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December, 2015


Historical Cost of Computer Memory and Storage

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During 2015 there have been considerable progress on both storage and memory fronts, including larger capacity, faster SSD drives and finally a shift to DDR4 DIMM. However, the 30 year old logarithmic trend in declining magnetic storage prices is distinctly broken. In fact, this year there has been little movement in price / byte at all for HDDs.

For magnetic drives, HGST announced the biggest yet 10 TB Ultrastar Archive Ha10 drive. Interestingly, it combines the 7 platters helium filled technology with Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR). As such, it is in the same niche as the Seagate 8 TB Archive 6 platter archive drive. The helium drives are still expensive, but the Seagate SMR drives is close to the top of the list of price / byte. However, for now it is beaten by the conventional Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) Toshiba 5 TB PH3500U-1I72 drive, so there is no need to split out the SMR technology in the charts below.

Also a first, is Samsung’s enterprise SSD drive, PM1633a, which at 16 TB beats the special magnetic archive drives by a considerable margin, but of course also in price. More obtainable are the new breed of PCI NVM Express drives which increases the read/write speed far beyond the 6 Gbit/s SATA 3 barrier. The Intel 750 Series 1.2 TB drive is specified at 2500 MByte/s (20 Gbit/s) sequential read.

See here for the updated data and charts, and detailed information. That page is becoming a reference point, so I will put in more effort to keep it up to date.

Full history 1957 – present

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Recent history 2005 – present

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DealExtreme orders

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