back to article WD: HDD prices won't fall to pre-flood levels until 2013

Hard disk drive pricing may not tumble to pre-flooding levels until next year as consumers and businesses continue to foot the bill for reparation work, WD has claimed. The once waterlogged WD fabs in the Navanakorn Industrial Estate Zone in Thailand were cleaned up earlier this year and are back up and running following the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They won't fall to that ever.

    Every day that passes gets more SSD buyin.

    The demand will collapse quicker than they can build.

    HDDs will be the preserve of governments needing massive random access, and they'll have to pay to keep the plants open.


      Re: They won't fall to that ever.

      That's funny.

      Not only is SSD gravely more expensive, but there simply aren't any SSD drives to match the larger spinny disks.

      It's hard to eviscerate your rivals when you don't even offer any sort of replacement product.

  2. Dazed and Confused

    SSD prices heading down fast

    > HDDs will be the preserve of governments needing massive random access

    HDDs are really S^%t at random access, they ain't too bad at sequential, and the thing about bandwidth is that you can always just buy more width. But if you want to do random IO, then SSDs are already a fraction of the cost of rusty round things on the basis of $/IO/s

    But its finally looking like the SSD manufactures have decided to see if they can get their pricing a bit closer and make it easier for customers to justify the upgrade costs. You get get a Samsung 256GB SSD for £150ish retail now, thats £120 ish for business by the time the VATs gone. Crucial 512GB units can be around the £300 mark inc the dread VAT... So consumer grade SSDs are already price comparable with enterprise grade SAS 15K disk mechs, and where as a disk has to play silly buggers to hit 200IO/s on random IO and really can't top 400-500, an SSD can best that by 2 orders of magnitude.

    Limited write cycles are still an issue I though. The power saving might mean though that the over all costs would work out lower even if you have to bin the SSDs at regular intervals.

    Once you've seen your Windoze box boot running on an SSD you ain't ever likely to want to go back are you.

    Oh boy would it be nice to finally see the back of disk drives and take computing beyond Charles Babbage's age of mechanical computing.

    1. JaimieV

      Re: SSD prices heading down fast

      > Limited write cycles are still an issue

      Not really.

      Take a current 240gig SSD based on MLC. It reckons on getting at least 3000 rewrites out of each memory cell. Worryingly low, you might think. But because the drive makes sure that each cell is used more or

      less equally, including shuffling rarely-used data around occasionally to get to the underused cells.

      So add it up. 3000 rewrites of 240gig is 720,000gig. If you write 10 gig of data to your drive every day, which is an awful lot (comparable to an OS reinstall with all apps, or adding a couple of big games *every day*), then the drive would be failing after only 200 years.

      The shuffling and other factors will reduce this, but even if *100gig/day* of data is written to the drive you're still looking at 20 years. By which time there'll be petabyte storage the size of your fingernail.

      So under very specific use cases (enterprise caching arrays perhaps?) SSD write cycle limits will be a drag. Under general use? Not a problem.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    or until 2014. Maybe

    cause you know, why should we ever drop them prices, if they still sell very well thank you? And if a punters grumble, let them fuck off and go buy cheaper on Mars, or Venus.

  4. {'-,_Ultron6_,-'}

    @Dazed and Confused

    Computing with no spinning platters? So you mean SLC SSDs (for write cycle performance), and no external spinning drives (the ones with vastly higher write cycles)?

    That will be both mega expensive and mega unreliable, cos when an SSD dies, there is no recovery.

    Supply and demand will be the challenge for SSDs, they have a limited global capacity, so when demand rises, so will price.

    1. Storage_Person

      Re: @Dazed and Confused

      "...when an SSD dies, there is no recovery."

      That's a stupid comment; of course when it dies there is no recovery. Exactly the same as HDDs. Except that SSDs already have built-in redundancy (basically a combination of internal RAID and over-allocation of capacity) and no moving parts so have fewer chances of both individual and systematic failure.

      Are they perfect? No. But are they at the stage where they are suitable, both reliability- and cost-wise, for primary storage for the vast majority of uses? Absolutely.

      1. JEDIDIAH

        Re: @Dazed and Confused

        No. It's not the same as with an HDD. A HDD with an error is still mostly usable. You can at least do data recovery against it. A bad SSD is just a brick.

        Seriously. It's enough of a difference that some of us have to worry about destroying spinny disks when disposing of old ones.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    trumped up claim dept

    shirley the WD building/contents insurance paid out?

  6. steve 124

    It's a fair cop...

