by Andy Patrizio
PC sales may be in the dumps, but if you are looking for a bargain, now is the time to get that SSD drive because prices have bottomed out to the point they are actually affordable.
The price drop was expected because memory analysts have said for some time that NAND flash prices had been dropping for some time, which would translate into lower prices for SSD drives. That’s finally coming to fruition.
The prices on NewEgg will certainly make early adopters weep. An OCZ Agility 3 240GB model, which has since been replaced by the Agility 4, is now just $169. A year ago it was over $300. A 240GB version of Intel’s 520 Series, one of the better performing drives, has been cut from $299 to $239. And Samsung’s 840 Pro MLC, the top-rated performer among 240GB-256GB drives according to Anandtech, is just $239.
Intel and OCZ declined to comment on the current state of prices or which way they may head in the coming months. Michael Yang, senior analyst for memory products at IHS iSuppli, said this is pretty much the bottom for prices.
“SSD prices have bottomed for the year. Over the next couple of months you will see stable or slightly uptick in pricing. I expect the prices to resume decline early next year but overall, 2013 will see minimal price drop compared to 2012,” he said.
The good news is that prices will likely prices decrease next year, not increase, but he doesn’t expect that much of a change. “Expect minimal compared to this year,” he said.
Even with Windows 8 in the market and a growing number of ultrabooks running an SSD, including the new ultrathins from Vizio, Yang doesn’t see ultrabook sales having much impact. “Ultrabooks thus far have been a flop. Windows 8 should give ultrabook and SSD some boost but far from constraining the industry,” said Yang.