Hard drive price history: price drop coming soon

Predicting hard drive cost: price drop coming?

Every time a new capacity hard drive comes out, the prices drop. In January 2008 a 1 TB drive was introduced, prices drop. In August 2008 1.5 TB drives came out, prices went down. When 2 TB drives got their introduction in January 2009, prices plummeted.

Around every six months, prices drop. But things have been quiet lately since the 2TB premiere in January six months ago. It seems like prices should be lowered again. Is a 2.5 TB hard drive coming?

The graph above shows the median price on NexTag.com. I took several sample drives from each category of 500GB, 750GB, 1TB, and 1.5TB. To make compare apples to apples, I kept the standards of 3.5-inch internal hard drive, interface is SATA 3.0Gb/s, and there had to be at least 10 sellers for the drive throughout the price history. Lines above show the MEDIAN price. I was tempted to use the lower price graph from nextag, because that’s what we all really buy at anyways. But the median seemed better to show trends in the industry. According to this graph 1 TB drives are going for around $100. While on newegg.com, you can really get a 1 terabyte drive for $75. (just so you know).

Here’s the drives used in the graph:

500 GB

750 GB

1 TB

1.5 TB

2 TB

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13 years ago

The underlying analysis of your research looks like the market may be reaching the leveling off point similar to what digital cameras are experiencing. Years ago (specifically 1999) when the first 2 megapixel digital cameras were introduced a certain pattern was developed in the industry where megapixel capacities of digital cameras could be somewhat predicted. 2 megapixels then 3, 4, 5 and so on. The pattern began to stretch itself out when the market saw 8 megapixels on a common basis. The reason being is two-fold. 1: The image sensor of cameras are only so large. Cramming more pixel sensors onto the sensor results in a less quality image, especially at higher ISOs. There’s only so much space on a hard drive platter to cram in storage. The more data space that is crammed onto the platter, the more likely that sectors of the drive will become corrupted. 2: Companies think they can determine what consumers want. They think most consumers don’t need a camera with more than 10 megapixels. They also think that most consumers don’t need hard drives larger than 1 TB. I think hard drive and camera manufacturers rely quite heavily on factor #2 in determining what they produce. Unfortunately companies listen to too many consumers that don’t know any better. And as result, mediocrity becomes the standard.

13 years ago

I’m currently using: C: 600 GB [4x 150 GB RAID0″> D: 3 TB [4x 1000 GB RAID5″> E: 1 TB [2x 500 GB RAID0″> Laptop: 500 GB Looking forward to a price drop as I’m starting to run out of space :/

13 years ago

Nice chart, thanks for it. I’ve been holding out for cheaper 2TB’s myself to build two identical NAS machines. I have four computers and here are their drive configurations as best I can recall: HTPC: 120GiB 2.5″ (hey, it’s quiet) Workstation: 2x1TiB, 1x500GiB, 1x128GiB SSD Laptop: 1x128GiB SSD NAS: 6x500GiB in RAID6, 1x80GiB IDE boot drive.

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