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Historical Cost of Computer Memory and Storage

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I’ve finally gotten around to update the graph and data at hblok.net/storage. Since it has been a while since last time, I thought I would be left with a gap in the data. However, John C. McCallum who collected the original data got my back. I’ve incorporated his newer data points, as well as automated my own collection. Hopefully, it will not go quit so long between updates in the future.
 
 

RAM prices up

 
Due to a fire at the Hynix Fab plants in 2012, RAM prices are significantly up, and still at 2012 prices. Joel Hruska at extremetech.com has an interesting analysis into its effects. In the chart below, he notes that prices doubled after the fire. The latest data I’ve collected show that it’s going in the right direction again. However, as Hruska also points out, the market for desktops is in decline, and laptops, tablets and phones will not need the same memory types.


 
 

HDD / Magnet disk prices go sideways

 
In 2011 flooding in Thailand caused major damage to HDD factories of Western Digital, Samsung, and Toshiba. Prices have almost recovered from that by now, however it means a set-back in the HDD trend by almost three years.

In another article by Joel Hruska, he includes the graph below from Backblaze who plotted real and estimated prices on different HDD types. Although he takes issue with Backblaze’s extrapolation, it did get the significant lag of the trend right.

Furthermore, larger drives have yet to materialize. The 6 TB HGST (owned by Western Digital) Ultrastar He6 has been out for a while. Paul Alcorn at tweaktown.com discussed the details in a review a few months back. The trick is to put a whopping seven platters into the drive (as opposed to the normal three to five). However, to make that work, the drive has to be sealed and filled helium; thus its name. The new technology comes at a higher prices: It retails at Amazon for $476.99, or $0.0794/GB. That’s more than double the Seagate 3TB at $109.99 or $0.0367/GB.

So although the helium technology has a long way to go, it could be the next step for higher capacity drives. At 6 TB over 7 platters, each hold only 857 GB. That is a bit off from the 1 TB platters which have been available for a long time now, and we were “promised” 1.25 TB platters by the end of this year. If the later are compatible with the “7Stac” technology, it could mean 1.25 * 7 = 8.75 TB drives in the future. If pricing also improves, it could be that the magnetic hard disk trend is back onto its 40 year track.

 
 

SSD and flash prices down

 
Flash memory and Solid State Drives have no accidents hampering their growth and price decline. The trend is linear (i.e. on the logarithmic scale) over the last ten years. Larger drives are also gradually becoming available, with SanDisk recently announcing their enterprise 4 TB Optimus MAX SAS, and predicting 8 TB SSDs by next year. In that Computer World article, they’ve included a Gartner graph, seen below, which predicts SSD price parity with HDD by 2017. It’s important to note that they compare enterprise drives here, which live in a completely different world than the cheapest and biggest consumer drives.

For the chart I’m tracking, it is mostly the USB sticks that make it to the top, with the best price / capacity ratio. At this point, it seems that is not because the USB sticks are getting larger, but rather that the smallest ones are getting cheaper. SanDisk is now “giving away” 8 GB drives for less than $3 (although that does not give you free shipping at NewEgg).

 
 

Updated overall graph

Finally, the updated graph. The permanent link is hblok.net/storage
 

(Click for larger image)

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Concerns about SSD reliability debunked (again)

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Background

The myths about how you should use an SSD, and what you should not do with it keep on spinning. Even if there are frequent articles which crunch the actual numbers, the superstition persists. Back in 2008, Robert Penz concluded that your 64 GB SSD could be used for swap, a journalling file system, and consumer level logging, and still last between 20 and 50 years under extreme use.

Fast forward to 2013, with 120 and 240 GB drives becoming affordable, the problem should have virtually disappeared from consumer grade hardware, but people are still worried. So when Magnus Deininger did some estimates on SSD stress testing, he got flack from Slashdot since he did not cover the consumer level disks. The write endurance and number of estimated write cycles on a single block before it goes bad varies widely between consumer and enterprise grade disks, ranging from only 1000 cycles to a million. This article from Centon explains why that is. As can be seen from the simplified figure below, the cheaper consumer drives using “TLC” (Three Layer Cell) or “MLC” (Multi Layer Cell) memory cram the data a lot closer, and thus degrade quicker than enterprise grade “SLC” (Single Layer Cell) memory.

Stress test of consumer SSD

Deininger concerned himself only with the high end drives, with 100k to 1M write cycles, while most folks over at Slashdot seems to have the low end ones, at 1k – 10k write cycles, and thus the furore. However, Deininger’s estimates were also skewed against the high end drives, since he used the maximum write speed of the SATA 3 controller, which at 6 Gbit/s (750 MByte/s) is lot more than the ~500 MB/s a typical SSD is rated for, or the ~250 MB/s you probably get out of it on a consumer system. And even that is still estimates for a stress tests, and does not even start to model a typical consumer usage pattern.

Deininger goes into detail on how he came up with the estimates, and also how to plot his graphs in Gnuplot. So based on that, let’s run a few numbers, covering the 10k and 1k disks and typical use. However, let’s first drop the stress test write speed down from max controller speed to typical system speed of 250 MB/s. Also, for his plots, he uses multiples of 1024, which for flash memory based drives might be correct, but is not universally used; for example Intel specifies in GB (base 10), while OCZ in GiB (base 2). For transfer speed, this is wrong, as base 10 is the norm. Although it does not make a big difference, I’ve changed to base 10 numbers.

The graphs show time on the x-axis (days on the two first, and years in the next section), and the fraction of broken memory cells (or blocks) on the y-axis. That is, from 0 damaged cells, to 100% or all of them at the top. A horizontal lines marks the 10% point in all graphs since this is usually the point where damaged cells will be visible to the end user. Before that, the internal write levelling on the disk controller will hide these cells, since most disks come with about 10% space reserved for this. (Thus a disk with 128 GiB space is sold as 120 GB, and 256 GiB is sold as 240 GB).

