A recent Guardian article has a small round-up of the latest SSD prices, claiming “SSD prices have halved in a year”. It includes some price points over the last year to back that up, and points out that many offerings have now come down below $1 / GB. This makes SSD drives ideal for boot-up / OS drives, especially in laptops without heavy storage requirements. Indeed, certain laptops are now sold only in SSD configurations.
But is this enough to leave magnetic storage in the dust? No, not so fast. Although some of the commenters concern themselves with the reliability of SSD, this has been debunked a long time ago. Short summary: on a normal user system, you don’t need to take special consideration when switching from spinning to solid drives.
Rather, the price per GB is still an issue. As already mentioned, SSD is dropping fast, but it is still at a 10:1 ratio to magnetic. And even with the hit Western Digital and Seagate took last year, they will continue to innovate. The Hitachi (now owned by WD) Deskstar 7K4000, 4 TB is soon one year old. It features 1 TB platters, in a four-platter configuration; making a 5 TB (5 platter) disk already theoretically feasible. That means 6 TB is the next frontier for magnetic in the consumer range. The Deskstar comes in at $0.09 / GB, while the lowest WD is the 2 TB, at $0.06 / GB.
Meanwhile, very few 2.5″ SSD drives are above 512 GB. And those that are cost a lot; around $2 / GB. Only specialist SSD offerings are above 1 TB, like the OCZ Velodrive 1200GB PCI-E card. However, now we’re talking 3300 Euros (USD 4187), or $3.5 / GB. Compared to the $0.06, that’s a 58:1 ratio.
In other words: SSD still has quite some way to go before it catches up in price and size.