    This screams of price gouging. I bought 3TB HDDs last year for $135 ea, same drive after the floods, $307. Remember the memory price trials? Same thing. Are we to believe that they've been supplying the world with HDDs for decades, lowering prices each year and then along comes flooding in Thailand and boom, can't produce enough sorry. No, these are big companies and it would be foolish to put all your production facilities in a single area prone to natural disasters. I hope they investigate and prosecute WD, Seagate, Maxtor and all the others who have been using this as an excuse to jack up prices to pre SSD levels. My answer to their price hikes... I won't buy. I don't believe SSD is reliable enough to trust my important data and they are making it unreasonable to purchase enough platter drives to RAID enough to be safe at large capacity. I hope you're right and prices fall because my last array (12TB) is getting rather low on free space. Until they do, they can go suck on it because I won't give them a dime at current GB/$ ratios.

    1. 142

      Re: It's a fair cop...

      Only if they colluded - they probably didn't - they probably all independently realized the same thing - that they could get away with charging more without losing customers.

      The price a company charges is NOT related to how much it costs to make something. It's related to how much people are willing to pay.

      They'd all be negligent to their respective shareholders not to raise their prices if possible.

  7. Joerg

    These managers just need to be jailed!

    Along with bankers.

    These are just frauds. It's a crime what they are doing.

    These people need to be jailed.

    It's a shame that FBI is not doing a damn thing along with all other police deptartments and justice systems in the world.

    No one is doing a damn thing to stop this huge mess. It's worse each day.

    The lack of law. And a corrupted justice system with fake judges, fake lawyers, fake jury.

    The world is collapsing. These thieves are allowed to do whatever criminal act pleases them and no one stops them.

    1. 142

      Re: These managers just need to be jailed!

      Eh? They're free to charge what they want, for whatever reason they want... just like you're free not to pay it. It's not like they're the only storage maker.........

      1. Joerg

        Re: These managers just need to be jailed!


        It's not right to steal money from people.

        It's not right to inflate prices to steal money.

        So bankers are good and free to do whatever they want too, right?

        That's your twisted logic.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: These managers just need to be jailed!

          What are you, 12 years old? They are charging what the market will bear, it's called capitalism and not a crime. If you don't want to pay their prices don't buy what they are selling, it's your choice. If it's too expensive the market will let them know by poor sales. Then they will HAVE to drop the price.

      2. unitron
        Black Helicopters

        Re: These managers just need to be jailed!

        "It's not like they're the only storage maker........."

        Until Seagate buys WD or the other way around.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: These managers just need to be jailed!

        Same thing with iDevices. They're overpriced for the parts, but people are willing to pay the difference, making Apple well over $111bn in reserves. No one forces you to buy a hard drive any more than you're forced to buy an iPad (save the obvious utility of a hard drive vs a tablet). If a soyuz rocket is the only thing that can get your satellite to orbit, either you pay the price or figure out how to do without until the prices are more reasonable to your taste.

  8. Jeebus

    So is this the fiftieth or sixtieth time this announcement has happened, how many analysts do they need to arrive at the conclusion that was already announced repeatedly over the past 8 months?

  9. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Wasnt there a story about someones bottom line

    suffering cos they'd got too many of these things in sheds a couple of days ago?

  10. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


    That's OK by me.

    I won't be buying any more storage until then...

  11. unitron

    Doesn't matter what year prices come back down...

    ...if what you want are brand new 1 and 2TB non AF drives with a respectably long warranty.

  12. Dan Paul

    Just because they can doesn't mean it's right, I agree with Joerg

    This is what happens with any kind of monopoly. There really are only two drive manufacturers WD and Seagate and I'm sure their respective managment had an "agreement" to fix prices.

    Now how do we PROVE it! The FTC needs to offer substantial rewards to whistleblowers that attract responsible, credible witnesses.

    There is no difference between this and the Barclays LIBOR Scandal.

    The only cure is life in prison for the offenders (in Singapore, prefereably)

    1. Kebabbert

      Re: Just because they can doesn't mean it's right, I agree with Joerg

      Read this, the crisis is fake, the manufacturers delivered more disks after the floodings, than before:

  13. logical


    I always thought that if your expenses went up, profits would go down. Doesn't seem to be happening in this case. Profits have gone UP. Obviously, prices have been raised more than expenses.

    These folks are a crock.

  14. Alan Brown Silver badge


    There are already 1Tb SSDs on the market and the vast majority of drives don't get that many write cycles anyway.