First, there are a few fundamentals based on Deininger equations which can be seen in his examples, and also becomes clear in the graphs above: Doubling storage capacity of the drive doubles the time to failure (at the 10% line). And increasing flash lifespan by a factor of ten also increases time to failure by a factor of ten. All linear relationships, and no magic there, in other words.

For the three drive sizes considered (I dropped the 32 GB size, as I did not find it worthwhile for almost any application any more), the failure times at 10.000 write cycles are 26, 51, and 103 days for 64, 128 and 256 GB respectively. For TLC memory, at only 1000 cycles, the times are thus also a tenth; 2.6, 5.1 and 10.3 days.

If you were to conduct a stress test of drives from different manufactures, these numbers would be interesting. You could for example do the write, check and remove operations continuously till you start to see errors on the data written. However, as read speeds are typically around the same as write speeds for most SSDs, it would actually take at least twice as long as the points in these graphs. (The remove operation also has to be factored in, but is only a fraction of full read and write).

Typical usage

For any performance test it is important to understand where the critical failure points are. However, it does still not tell us what will happen on a typical home user system. A typical consumer would not fill up his whole drive multiple times a day, only to remove it all and start over. So how best to simulate typical user behaviour. Well, we could of course just leave the drive in a machine, and run user software over many years to see what happens. That would not be practical, as we’d never get any useful results in a reasonable time. So, we’re left with estimates, but at a different write speed than the stress test above.

How much would a typical user write to his disk? There will be different use cases of course, but let’s assume two scenarios: a low to medium use case, where 1 GB is written every day, and a heavy home user who writes 1 GB an hour, every day (although, even that is probably beyond what could be labelled as consumer usage). At this point, a table of the different speeds and units comes in handy, so we can wrap our head around the numbers. It then becomes clear how extreme the 250 MB/s stress test actually is, as it will fill up a 64 GB disk 337 times over in 24 hours (250 MB/s * (24*60*60) second = 21600 GB. And 21600 / 64 GB = 337.5 times).

MBit/s MByte/s MByte/hour GByte/day GByte/year
SATA3 max speed 6000 750 2700000 64800 23652000
Stress test 2000 250 900000 21600 7884000
Heavy use 2.2222 0.2778 1000 24 8760
Low/Medium use 0.0926 0.0116 41.67 1 365

Now for some graphs. You’ll have to watch them carefully as the plotted lines are all the same, the y-axis are all the same, the disk sizes are the same, and the only parameters changing are write speed; 1 GB vs. 24 GB a day, and cell cycle life span; 10k vs. 1k. And watch out for the x-axis which are now in years, instead of days above. The first graph shows 10k write cycle disks, where 1 GB is written every day. The smallest disk, at 64 GB, will then last for 1524 years!

Can that be right, you ask? There must be some a mistake in the numbers somewhere? Well, let’s do a quick check to see if it matches Deininger’s graphs: First, his plots were in days, so 1524 years makes 1524 * 365 = 556260 days. Next, the ratio between 6 GBit/s and 1 GByte / day we get from the table above: 64800 (GB / day). Finally, In his first graph, he considered 100k write cycle disks, so we multiply by a factor of 10. Plug in the numbers: 556260 / 64800 * 10 = 86. Exactly matching 86 days for the 64 GB disk at 100k cycles in his first graph. The math works out.

Even in the most unrealistic use case, where a 64 GB drive rated for 1000 write cycles (TLC memory) is filled up almost three times per week, it will last more than six years before the first dead memory cells are likely to show. Moving to a MLC based drive at 10k (still consumer grade), the time to failure moves to 63 years, most likely far outlasting the system it was hosted in, or maybe even the consumer who bought it.

(For the Gnuplot scripts to generate all the graphs above, please see this file).

Conclusion

So will Sold State Drives last till the end of time? Of course not! In fact, plenty of other components are prone to fail just the same way as in old HDDs: Capacitors are infamous for their short lifespan; solder joins might crack. The important point is, it is not the memory cells which are likely to fail first, even under the most extreme use.

Still, it makes sense to deploy tools fit for purpose: An enterprise drive drive using SLC memory, with 100k or 1M write cycles will leave all doubts behind. There will be no need to consider special use cases or take special precautions (beyond normal backup and security procedures which should be in place regardless of drive type). For the home user, the same is true: Even the smallest drives with shortest cell lifespan will not fail under normal use.

More specifically, there are no problems or worries with

  • using ext3, ext4 or other journalling file systems on an SSD.
  • storing /tmp or logs on the SSD.
  • using an SSD partition for memory swap.
  • any normal consumer usage pattern.

In summary: Exchanging the old spinning disk with solid state will pose no extra risk of data loss. It will of course not reduce the risk of loss from other threats either, so normal backup and security procedures should always be in place.

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Historical Cost of Computer Memory and Storage

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Computer storage, primary and secondary memory, has seen a tremendous phase of development over the last fifty years. As new technology has been brought to the market prices have continued to decline steadily at a logarithmic scale. For magnetic storage, the trend has been very stable over the last thirty years, with prices per MB going down around a third every year, or a ninety percent every five years. For primary storage, the trend has been more volatile, but overall we see a similar rate of decline all the way back to the first flip-flops in the 1950s.

John C. McCallum has done a good job collecting all the data over the years, and going back to computer magazines for reference. However, since the beginning of 2012 there have been no updates, so I’ve taken up the work where he left off. I’ve added a new page to my site, where I will collect the data and update the graphs over time: hblok.net/storage


(Click image for larger version)

In the first update, the harddisk prices are most interesting, and we can now clearly see the effect of the flood disaster in late 2011. It has interrupted a thirty year trend, and as a result prices are about the same per MB as they were one and a half years ago. Now the question is, will this have a lasting effect on the magnetic harddisk prices, or will it be just a blip in history, as technological improvements bring us cheaper storage at the same phase.

