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.