assembly, validation, shipping, retailer margins...) that the NAND cost is starting to be marginal in the grand scheme of things.
I agree, the profit margins would be practically non-existent. What will probably happen is 240/250 GB replaces the lower capacities in that price bracket, and 120/128 GB gets phased out.
 
May 7, 2002
10,378
1
126
#4
Yeah, I don't see the lower capacity ones being around for much longer.
As they get higher density NAND, the less they will need to use, and 256GB will take the place.

Pretty much like how all the low capacity HDs have all but vanished.
 

master_shake_

Diamond Member
May 22, 2012
6,430
1
121
#5
i think a better way to measure will always be price/gb.

i would like to see something like sub 15 cent per gigabyte.
 
Feb 25, 2011
16,342
121
126
#6
Yeah, I don't see the lower capacity ones being around for much longer.
As they get higher density NAND, the less they will need to use, and 256GB will take the place.

Pretty much like how all the low capacity HDs have all but vanished.
This.

New HDDs have cost a minimum of $50 for a long time. (Not counting new old stock and clearance sales.) The sizes have gotten bigger but cost hasn't gone down. It costs too much money to mine the metal, print the boxes, etc.

With SSDs, same thing. $40 a few years ago would get you a 32GB SSD. Now it gets you a 120GB one. Doesn't mean we're flush with $10 32GB SSDs.

In a couple more quarters, those ~$65 240GB-class parts will drop enough to replace them completely. It's more a question of which manufacturer gets sick and tired of having 120GB SKUs first.
 

Essence_of_War

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2013
2,649
0
76
#7
This.

New HDDs have cost a minimum of $50 for a long time. (Not counting new old stock and clearance sales.) The sizes have gotten bigger but cost hasn't gone down. It costs too much money to mine the metal, print the boxes, etc.

With SSDs, same thing. $40 a few years ago would get you a 32GB SSD. Now it gets you a 120GB one. Doesn't mean we're flush with $10 32GB SSDs.

In a couple more quarters, those ~$65 240GB-class parts will drop enough to replace them completely. It's more a question of which manufacturer gets sick and tired of having 120GB SKUs first.
This is basically the hardware counterpart to the distinction between Amdahl and Gustafson's law in software :thumbsup:
 
Mar 27, 2009
12,952
31
106
#8
Yeah, I don't see the lower capacity ones being around for much longer.
As they get higher density NAND, the less they will need to use, and 256GB will take the place.

Pretty much like how all the low capacity HDs have all but vanished.
Hard drive platter capacity is commonly 1TB for 3.5" and 500GB for 2.5" so making a low capacity HDD (160GB, etc) requires a short stroked platter.....and short stroked low capacity HDD costs the same to make as full capacity HDD.

But NAND dies are still low enough capacity that even when they get denser it would still take two to make a 120GB or 128GB SSD.
 
Last edited:

StrangerGuy

Diamond Member
May 9, 2004
8,399
9
91
#9
They should be dropping like rocks because they are practically worthless. Even my fully updated Win7 on a 240GB Evo is already using up 160GB without anything major apps installed.
 
Aug 22, 2004
13,109
7
106
#10
I agree, the profit margins would be practically non-existent. What will probably happen is 240/250 GB replaces the lower capacities in that price bracket, and 120/128 GB gets phased out.
I will buy 250gb SSDs like candy at $35/pop. They're the minimum I think for general use PCs.
 
Mar 27, 2009
12,952
31
106
#11
They should be dropping like rocks because they are practically worthless. Even my fully updated Win7 on a 240GB Evo is already using up 160GB without anything major apps installed.
Windows 7 full updated with Microsoft Security Essentials installed takes up 30GB.

And with a 120GB SSD having 111GB of space available that leaves 81GB free. Assuming the person leaves 20% capacity free to keep performance consistency up that would leave 58.8 GB available (111 x .8 = 88.8 GB. 88.8 GB - 30GB for Windows 7 installation leaves 58.8 GB available).

