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Flash Storage Prices Drop

Flash Storage Costs Approach Those of Traditional Spinning Disk Drives in 2023

Since March 2023, the prices of flash drives per gigabyte (GB) have dropped by over 10%, reaching an average of $0.075/GB this week, down from approximately $0.09 per gigabyte six months ago. This decline was revealed through an exclusive analysis conducted by Computer Weekly, which collected weekly drive prices from as aggregated by The study encompassed 28 weeks, accumulating data from more than 17,000 drive prices and specifications. During the same period, spinning disk hard drive prices remained relatively stable, standing at $0.05/GB for SAS drives and $0.035/GB for SATA drives.

The analysis, based on’s aggregation of new drive prices on, involved more than 600 prices and specifications being gathered weekly. The data was meticulously filtered to differentiate between various flash and spinning disk types, and the average price per gigabyte was calculated for each category weekly.

The figures highlight a narrowing price gap between flash drives and spinning disks over the six-month span. The data, covering drives ranging from less than 1TB to 22TB for hard disk drives (HDD) and 8TB for solid-state drives (SSD), with an average of 3.6TB per drive, illustrates a consistent drop in price per gigabyte for all three types of flash drives. In contrast, spinning disk HDD prices remained relatively unchanged. This trend aligns with the long-term prediction of flash storage array manufacturers, indicating a competitive pricing scenario with HDDs in terms of capacity.

While price per gigabyte is a pivotal factor for customers planning for large capacities, other elements such as total cost of ownership, including purchase cost, energy consumption, and maintenance, play a crucial role in procurement decisions. The energy efficiency debate between flash drives and spinning disks continues, with the efficiency depending on the specific drive model chosen.

Spinning disks, due to their moving parts, generally consume more power than solid-state drives in all operational states. Flash drives often draw similar or slightly less power than HDDs during reads and writes, and significantly less when idle. Flash drives gain an advantage in terms of storage density as capacities increase, although they tend to be more expensive to purchase than spinning disks. However, lower maintenance costs balance out this higher initial cost. For instance, cloud storage provider Backblaze reported a lower SSD lifetime annual failure rate of 0.9% in mid-2023, compared to 1.45% for HDDs.

Some storage suppliers, such as Pure Storage, claim superior price per-gigabyte costs compared to off-the-shelf drives. Pure Storage achieves this by constructing its own high-density drives, surpassing the capacity offered by major drive manufacturers and thus claiming a more favorable cost per capacity ratio.