While traditional hard drive pricing remains inflated after last year's Thai floods, the cost of SSDs continues to drop. The Tech Report took a look at the average cost of a number of popular solid state drives over the past year and charted the falling prices over a series of graphs.
The site found that the price for drives from OCZ, Corsair, and Crucial have fallen dramatically over the past year, with the larger 240GB / 256GB models dropping by over 50 percent in most cases. Samsung's 830 Series SSDs started at a lower cost than the others, but have settled into a similar price range today. The only buck to the trend is the Intel 320 Series, which uses a proprietary Intel controller and hasn't fluctuated much since its release. The newer Intel 520 Series, which uses the same SandForce controller as found in the majority of drives, is still pricier than most, as Intel differentiates its drives with custom firmware it says gives higher performance levels than its competitors' SSDs
Overall, the statistics show a huge 48 percent drop in the average price of a flash storage drive. Several models finally fall beneath the hallowed $1 per GB threshold, making them a viable alternative to regular hard drives. It's worth noting that although inferior in terms of performance and reliability, mechanical hard drives are still vastly cheaper — a 1TB HDD at $99.99 gives a per-GB cost of $0.10 — but if the SSD premium continues to fall at the current rate, we could see solid state drives achieve price parity with their HDD equivalents within just four years.