58.8 GB free capacity available is not bad for an office PC.

In contrast a 60GB SSD has 56GB available and with 20% capacity reserved to keep performance consistency up only leaves 14.8GB available after OS installation (56 x .8 = 44.8 GB. 44.8GB - 30GB for Windows 7 leaves 14.8 GB available).

For this reason I think we will see 120GB viewed as a practical capacity and mostly likely see the price floor drop more than what we saw with 60GB.
 
Last edited:
Aug 22, 2004
13,109
7
106
#12
Windows 7 full updated with Microsoft Security Essentials installed takes up 30GB.
My Surface 3 with 128gb storage ships with 115gb usable and 100 free - Windows 10 using 15gb of storage. This is pre-updates. I will run Windows update and see what it uses fully updated.
 

JimmiG

Platinum Member
Feb 24, 2005
2,026
1
106
#13
Windows tends to grow over time, mostly due to the WinSxS folder. My Win7 install from release day (2009) was enormous by the time I switched mobos and re-formatted C: in 2013.
Also, remember to run the disk cleanup wizzard after updating, especially if installing a major update.
 

fire400

Diamond Member
Nov 21, 2005
5,138
5
81
#14
with a clean windows 8.1 or w10 installation + microsoft office without recovery partitions, 64GB SSD would do it for some individuals that just need the Internet and documents stored on a Windows PC, no music, games, movies or pictures at all.

i like 128gb much better though, 'cuz extra headroom for nearly $10 more, doubled from 64gb to 120gb/128gb, "yes" all the way..

rounded up to $40 with free shipping and no tax for a select few, that's pretty much disposable compared to what we paid for HDD's twenty years ago.
 

pitz

Senior member
Feb 11, 2010
461
1
0
#15
I guess the question is how long does the discrete SATA form factor last for drives that small? Certainly the cost of production for a mSATA / M.2 (PCI-E) SSD is less than that of the full-blown 2.5" 7mm SATA form factor. And there are interposers available if someone wants to convert a mSATA to the SATA form factor.

Taking it a step further, won't the OEMs just start soldering 128gb of SSD onto the laptop motherboards and call it a day? I know -- that probably won't really "fly" in the enterprise all that well (where its pretty much a cardinal rule that such forms of embedded storage require complete laptop destruction upon disposal), but for lower-end consumer devices, its just an extension of the paradigm already well-used in tablets, phones, etc.
 
Aug 25, 2001
44,141
715
126
#16
They should be dropping like rocks because they are practically worthless. Even my fully updated Win7 on a 240GB Evo is already using up 160GB without anything major apps installed.
Then you have something wrong with your install. A fully-updated Win7 64-bit install still fits on a 50GB SSD, with room to spare. (Just did that a day ago, and updated it today.)
 
Aug 25, 2001
44,141
715
126
#17
Taking it a step further, won't the OEMs just start soldering 128gb of SSD onto the laptop motherboards and call it a day? I know -- that probably won't really "fly" in the enterprise all that well (where its pretty much a cardinal rule that such forms of embedded storage require complete laptop destruction upon disposal), but for lower-end consumer devices, its just an extension of the paradigm already well-used in tablets, phones, etc.
We already see that on budget (Atom-class) laptops / netbooks - it's called "eMMC". It's a BGA chip that gets soldered onto the motherboard.
 
Aug 25, 2001
44,141
715
126
#18
New HDDs have cost a minimum of $50 for a long time. (Not counting new old stock and clearance sales.) The sizes have gotten bigger but cost hasn't gone down. It costs too much money to mine the metal, print the boxes, etc.
No, it's just the HDD companies "price-fixing" since the floods. Before the floods, I purchased several WD 500GB HDDs, on a Memorial Day sale at Newegg, for $37 FS ea.

More recently, I've been picking up Toshiba P300 1TB HDDs for $45 FS ea., and Newegg's most recent email sales flyer on their site, has a combo deal with two Seagate 7200RPM 1TB HDDs, for like $85 total.
 