The two plots below extrapolate the trend over the last thirty years, with two different scenarios: 1) Improvements in technology will catch up with the delay over the last year, and thus the thirty year trend will continue unaffected (red line). Or 2) phase of improvments will not change, and thus the rate of decline in price will stay the same, but shift the line by about a year (blue line).


(Click image for larger version)

The price is 4 cents per GB today (4e-5 per MB). If we look two years ahead, with the uninterrupted scenario (red line), the price would be 0.5 cents per GB in 2015 (5e-6 per MB), or put in different ways: 3 TB of storage which costs $125 today would have to go down to about $15 in two years, or for the same $125 you’d have to get a whopping 25 TB (yes, twenty five!). Given the recent news from the major harddisk vendors, that seems rather unlikely to happen; they’re only planning for 5 TB drives at the end of this year. So, over two years time, prices will not catch up. Perhaps this will change looking even further ahead, however, extrapolating technological trends beyond a year or two is merely guessing.

If we look at the second scenario, where we assume that the prices will continue to decline at the same rate as they have done in the past, given today’s price we’re then looking at about 1.5 cents per GB (1.6e-5 per MB). That would mean that today’s 3 TB would go for around $50, while $125 would buy you about 8 TB. That seems more reasonable, and also in line with what products are being brought to market and in research right now. If the rumoured 5 TB Western Digital disk will be realised with four platters (4 * 1.25 TB) at the end of this year, it means five platter 6.25 TB (5 * 1.25) disks are already a possibility. Increasing storage density another 30% to reach 8 TB over the following year seems a reasonable assumption.

Edit: A previous version of this article placed the decimal point for price per GB incorrectly, at 0.4 cents rather than 4 (although the other numbers were unchanged, as were the extrapolated predictions).

Storage Prices

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As Geoff Gasior pointed out in Tech Report last month, 3.5″ HDD prices are still significantly higher than pre-flod last year. Interestingly, some of the 2.5″ drivers are cheaper than last year, while some of the smaller 3.5″ drivers are up to 60% more expensive. Couch critics explain it with lack of demand, and HDD companies still recovering their loses from last year.

Despite this lag in price reductions, or perhaps due to the prevailing high prices of 2TB drives, both the WD Green 3 TB (internal and external) drives are now on top of the list. This is a first, and has been a long time coming. It is not much, but you now get 2.7% more bytes for your Euros on a 3TB drive, compared to 2TB internal.

Also interesting in this round, is that Western Digital has finally gotten around to release a 4 TB drive, more than a year after Hitachi showed off their Deskstar 7K4000 4 TB. What’s surprising about WD’s offering, is that this is, like the Deskstar, a five platter (5 x 800GB) drive. Surprising, since WD is already offering 1 TB platters in their Red line, but with max capacity of 3 TB. As discussed earlier, the 4 and 5 TB 1TB/platter drives are highly overdue. What’s more, WD has chosen to introduce the 4TB drives at the top of the range, in its RE 24/7 support, and Black lines. In terms of speed, it does makes sense use more platters in those high-end drives, however, they might also be less reliable, due to more moving parts. Five years factory warranty on the former line does mean they are serious about quality, though.

Finally, as a first, I have included Sandisk’s line of high-end SDHC cards. This is mostly with Raspberry Pi. It is tested and works on most SD cards, but performance might vary.

Media Type Product Capacity Price CHF Price Euros Euros / GB GBs / Euro
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3000 GB 159.00 131.62 0.04 22.79
External 3.5 Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 3TB, USB3 3000 GB 159.00 131.62 0.04 22.79
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 2000 GB 109.00 90.23 0.05 22.17
External 3.5 Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 2TB, USB3 2000 GB 135.00 111.75 0.06 17.90
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Black 4TB 4000 GB 322.00 266.56 0.07 15.01
Harddisk Hitachi Deskstar 7K4000, 4TB 4000 GB 329.00 272.35 0.07 14.69
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 1000 GB 84.00 69.54 0.07 14.38
External 2.5 Western Digital My Passport 2TB, USB3 2000 GB 179.00 148.18 0.07 13.50
External 3.5 Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 1TB, USB3 1000 GB 105.00 86.92 0.09 11.50
Harddisk Western Digital RE 4TB 4000 GB 449.00 371.69 0.09 10.76
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 500GB 500 GB 79.00 65.40 0.13 7.65
Blu-ray Verbatim BD-R SL 25 @ 50GB 1250 GB 238.00 197.02 0.16 6.34
DVD+R DL Verbatim 8x DVD+R DL 25 @ 8,5GB 213 GB 42.00 34.77 0.16 6.11
DVD-R Verbatim 16x DVD-R 100 @ 4,7GB 470 GB 96.00 79.47 0.17 5.91
CD-R Verbatim CD-R 100 @ 700MB 70 GB 35.00 28.97 0.41 2.42
SSD OCZ Agility 3 240GB 240 GB 169.00 139.90 0.58 1.72
SSD Corsair Force GT 240GB 240 GB 216.00 178.81 0.75 1.34
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 32GB 32 GB 29.00 24.01 0.75 1.33
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 120 GB 109.00 90.23 0.75 1.33
SSD Corsair Force3 240GB 240 GB 220.00 182.12 0.76 1.32
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 240GB 240 GB 229.00 189.57 0.79 1.27
SSD Corsair Force GT 120GB 120 GB 121.00 100.17 0.83 1.20
SSD OCZ Agility 3 120GB 120 GB 122.00 100.99 0.84 1.19
SSD Corsair Force3 120GB 120 GB 126.00 104.30 0.87 1.15
USB Flash Sandisk Ultra Cruzer BACKUP 64GB 64 GB 75.00 62.09 0.97 1.03
SDHC Sandisk Ultra, Class 10, 15/30MB/s, 32GB 32 GB 44.00 36.42 1.14 0.88
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 8GB 8 GB 13.00 10.76 1.35 0.74
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 16GB 16 GB 26.00 21.52 1.35 0.74
SDHC Sandisk Ultra, Class 10, 30MB/s, 16GB 16 GB 27.00 22.35 1.40 0.72
SDHC Sandisk Extreme, Class 10, 30MB/s, 16GB 16 GB 32.00 26.49 1.66 0.60
SDHC Sandisk Extreme, Class 10, 30MB/s, 8GB 8 GB 19.00 15.73 1.97 0.51
SDHC Sandisk Extreme Pro, Class 10, 90/95MB/s, 32GB 32 GB 84.00 69.54 2.17 0.46
SDHC Sandisk Ultra, Class 10, 30MB/s, 8GB 8 GB 22.00 18.21 2.28 0.44
SDHC Sandisk Extreme Pro, Class UHS-I, 90/95MB/s, 16GB 16 GB 52.00 43.05 2.69 0.37
SDHC Sandisk Extreme Pro, Class UHS-I, 90/95MB/s, 8GB 8 GB 28.00 23.18 2.90 0.35
Compact Flash SanDisk Ultra 200x, 16GB 16 GB 59.00 48.84 3.05 0.33
Compact Flash SanDisk Extreme 400x, 60MB/s, 32GB 32 GB 121.00 100.17 3.13 0.32
Compact Flash SanDisk Extreme 400x, 60MB/s, 64GB 64 GB 246.00 203.64 3.18 0.31
SDHC Sandisk Extreme, Class 6, 20MB/s, 4GB 4 GB 18.00 14.90 3.73 0.27
Compact Flash SanDisk Extreme 400x, 60MB/s, 16GB 16 GB 85.00 70.36 4.40 0.23
Compact Flash Sandisk Extreme Pro 100MB/s, 128GB 128 GB 819.00 677.98 5.30 0.19
Compact Flash Sandisk Extreme Pro 600x, 90MB/s, 64GB 64 GB 433.00 358.44 5.60 0.18
Compact Flash Sandisk Extreme Pro 600x, 90MB/s, 32GB 32 GB 218.00 180.46 5.64 0.18
Compact Flash SanDisk Extreme 400x, 60MB/s, 8GB 8 GB 55.00 45.53 5.69 0.18
Compact Flash Sandisk Extreme Pro 600x, 90MB/s, 16GB 16 GB 131.00 108.44 6.78 0.15

