2011 seems to be the year storage prices stopped making sense. At least if only looking from a price / capacity point. You can now get an internal 1 TB disk for 61 Euros. However, add only 8 Euros (or +11.5%) and the capacity increases to 1.5 TB (or 50% more). Doubling the capacity to 2 TB costs only 16 Euros more (76 Euros or +25%). This is the cheapest drive though, in terms of Euros / GB. To go to 3 GB, you’ll have to pay 183 Euros. The strange thing is, that the external Western Digital My Book Essential Edition, 3TB, USB 3.0/2.0 is cheaper, at 147 Euros.

Some of this can be explained when looking closer. At 61 Euros for 1 TB, it seems WD has hit the bottom of what it costs to produce such a huge drive. The very bottom is at 38 Euros for the 500 GB drive. Furthermore, as Anand explains, the low power WD drives typically use four platters. It means that a 2 TB drive has 4 x 500 GB platters. To reach 3 TB, WD has increased the density to 750 GB per platter. And obviously, since this is still new technology it costs more. However, why the external version is significantly cheaper is still a mystery.

Still on the magnetic media, I’ve included two external 2.5 drives this time. The advantage with these is that they are USB powered, and thus very easy to transport. Why they 500 GB and 640 GB cost the same, I don’t know. At only 53 Euros, the 640 GB version makes it below 0.10 Euro / GB, which is still not bad.

The optical media have not changed at all since October last year. While the SSD is difficult to track, so I’ve added some more options. Also new this time are a few USB sticks.

Finally, I’d like to come back to the 2 TB drive at only 76.38 Euros. That means every Euro gives you 26.18 GB. In January three years ago, the cheapest drive was the WD 750 GB, at 249 Euros, or only 3.86 GB / Euro. In other words, in January 2011, you get almost seven times more capacity for the same money.

Media Type Product Capacity Price CHF Price Euros Euros / GB GBs / Euro
External 3.5 Western Digital Elements Desktop 2TB 2000 GB 98.00 76.38 0.04 26.18
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 2000 GB 99.00 77.16 0.04 25.92
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB 1500 GB 88.00 68.59 0.05 21.87
External 3.5 Western Digital Elements Desktop 3TB 3000 GB 189.00 147.31 0.05 20.36
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 1000 GB 65.00 50.66 0.05 19.74
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3000 GB 235.00 183.17 0.06 16.38
External 3.5 Western Digital Elements Desktop 1TB 1000 GB 79.00 61.57 0.06 16.24
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 2.5TB 2500 GB 209.00 162.90 0.07 15.35
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 500GB 500 GB 49.00 38.19 0.08 13.09
External 2.5 Western Digital Elements SE 640GB 640 GB 69.00 53.78 0.08 11.90
External 2.5 Western Digital Elements SE 1TB 1000 GB 109.00 84.96 0.08 11.77
External 2.5 Western Digital Elements SE 500GB 500 GB 69.00 53.78 0.11 9.30
DVD-R Verbatim 16x DVD-R 100 @ 4,7GB 470 GB 91.00 70.93 0.15 6.63
Blu-ray Verbatim BD-R SL 25 @ 50GB 1250 GB 251.00 195.64 0.16 6.39
Blu-ray Verbatim BD-R 25 @ 25GB 625 GB 136.00 106.00 0.17 5.90
DVD+R DL Verbatim 8x DVD+R DL 25 @ 8,5GB 213 GB 53.00 41.31 0.19 5.14
CD-R Verbatim CD-R 100 @ 700MB 70 GB 30.00 23.38 0.33 2.99
SSD OCZ SSD Vertex 2 Extended Cap. 120GB 120 GB 239.00 186.28 1.55 0.64
SSD Kingston SSDnow V 100 Series 256GB 256 GB 529.00 412.32 1.61 0.62
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 32GB 32 GB 68.00 53.00 1.66 0.60
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 16GB 16 GB 35.00 27.28 1.71 0.59
SSD OCZ SSD Vertex 2 Extended Cap. 60GB, 60 GB 139.00 108.34 1.81 0.55
SSD Corsair Force F180 180GB 180 GB 437.00 340.61 1.89 0.53
USB Flash Sandisk Ultra Cruzer BACKUP 64GB 64 GB 167.00 130.16 2.03 0.49
SSD Intel X25-M G2 160GB 160 GB 421.00 328.14 2.05 0.49
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 8GB 8 GB 22.00 17.15 2.14 0.47
USB Flash Kingston DataTraveler 310 256GB 256 GB 710.00 553.40 2.16 0.46
SSD Corsair P256 SSD MLC, 256GB 256 GB 844.00 657.84 2.57 0.39
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 32GB Extreme 32 GB 208.00 162.12 5.07 0.20
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 16GB Extreme 16 GB 123.00 95.87 5.99 0.17
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 64GB Extreme Pro 64 GB 698.00 544.04 8.50 0.12

Exchange rate: 1 CHF = 1.282989 Euros.