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Flash storage prices rise by 25% as manufacturers chase profitability

Analysis of 30,000-plus drive prices shows cost of flash drives per gigabyte rose sharply since October 2023, as memory manufacturers limit supplies and increase prices

Flash drive prices shot up by just over 25% in the final quarter of 2023, and are predicted to rise even further during 2024, largely as a result of manufacturers limiting supply in an effort to raise prices.

By October 2023, flash drive prices had dropped to an average of $0.075/GB since this time last year. But since then, SSD prices per GB shot upwards to achieve an average of $0.095/GB this week (a rise of 26.67%).

Meanwhile, spinning disk hard drive per-gigabyte prices have largely remained static, at just under $0.05/GB for SAS and at $0.035/GB for SATA drives.

Market analyst Trendforce even went as far as to state that “low-price SSDs may have become a thing of the past” early this year, as SSD prices rose rapidly. It cited reports that memory manufacturers had decreased the amount of NAND flash available to the market and increased prices. All of this was apparently in an effort to achieve break-even and profitability.

For a customer planning to deploy 20TB of flash capacity, based on those prices, it would cost $400 more than six months ago. If that deployment was for 100TB, it would cost $2,000 more, and for 1PB, $20,000 more.

Those figures are the result of exclusive analysis by Computer Weekly that gathered drive prices weekly from and aggregated by Over the course of 12 months, more than 30,000 drive prices and specs were gathered, with averages calculated every week for triple-level cell (TLC), quad-level cell (QLC) and multi-level cell (MLC)/unspecified flash drives, as well as SAS and SATA spinning disk.

The figures show flash drive prices dropped to a low of around $0.075/GB in October 2023, then rose rapidly to near the 1c per GB mark this year.

Interestingly, when SSD prices began to climb in October and November, they pulled SAS spinning disk prices with them for a while. SAS drive average prices reached $0.055/GB by the end of October, before dropping back below to nearer $0.045/GB.

The analysis uses’s aggregation of new drive prices taken from, with an average of more than 625 prices and specifications gathered per week. Data is differentiated by the flash and spinning disk type and average price per gigabyte calculated per week.

Data is for drives that range in capacity from less than 1TB (terabyte) to 24TB (hard disk drive/HDD) and 8TB (solid-state drive/SSD), with an average of 3.7TB per drive offered for sale.

While the analysis is based on prices, the volume of data gathered shows trends in pricing. It serves as a proxy for drive prices available to smaller businesses and consumers, which storage suppliers do not release.

Price per gigabyte is a major consideration for customers, but total cost of ownership over a drive’s lifecycle is also important, with purchase cost, energy and maintenance key among them.

It’s not proven whether flash drives are always more efficient in energy terms. Calculations by Computer Weekly seem to indicate it really depends on the make of drive chosen. Flash can win out, however, when it comes to density of storage as capacities increase.

SSD costs more per drive to buy than spinning disk, but maintenance costs are often lower. Cloud storage provider Backblaze – which publishes annual reliability figures for the hundreds of thousands of drives in its estate – found its SSD annual failure rate to be 0.9% in mid-2023 compared with 1.45% for HDDs.

Read more on flash and HDD

  • Storage technology explained: Flash vs HDD. In this guide, we examine the differences between flash storage and HDD, the rise of NVMe and much denser formats such as QLC, and whether or not flash will vanquish HDD in the all-flash datacentre.
  • Flash prices drop towards spinning disk levels in 2023. Number-crunching data on 17,000-plus drive prices shows cost of flash drives per gigabyte fell by around 10% in past six months while hard disk drive per-gigabyte prices stood still.

Read more on SAN, NAS, solid state, RAID

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