Feb 25, 2011
16,342
121
126
#19
No, it's just the HDD companies "price-fixing" since the floods. Before the floods, I purchased several WD 500GB HDDs, on a Memorial Day sale at Newegg, for $37 FS ea.

More recently, I've been picking up Toshiba P300 1TB HDDs for $45 FS ea., and Newegg's most recent email sales flyer on their site, has a combo deal with two Seagate 7200RPM 1TB HDDs, for like $85 total.
Sales don't really count, since they are often loss leaders.

And the floor for HDD prices were pretty stable before the floods too.
 
Mar 27, 2009
12,952
31
106
#20
We already see that on budget (Atom-class) laptops / netbooks - it's called "eMMC". It's a BGA chip that gets soldered onto the motherboard.
These also exist:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/10166/samsung-demos-its-first-bga-ssd





And I do wonder how they will compare to eMMC?

P.S. I thought the following post from Hellhammer was pretty interesting:

http://forums.anandtech.com/showpost.php?p=38117712&postcount=3

The amount of parallelism doesn't actually change because the 32-layer 128Gbit part was a single-plane design, whereas the new 48-layer 256Gbit die is dual-plane. A plane can process one read, program or erase operation at a time, hence parallelism stays the same since capacity per plane remains at 128Gbit.
(So as the future TLC V-NAND dies become higher capacity with more layers I wondering if/hoping the amount of parallelism remains the same as a greater amount of lower capacity dies)
 
Last edited:

Hellhammer

AnandTech Emeritus
Apr 25, 2011
701
0
81
#21
(So as the future TLC V-NAND dies become higher capacity with more layers I wondering if/hoping the amount of parallelism remains the same as a greater amount of lower capacity dies)
On a per die basis there's eventually going to be a loss in parallelism. Multi-plane technology is actually nothing new and has been widely used for years (e.g. 840 EVO used four-plane planar TLC), but while it adds parallelism within the die, it also increases the die size and complexity. Hence increasing the number of planes infinitely isn't an efficient solution.

However, the decrease in parallelism is offset by the increasing minimum capacity. NAND performance is only a problem at small capacities where the amount of parallelism is limited, so by doubling the smallest capacity the parallelism can be kept equal.

This is how it's been done for all these years. When die capacities increase the smallest capacity is discontinued and replaced by the nexr highest capacity. 3D NAND obviously has the benefit that the cell size isn't shrank so there's no performance loss on a per cell basis.
 

StinkyPinky

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2002
6,419
103
126
#22
They should be dropping like rocks because they are practically worthless. Even my fully updated Win7 on a 240GB Evo is already using up 160GB without anything major apps installed.

Something is wrong then. No way should it be using even half of that space. There's a great application called WinDirStat that will scan your C for crap and tell you which folders are taking space (and list them for you). Very useful, I cleared about 30gb of crap from my wifes pc even after I had thought I'd cleaned it out myself. Windows is beyond atrocious when it comes to cleaning itself.
 

hojnikb

Senior member
Sep 18, 2014
553
26
91
#23
On a per die basis there's eventually going to be a loss in parallelism. Multi-plane technology is actually nothing new and has been widely used for years (e.g. 840 EVO used four-plane planar TLC), but while it adds parallelism within the die, it also increases the die size and complexity. Hence increasing the number of planes infinitely isn't an efficient solution.

However, the decrease in parallelism is offset by the increasing minimum capacity. NAND performance is only a problem at small capacities where the amount of parallelism is limited, so by doubling the smallest capacity the parallelism can be kept equal.

This is how it's been done for all these years. When die capacities increase the smallest capacity is discontinued and replaced by the nexr highest capacity. 3D NAND obviously has the benefit that the cell size isn't shrank so there's no performance loss on a per cell basis.
Wow, never knew they made 4 plane flash. Explains the pretty good TLC performance out of this drive. ^_^^_^
 
Mar 27, 2009
12,952
31
106
#24
Last edited:


ASK THE COMMUNITY