Exchange rate: 1 Euro = 1.208000 CHF.

SSD prices declining, but still expensive

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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.

Storage Prices

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Writing for Softpedia, Constantin Murariu claimed last week that the “HDD crisis” has been greatly exaggerated by the big manufactures, Seagate and Western Digital. For a fact, they have posted very healthy profits over the last months. Furthermore, there is now a duopoly in the HDD market, after Seagate bought Samsung’s hard drive division in April 2011, and Western Digital bought Hitachi’s HDD division.

Murariu laments that we will never see prices as low as pre-flood, however, that would of course go against more than half a century in improved technology and value for money. After all, storage capacity has seen extreme growth and its own “Moore’s law”, but at a much more rapid phase than the transistor density. We already have Hitachi’s 4 TB Deskstar and Seagate’s 4 TB GoFlex Desk from last year. The later uses 5 platters of 800 GB, but the former is already at 1 TB / platter, which means that a 5 TB disk is already feasible if they wanted to. However, four platters usually makes for more stable and reliable disks, as they have less components, so that’s usually what the follow-up drives are made up from.

Looking at the current prices, they’ve come down a bit since right after the flood, but still have further to go before getting back to June 2011 levels. For example, the external 3 TB WD disk was ~140 Euros last year, went up to 203 Euros, and is now at 165 Euros (but with the faster USB 3 interface), or still 18% higher. Not a disaster for your wallet, but still a bump in the ever decreasing prices per byte.

Other than that, the relative ranking remains the same. The 2 TB disk still gives most bytes for money, optical disks don’t change much at all, SSD is coming down, but is still a lot more expensive than spinning disks, and CompactFlash is the most expensive medium around (but with increasing read/write speeds for ever larger sensors and pictures).