    When SSDs fail they tend to fail read-only - and they give a lot of warning, if destructive tests are any guide.

    Most mega-storage needs are write-once. It's just a pity tape has such poor seek speed.

  15. {'-,_Ultron6_,-'}

    The crisis is NOT fake!

    Try yelling "fake" and "my 2TB drive is to expensive" to the 815 dead , yes 815! The area of flooding was over 7700 square MILES. The drive supplier infrastructure was decimated. Whole factories were lost. The cost of a HDD facility recovery would be HUGE. The disaster was the 4th costliest disaster of all time (according to the world bank).

    Yet still we hear from poster (Joerg, Dan Paul etc) crying about HDD prices.

    Also dont forget that there is a considerable distribution network in between the HDD companies and the end customer.....if there are elevated prices then maybe the disti's are using the flood as an excuse to raise prices?

  16. AndyC

    SSDs? Too expensive for what you get...

    I've just done a cost comparison between various SSDs and traditional hard drives available on Ebuyer.

    Up to £50

    250GB WD Hard drive - £49.05 (19.6p/GB)

    60GB OCZ Agility 3 - £49.98 (83.3p/GB)

    About the £250 mark (or 3TB)

    3TB Seagate Barracuda HDD (1 year warranty) - £114.99 (3.8p/GB)

    3TB Hitachi Ultrastar HDD (5 year warranty) - £276.65 (9.2p/GB)

    240GB Kingston HyperX SSD (3 year warranty) - £275.15 (114.6p/GB)

    If I want storage, then I'll go for the 3TB drives. Having to pay over 10 times the price per GB (compating the Hitachi with the Kingston) just for speedier access seems to me to be ridiculous! If I'm going to be playing a game for a few hours, what does an extra few seconds loading time matter?

    Sorry, but SSDs don't offer me anything in the cost/benefit ratio that will convince me to change. Certainly, capacity wise, they are rubbish, and that is all I'm concerned about.


    1. Dazed and Confused

      Re: SSDs? Too expensive for what you get...

      You aren't really comparing like with like.

      That's like saying that buying an old bus is cheaper than buying a Lambo on a cost per seat basis.

      You can buy a 240GB Samsung SSD for ~£150

      A "high performance" HDD such as a Hitachi ULTRASTAR 300GB for £170 quid.

      So they cost about the same.

      Only one offered 100times the random IO transaction rate of the other and offers IO latencies (the real killer for many apps) a tiny fraction of its competitor.

      If you're buying 3TB drives you aren't in the slightest interested in random IO performance.

      Oh and you really wouldn't want to put a 15Krpm disk into you laptop.

      If you are after cheap mass storage for large amounts of data, I guess you're storing video if you're looking at 3TB drives, then yes spinny things are cheaper. and a bogo cheap HDD can write 2 HD TV programs and read another without any problems.

      Taking your example of a 250GB disk for £50 or mine of a 250GB SSD for £150 then the price difference in the cost of your laptop is only £100. Well, most people are going to notice more of a performance improvement out a ton spent on the SSD than they would spending the same amount on any other component. And laptops aren't normally used for performance sensitive mutltitreaded randon IO.

  17. nichobe

    I bought in october....

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Consumer exploitation at it's worst

    With PC demand down for the forseeable future, these extortionist HDD manufacturers might be digging their own grave? SSDs will eventually replace HDDs so it would be fitting to see the unscrupulous HDD makers go tits up after years of screwing consumers.

    1. {'-,_Ultron6_,-'}

      Re: Consumer exploitation at it's worst

      HDD makers - years of screwing customers??? How exactly? You mean by reinvesting major amounts of dollars into R&D so you can enjoy bigger and bigger drives year on year for all your pr0n etc?

      Not to mention that the HDD is by far the most advanced and difficult tech in a PC/laptop/DVR/server. ....and still all i hear is punters moaning about the prices. Why all the hating?

      Ive said it before and i'll say it again, SSD has limited mfg capacity, nevermind its technical limitations, they cannot and will not replace HDDs. They will be additional storage in the right markets, and if you really care about your important data, you should save a copy on a HDD and on a server based service.

      1. Dazed and Confused

        Re: Consumer exploitation at it's worst

        > you should save a copy on a HDD and on a server based service.

        How does that help?

        Read the Ts&Cs, they don't offer you any promises and any promises aren't worth the non paper they aren't written on. Take MegaUpload as an example.

        Here today, Tomorrow?? who knows.

        You want to preserve your data, make backup copies.

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