Brace Yourself: SSDs Are Expected to Get More Expensive

Expert Verified By

Prices Will Go Up By By 25% in Q2-2024

Story Highlight
  • SSDs have always been significantly more expensive than hard drives, costing 3-5 times more depending on the variant.
  • Samsung has now started cutting back on the production of NAND flash memory, increasing prices, which will only continue for the next years.
  • The higher price of SSDs leaves budget gamers in a tough spot when it comes to storage options.

SSDs had continuously decreased in price for the last couple of years, and I was happy with that change. If that trend continued I could see SSD prices closing in on HDDs in just a couple more years. However, that is no longer the case, with prices rising again due to the decrease in overall NAND manufacturing from Samsung.

As someone who uses SSDs to store most of my games, I found this to be a rather alarming issue, especially considering the larger sizes of modern games as well as the requirement of storing games in SSDs for a lag-free experience. To put that into perspective, let’s first look at the storage requirements for modern video games.

Video Game Requirements

In the past few years, we have all noticed a lot of games started recommending SSDs in their requirements, with Alan Wake 2, Phantom Liberty, and Starfield being just a few examples. This was done to guarantee faster load times for the user while also avoiding stuttering issues one might face with slower hard drives.

The change was even highlighted in CD Projekt RED’s update notes for the Phantom Liberty expansion, with them stating:

“One of the changes is the choice to stop supporting HDDs for the minimum requirements โ€“ SSDs offer faster loading times, improved streaming, and better overall performance when compared to HDDs.”

Alan Wake 2 System Requirements
Alan Wake 2 System Requirements Via Epic Games

Now that developers have started imposing SSD requirements for triple-A titles, it’s safe to assume that their prices will continue to drop right? Well, that’s almost entirely wrong since the disparity between HDD and SSD prices is only set to increase further with the recent news of price hikes.

Since I used to utilize cheap hard drives as game storage, the shift to much more expensive SSDs for game storage is something I can’t quite sit right, especially when you look at soaring video game sizes.

Gen 5 Drive Prices

Now that PCIe Gen 5.0 SSDs are here, I’ve seen a lot of people interested in investing in them. However, the outrageous prices of brand-new SSDs are not justified in my opinion, given the little performance benefits they offer for tasks such as gaming.

For gaming alone, I’d recommend sticking to older Gen 3.0 and Gen 4.0 drives, since they will provide adequate load times while being compatible with relatively affordable motherboards.

Where Do Prices Currently Stand?

Right now, I am able to find great deals on brand-new SSDs. While that might not apply to PCIe 5.0 storage NVMes, it still holds true for some of the most popular Gen 3 and Gen 4 drives in the market. To put that into perspective, the Crucial P3 Plus still costs around $50, which is still a solid price tag.

Price History Of The Crucial P3 Plus 500
Image Via PCPartPicker

However, if you compare that to last year’s prices, that’s almost a 50% increase! Not only that, but it’s also safe to assume that prices are going to increase further in late 2024. If you have been thinking of investing in storage, it would be better to get a hold of it now instead of waiting.

Future Of SSD Prices

Since NAND manufacturers have dropped production by 50%, I can’t really see SSD prices going back down for quite some time. Prices throughout the entirety of 2024 are going to be increasing, which means you can expect a 30% increase by the end of this year.

NAND Flash Prices
Image Via TrendForce

Budget PC Builds With SSDs

In my opinion, those looking to build a budget PC are the ones affected by the high SSD prices the most. In line with recent PC hardware prices, the highest capacity SSD you can opt for in a budget of $500 is 256 Gigabytes. That is if you don’t compromise on any of the other components.

Furthermore, with a smaller overall budget, you will also be left out from accessing the latest SSD variants, only being left with enough budget to fit Gen 3.0 or SATA-based SSDs. For now, I found that the only real solution for budget PC builders is to either compromise on other variants or opt for a hard drive, which is a real shame considering the demanding nature of today’s applications.

Bottom Line

Put simply, the demand for SSDs has increased, with most developers urging people to store games on their SSDs. However, the prices of SSDs show an upward trend. I am not really a fan of the increase in price, especially considering how the prices of higher-capacity SSDs were not exactly affordable to begin with.

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