Media Type Product Capacity Price CHF Price Euros Euros / GB GBs / Euro
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 2000 GB 125.00 104.05 0.05 19.22
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3000 GB 199.00 165.64 0.06 18.11
External 3.5 Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 3TB, USB3 3000 GB 199.00 165.64 0.06 18.11
External 3.5 Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 2TB, USB3 2000 GB 139.00 115.70 0.06 17.29
Harddisk Hitachi Deskstar 7K4000, 4TB 4000 GB 351.00 292.16 0.07 13.69
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 1000 GB 99.00 82.41 0.08 12.14
External 2.5 Western Digital My Passport 2TB, USB3 2000 GB 237.00 197.27 0.10 10.14
External 3.5 Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 1TB, USB3 1000 GB 119.00 99.05 0.10 10.10
External 2.5 Western Digital My Passport Essential 1TB 1000 GB 124.00 103.21 0.10 9.69
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 500GB 500 GB 87.00 72.42 0.14 6.90
Blu-ray Verbatim BD-R SL 25 @ 50GB 1250 GB 232.00 193.11 0.15 6.47
DVD+R DL Verbatim 8x DVD+R DL 25 @ 8,5GB 213 GB 43.00 35.79 0.17 5.94
DVD-R Verbatim 16x DVD-R 100 @ 4,7GB 470 GB 97.00 80.74 0.17 5.82
CD-R Verbatim CD-R 100 @ 700MB 70 GB 43.00 35.79 0.51 1.96
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 32GB 32 GB 31.00 25.80 0.81 1.24
SSD Corsair Force3 240GB 240 GB 237.00 197.27 0.82 1.22
USB Flash Sandisk Ultra Cruzer BACKUP 64GB 64 GB 67.00 55.77 0.87 1.15
SSD Corsair Force3 120GB 120 GB 128.00 106.54 0.89 1.13
SSD OCZ Agility 3 240GB 240 GB 269.00 223.91 0.93 1.07
SSD OCZ Agility 3 120GB 120 GB 135.00 112.37 0.94 1.07
SSD Corsair Force GT 240GB 240 GB 270.00 224.74 0.94 1.07
SSD Corsair Force GT 120GB 120 GB 145.00 120.69 1.01 0.99
SSD Intel SSD 330 Series 120GB, SATA-3 120 GB 159.00 132.35 1.10 0.91
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 240GB 240 GB 319.00 265.53 1.11 0.90
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 120 GB 169.00 140.67 1.17 0.85
SSD Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB, SATA-3 240 GB 359.00 298.82 1.25 0.80
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 120GB 120 GB 199.00 165.64 1.38 0.72
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB 240 GB 399.00 332.12 1.38 0.72
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 16GB 16 GB 27.00 22.47 1.40 0.71
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 8GB 8 GB 14.00 11.65 1.46 0.69
Compact Flash SanDisk Ultra 200x, 16GB 16 GB 70.00 58.27 3.64 0.27
Compact Flash SanDisk Extreme 400x, 60MB/s, 64GB 64 GB 288.00 239.72 3.75 0.27
Compact Flash SanDisk Extreme 400x, 60MB/s, 32GB 32 GB 145.00 120.69 3.77 0.27
Compact Flash SanDisk Extreme 400x, 60MB/s, 16GB 16 GB 92.00 76.58 4.79 0.21
Compact Flash Sandisk Extreme Pro 100MB/s, 128GB 128 GB 845.00 703.36 5.49 0.18
Compact Flash Sandisk Extreme Pro 600x, 90MB/s, 64GB 64 GB 433.00 360.42 5.63 0.18
Compact Flash Sandisk Extreme Pro 600x, 90MB/s, 32GB 32 GB 218.00 181.46 5.67 0.18
Compact Flash SanDisk Extreme 400x, 60MB/s, 8GB 8 GB 64.00 53.27 6.66 0.15
Compact Flash Sandisk Extreme Pro 600x, 90MB/s, 16GB 16 GB 131.00 109.04 6.82 0.15

Exchange rate: 1 Euro = 1.201378 CHF.

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Fluctuating Storage Prices

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Due to fluctuating exchange rates, and a flood in Thailand, prices on hard drives have changed a lot lately. Western Digital, which is tracked extensively on this list, has been especially hard hit, with factories shutting down. It is most likely a temporary issue, however with some prices going up as much as 80%, it might take at least half a year or more for things to smooth out.

Media Type Product Capacity Price CHF Price Euros Euros / GB GBs / Euro
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB 1500 GB 76.00 61.96 0.04 24.21
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3000 GB 162.00 132.08 0.04 22.71
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 2000 GB 109.00 88.87 0.04 22.51
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 1000 GB 70.00 57.07 0.06 17.52
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 2.5TB 2500 GB 193.00 157.35 0.06 15.89
External 3.5 Western Digital Elements Desktop 2TB 2000 GB 162.00 132.08 0.07 15.14
External 3.5 Western Digital Elements Desktop 3TB 3000 GB 249.00 203.01 0.07 14.78
External 3.5 Western Digital Elements Desktop 1TB 1000 GB 129.00 105.17 0.11 9.51
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 500GB 500 GB 75.00 61.15 0.12 8.18
External 2.5 Western Digital Elements SE 1TB 1000 GB 151.00 123.11 0.12 8.12
Blu-ray Verbatim BD-R SL 25 @ 50GB 1250 GB 238.00 194.04 0.16 6.44
DVD-R Verbatim 16x DVD-R 100 @ 4,7GB 470 GB 95.00 77.45 0.16 6.07
DVD+R DL Verbatim 8x DVD+R DL 25 @ 8,5GB 213 GB 56.00 45.66 0.21 4.65
CD-R Verbatim CD-R 100 @ 700MB 70 GB 39.00 31.80 0.45 2.20
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 32GB 32 GB 38.00 30.98 0.97 1.03
SSD OCZ Agility 3 120GB 120 GB 165.00 134.52 1.12 0.89
SSD Corsair Force3 120GB 120 GB 165.00 134.52 1.12 0.89
SSD Corsair Force3 240GB 240 GB 333.00 271.50 1.13 0.88
SSD Kingston SSDnow V 100 Series 128GB (kit) 128 GB 178.00 145.12 1.13 0.88
SSD OCZ Vertex 2 Extended Cap. 120GB 120 GB 169.00 137.79 1.15 0.87
SSD OCZ Agility 3 240GB 240 GB 369.00 300.85 1.25 0.80
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 16GB 16 GB 25.00 20.38 1.27 0.78
SSD Kingston SSDnow V 100 Series 256GB 256 GB 405.00 330.20 1.29 0.78
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 120 GB 209.00 170.40 1.42 0.70
SSD Corsair Force GT 120GB 120 GB 209.00 170.40 1.42 0.70
SSD OCZ Agility 3 60GB 60 GB 109.00 88.87 1.48 0.68
SSD Corsair Force GT 240GB 240 GB 444.00 361.99 1.51 0.66
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 8GB 8 GB 15.00 12.23 1.53 0.65
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 240GB 240 GB 459.00 374.22 1.56 0.64
SSD Corsair Force3 60GB 60 GB 117.00 95.39 1.59 0.63
SSD Intel 320 Series 80GB 80 GB 159.00 129.63 1.62 0.62
SSD Corsair Force GT 60GB 60 GB 122.00 99.47 1.66 0.60
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB 240 GB 489.00 398.68 1.66 0.60
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 120GB 120 GB 249.00 203.01 1.69 0.59
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 60GB 60 GB 125.00 101.91 1.70 0.59
SSD Kingston SSDnow V+100 Series 64GB 64 GB 139.00 113.33 1.77 0.56
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 480GB 480 GB 1083.00 882.97 1.84 0.54
SSD Intel 510 Series 120GB 120 GB 285.00 232.36 1.94 0.52
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 64GB Extreme Pro 64 GB 467.00 380.75 5.95 0.17
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 32GB Extreme Pro 32 GB 239.00 194.86 6.09 0.16
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 16GB Extreme Pro 16 GB 140.00 114.14 7.13 0.14

Exchange rate: 1 Euro = 1.226539 CHF.

Storage Prices

1 comment

Some minor updates since last time. All the Corsair disks are new, and there are also many new OCZ drives, as discussed in details a few days ago. However, the biggest mover this time is not hardware, but rather the Swiss Franc / Euro exchange rate.

Media Type Product Capacity Price CHF Price Euros Euros / GB GBs / Euro
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 2000 GB 75.00 64.94 0.03 30.80
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB 1500 GB 64.00 55.42 0.04 27.07
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 2.5TB 2500 GB 108.00 93.52 0.04 26.73
External 3.5 Western Digital Elements Desktop 2TB 2000 GB 90.00 77.93 0.04 25.66
External 3.5 Western Digital Elements Desktop 3TB 3000 GB 162.00 140.28 0.05 21.39
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3000 GB 165.00 142.88 0.05 21.00
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 1000 GB 58.00 50.22 0.05 19.91
External 3.5 Western Digital Elements Desktop 1TB 1000 GB 69.00 59.75 0.06 16.74
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 500GB 500 GB 47.00 40.70 0.08 12.29
External 2.5 Western Digital Elements SE 1TB 1000 GB 105.00 90.92 0.09 11.00
External 2.5 Western Digital Elements SE 500GB 500 GB 73.00 63.21 0.13 7.91
Blu-ray Verbatim BD-R SL 25 @ 50GB 1250 GB 248.00 214.75 0.17 5.82
DVD-R Verbatim 16x DVD-R 100 @ 4,7GB 470 GB 95.00 82.26 0.18 5.71
Blu-ray Verbatim BD-R 25 @ 25GB 625 GB 136.00 117.77 0.19 5.31
DVD+R DL Verbatim 8x DVD+R DL 25 @ 8,5GB 213 GB 57.00 49.36 0.23 4.31
CD-R Verbatim CD-R 100 @ 700MB 70 GB 34.00 29.44 0.42 2.38
SSD Kingston SSDnow V 100 Series 128GB (kit) 128 GB 192.00 166.26 1.30 0.77
SSD Kingston SSDnow V 100 Series 256GB 256 GB 384.00 332.52 1.30 0.77
SSD OCZ Vertex 2 Extended Cap. 120GB 120 GB 199.00 172.32 1.44 0.70
SSD Corsair Force3 120GB 120 GB 199.00 172.32 1.44 0.70
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 16GB 16 GB 29.00 25.11 1.57 0.64
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 32GB 32 GB 59.00 51.09 1.60 0.63
SSD OCZ Agility 3 120GB 120 GB 222.00 192.24 1.60 0.62
SSD OCZ Agility 3 240GB 240 GB 449.00 388.80 1.62 0.62
SSD Corsair Force3 60GB 60 GB 119.00 103.05 1.72 0.58
SSD Corsair Force3 240GB 240 GB 489.00 423.44 1.76 0.57
SSD Kingston SSDnow V+100 Series 64GB 64 GB 132.00 114.30 1.79 0.56
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 120 GB 249.00 215.62 1.80 0.56
SSD Intel 320 Series 80GB 80 GB 169.00 146.34 1.83 0.55
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 8GB 8 GB 17.00 14.72 1.84 0.54
SSD OCZ Vertex 2 Extended Cap. 60GB, 60 GB 129.00 111.71 1.86 0.54
SSD OCZ Agility 3 60GB 60 GB 129.00 111.71 1.86 0.54
SSD Corsair Force GT 240GB 240 GB 518.00 448.55 1.87 0.54
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 240GB 240 GB 529.00 458.08 1.91 0.52
SSD Intel 510 Series 120GB 120 GB 269.00 232.94 1.94 0.52
SSD Corsair Force GT 120GB 120 GB 279.00 241.59 2.01 0.50
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 60GB 60 GB 143.00 123.83 2.06 0.48
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB 240 GB 579.00 501.37 2.09 0.48
SSD Corsair Force GT 60GB 60 GB 149.00 129.02 2.15 0.47
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 120GB 120 GB 299.00 258.91 2.16 0.46
SSD Kingston SSDnow V Series 30GB 30 GB 81.00 70.14 2.34 0.43
SSD OCZ Vertex 3 480GB 480 GB 1489.00 1289.37 2.69 0.37
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 32GB Extreme 32 GB 174.00 150.67 4.71 0.21
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 16GB Extreme 16 GB 110.00 95.25 5.95 0.17
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 64GB Extreme Pro 64 GB 549.00 475.40 7.43 0.13

Exchange rate: 1 Euro = 1.154825 CHF.

More SSD options

Comments Off

HotHardware has a new round-up of six SSDs, including Corsair, OCZ, Crucial, and Patriot drives. Jumping right to the conclusion, three of the drives win “Editor’s Choice”: OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS, Corsair Force GT, Patriot Wildfire. They are matching in that all of them use the new SandForce SF-2281 controller, and synchronous NAND flash memory. Looking at price / GB, the Crucial drive wins, but only by a small margin.

These drives are available from Digitec, however, it is not always clear whether it is the same models, as some of them are listed with SF-2200 controllers. Prices are as follows:

Corsair Force GT 120GB : CHF 279.-
Corsair Force3 120GB : CHF 229.-

OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB : CHF 579.-
OCZ Agility 3 240GB : CHF 449.-

Crucial m4 SSD 256GB : CHF 429.-

Again, Corsair comes out amongst the top drives, which underlines an earlier conclusion by Anandtech from November 2010. My only problem with these drives, is that the 120 / 240 GB drives comes at a rather high price, and is perhaps more than you’d need for just a boot drive. Luckily, their younger brothers in 60 GB are also available at a more palatable price:

Corsair Force GT 60GB : CHF 149.-
Corsair Force3 60GB : CHF 119.-

OCZ Vertex 3 60GB : CHF 143.-
OCZ Agility 3 60GB : CHF 129.-

Again, it is unclear which specific SandForce controller sits in these drives, the SF-2281 or SF-2200. However, based on marketing and technical specifications from SandForce, it seems 2100/2200 is the general series, while 2281 etc. is the specific part number.

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Storage Prices

1 comment

It’s only about two months since the last update on storage prices, so not much has happened. The different SSD offerings are difficult to track, though. Anandtech laments how Kingston has a confusing SSD lineup, with six different parallel models. However, the other manufactures are not easy to follow either.

This update adds more of the smaller SSD. I might get a 60 GB one before the 128 GB ones come down below a reasonable level.

Media Type Product Capacity Price CHF Price Euros Euros / GB GBs / Euro
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 2000 GB 92.00 70.04 0.04 28.55
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB 1500 GB 74.00 56.34 0.04 26.62
External 3.5 Western Digital Elements Desktop 2TB 2000 GB 99.00 75.37 0.04 26.54
External 3.5 Western Digital Elements Desktop 3TB 3000 GB 169.00 128.66 0.04 23.32
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 1000 GB 62.00 47.20 0.05 21.19
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3000 GB 199.00 151.50 0.05 19.80
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 2.5TB 2500 GB 174.00 132.47 0.05 18.87
External 3.5 Western Digital Elements Desktop 1TB 1000 GB 77.00 58.62 0.06 17.06
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 500GB 500 GB 49.00 37.31 0.07 13.40
External 2.5 Western Digital Elements SE 1TB 1000 GB 109.00 82.98 0.08 12.05
External 2.5 Western Digital Elements SE 500GB 500 GB 70.00 53.29 0.11 9.38
DVD-R Verbatim 16x DVD-R 100 @ 4,7GB 470 GB 91.00 69.28 0.15 6.78
Blu-ray Verbatim BD-R SL 25 @ 50GB(*) 1250 GB 248.00 188.81 0.15 6.62
Blu-ray Verbatim BD-R 25 @ 25GB 625 GB 136.00 103.54 0.17 6.04
DVD+R DL Verbatim 8x DVD+R DL 25 @ 8,5GB 213 GB 54.00 41.11 0.19 5.17
CD-R Verbatim CD-R 100 @ 700MB 70 GB 29.00 22.08 0.32 3.17
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 16GB 16 GB 29.00 22.08 1.38 0.72
SSD Kingston SSDnow V 100 Series 128GB (kit) 128 GB 235.00 178.91 1.40 0.72
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 32GB 32 GB 59.00 44.92 1.40 0.71
SSD Kingston SSDnow V 100 Series 256GB 256 GB 473.00 360.11 1.41 0.71
SSD OCZ SSD Vertex 2 Extended Cap. 120GB 120 GB 229.00 174.34 1.45 0.69
SSD Corsair Force F120 120GB 120 GB 239.00 181.96 1.52 0.66
USB Flash Sandisk Ultra Cruzer BACKUP 64GB 64 GB 135.00 102.78 1.61 0.62
SSD OCZ SSD Vertex 2 Extended Cap. 60GB, 60 GB 129.00 98.21 1.64 0.61
SSD Intel 320 Series 80GB 80 GB 178.00 135.52 1.69 0.59
SSD Corsair Force F60 60GB 60 GB 139.00 105.82 1.76 0.57
SSD Kingston SSDnow V+100 Series 64GB 64 GB 154.00 117.24 1.83 0.55
SSD Intel 510 Series 120GB 120 GB 299.00 227.64 1.90 0.53
SSD Corsair Force F180 180GB 180 GB 468.00 356.30 1.98 0.51
USB Flash Kingston DataTraveler 310 256GB 256 GB 726.00 552.72 2.16 0.46
USB Flash Sandisk Cruzer Flash Drive 8GB 8 GB 23.00 17.51 2.19 0.46
SSD Kingston SSDnow V Series 30GB 30 GB 89.00 67.76 2.26 0.44
SSD Corsair Force F40 40GB 40 GB 126.00 95.93 2.40 0.42
SSD Corsair P256 SSD MLC, 256GB 256 GB 844.00 642.56 2.51 0.40
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 32GB Extreme 32 GB 215.00 163.69 5.12 0.20
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 16GB Extreme 16 GB 119.00 90.60 5.66 0.18
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 64GB Extreme Pro(*) 64 GB 597.00 454.51 7.10 0.14

*) This offerings are no longer available from Digitec. To be removed from the list in the next round.

Exchange rate: 1 Euro = 1.313495 CHF.

Choosing an SSD

1 comment

With most technology, I choose to be a late adopter. Letting other people do the first rounds of QA has saved we loads of money. Waiting for the prices of new gadgets to drop down to reasonable levels has saved even more. So after “everybody” has gotten a SSD drive, I’m thinking it’s time to look into it.

I expect to use the drive as a boot drive for Fedora, so it should excel on the random read/write tests. I have an older motherboard which only supports SATA 3.0 Gb/s, so the high end SSD are not interesting at this point. Finally, I’m running a fan-less system, water cooled, and with Silverstone Nightjar fanless PSU, thus also opting for the quiet WD Green drivers (5400 – 7200 RPM). It means switching to SSD will be a very significant improvement, while also removing the last noise from the back-scatter of disk bound OS work.

In Anandtech’s review from November 2010, the Corsair Force drives are on top. Furthermore, he stresses the SandForce controllers as “the sensible choice” for OS and applications. At 180 Euros, the F120 is a bit pricey, while the F40 and F60 are almost the same at 98 and 105 Euros respectively. Although the F60 was not included in Anandtech’s review, it seems like a safe bet. 60 GB should also be plenty of space for the OS, swap, and basic user files (documents, e-mail, but not images or video).

As for compatibility, in the Fedora 14 documentation, they mention that ext4 is the only fully-supported file system that supports TRIM”. Furthermore, to enable the TRIM command (which is disabled by default), the drive should be mounted with the discard option. Finally, the docs states that the swap partition will use TRIM by default. In other words, everything is ready to go.

Robert Penz goes into details to bust some of the myths around SSD. He concludes that on a normal user system, you don’t need to take special consideration when switching from spinning to solid drives. Only on the advice of using “noatime” he seems incorrect, challenged by this thread: “noatime is not necessary. Fedora defaults to relatime , which is a better choice: it reduces disk access almost as much as noatime, but preserves enough atime info for practical purposes”.

Storage Prices

2 comments

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.

Storage Prices

3 comments

About two and half years ago, I collected the prices of various storage media, and calculated the cost per GB. Since then, there have been big movements, and as expected the storage continue to get cheaper and cheaper. With the 2 GB disks, the price is 4 Euro cents per GB.

Optical storage also gets cheaper, and in recent years bigger spindles of Blu-ray disk have been made available. They are still beaten by DVD-R, however the margin is no longer significant. Two years ago, it was three times more expensive to store on Blu-ray than DVD-R. Also interesting is the DVD DL 8.5 GB prices. They are now almost as expensive to use as DVD 4.7 GB. That might be interesting for backing up bigger files.

New to the list is the Solid State Disks. At 40x Euros / GB, they are still very expensive compared to spinning disks, but given some time, maybe it might drop. However, looking at the professional CF Cards, it does not look promising for solid state. Although the get faster and bigger, high end Sandisk CF cards have not move significantly in terms Euro / GB. Of course, there are slower chips which are cheaper, but you might not want that technology in your SSD.

Media Type Product Capacity Price CHF Price Euros Euros / GB GBs / Euro
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB 1500 GB 89.00 66.41 0.04 22.59
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 2000 GB 119.00 88.80 0.04 22.52
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 1000 GB 73.00 54.47 0.05 18.36
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar GP 1TB 1000 GB 99.00 73.87 0.07 13.54
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar GP 750GB 750 GB 91.00 67.90 0.09 11.05
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar GP 500GB 500 GB 73.00 54.47 0.11 9.18
DVD-R Verbatim 16x DVD-R 100 @ 4,7GB 470 GB 100.00 74.62 0.16 6.30
Blu-ray Verbatim BD-R SL 25 @ 50GB 1250 GB 280.00 208.93 0.17 5.98
Blu-ray Verbatim BD-R 25 @ 25GB 625 GB 146.00 108.94 0.17 5.74
DVD+R DL Verbatim 8x DVD+R DL 25 @ 8,5GB 213 GB 55.00 41.04 0.19 5.18
CD-R Verbatim CD-R 100 @ 700MB 70 GB 31.00 23.13 0.33 3.03
SSD Corsair P256 SSD MLC, 256GB 256 GB 558.00 416.38 1.63 0.61
SSD Intel X25-M G2 160GB 160 GB 449.00 335.04 2.09 0.48
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 32GB Extreme 32 GB 215.00 160.43 5.01 0.20
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 16GB Extreme 16 GB 119.00 88.80 5.55 0.18
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 64GB Extreme Pro 64 GB 665.00 496.22 7.75 0.13
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 4GB Extreme III 4 GB 70.00 52.23 13.06 0.08

Exchange rate: 1 CHF = 1.340136 Euros.

Storage prices in Zurich

1 comment

The informal storage media list is back, this time based on prices from Digitec.ch in Zurich. The prices are in Swiss Franc, but converted to Euros with a rate of 1 Euro = 1.59987545 Swiss francs. There are some interesting changes since the last list from Komplett.dk in Germany.

Media type Product Capacity Price CHF Price Euros Euros / GB
DVD-R Verbatim 16x DVD-R 100 @ 4,7GB 470 GB 101.00 63.13 0.13
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar GP 500GB 500 GB 143.00 83.38 0.18
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar GP 750GB 750 GB 217.00 135.64 0.18
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar RE2 750GB 750 GB 228.00 142.51 0.19
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar GP 1TB 1000 GB 316.00 197.52 0.20
DVD+R DL Verbatim 2,4x DVD+R DL 25 @ 8,5GB 212.5 GB 101.00 63.13 0.30
Blu-ray Verbatim BD-R 5 @ 25GB 125 GB 77.00 48.13 0.39
CD-R Verbatim CD-R 100 @ 700MB 70 GB 45.00 28.13 0.40
HD-DVD Verbatim HD-DVD 5 @ 30GB 150 GB 123.00 76.88 0.51
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 16GB Extreme III 16 GB 199.00 124.38 7.77
Compact Flash Sandisk CF Card 4GB Extreme III 4 GB 66.00 41.25 10.31

Storage prices

1 comment
Media type Product Capacity Price Euros Euros / GB
DVD-R Verbatim 16x DVD-R 100 @ 4,7GB 470 GB 37.00 0.08
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar GP 1TB SATA2 1000 GB 259.00 0.26
DVD+R DL Verbatim 2,4x DVD+R Double Layer 25 @ 8,5GB 212.5 GB 69.00 0.32
Harddisk Western Digital Caviar RE2 750GB SATA2 750 GB 249.00 0.33
CD-R Verbatim CD-R 100 @ 700MB 70 GB 25.64 0.37
Blu-ray Verbatim BD-R 5 @ 25GB 125 GB 100.53 0.80
HD-DVD Verbatim HD-DVD 5 @ 30GB 150 GB 132.34 0.88
Compact Flash Sandisk Compact Flash Card 16GB Extreme III 16 GB 229.00 14.31
Compact Flash Sandisk Compact Flash Card 4GB Extreme III 4 GB 89.00 22.25