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Why are HDDs still so expensive.

Discussion in 'Storage Drives' started by pc-guy, 30 Oct 2020.

  1. pc-guy

    Mobster

    Joined: 29 May 2005

    Posts: 3,706

    Looking to pull together something small and expand my storage.

    checking out 8TB and 10TB drives. The prices are still ridiculously expensive.

    my 6TB Ironwolf was £160 some 5yrs ago and the 6TB Ironwolf is still around that price. 8TB is over £200 and 10TB is stratospheric.

    what is going on. Why is this old tech still costing us that much?
     
  2. Bouton Aide

    Caporegime

    Joined: 9 Aug 2008

    Posts: 28,311

    Supply and demand. A lot more people is saving in “cloud” for important things and more people moving towards streaming so they probably don’t need bigger storage. I get by on a 256GB SSD and everything else is stored other places. I did use to have a 4tb drive but stopped downloading as much. Don’t even have any big drives any more.
     
  3. JasonM

    Mobster

    Joined: 19 Jun 2009

    Posts: 2,897

    Your forgetting there is a lot of components in a HDD, cost of the metal, all the manufacturing. Some HDD's even have dual CPU controllers. Then there is the physical weight and shipping costs.
     
  4. bremen1874

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Oct 2008

    Posts: 11,876

    So cheaper in real terms?
     
  5. pc-guy

    Mobster

    Joined: 29 May 2005

    Posts: 3,706

    What do you mean? The £/GB hasn’t moved much in as many years. Previously the platter density used to double up every 2yrs so the £/GB was roughly halving.
     
  6. Bouton Aide

    Caporegime

    Joined: 9 Aug 2008

    Posts: 28,311

    Doesn’t matter. Supply and demand.
     
  7. pc-guy

    Mobster

    Joined: 29 May 2005

    Posts: 3,706

    Tbh that might be the truth. Before the advent of mainstream SSD everyone had a HDD in their computer. Nowadays not many would require one. 2TB SSD offers significant performance and that size seems to be the perfect solution for most people.

    less sales means their HDD manufacturer needing to het higher margin on whatever sales they do generation. Even in data centre space it used to be all HDD now there are plenty enterprise SSDs that being deployed.

    the silly thing about SSD vs HDD, my Ironwolf can sustain a very good sequential transfer rate above 100MB+ I believe. I compared it with a cheapy SSD (dram less and with very little cache). The SSD falls flat compared with the HDD when we are talking about shifting big amount of data.
     
  8. bimbleuk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 10 Sep 2009

    Posts: 1,962

    Location: Gloucestershire

    Exactly plus the clean environment required to assemble them and each drive is tested to create a custom BIOS written to map out the defects & platter characteristics. Also why data recovery can be an expensive process.
     
  9. EsaT

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 6 Jun 2008

    Posts: 9,372

    Location: Finland

  10. EsaT

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 6 Jun 2008

    Posts: 9,372

    Location: Finland

    DRAM or no DRAM has nothing to do with it.
    Those are never enough for big sequential writes.
    Problem is QLC Flash, whose actual write speed is worser than in 10 years old HDD.
    Hence those drives rely completely on SLC mode cache writing to not be slow as pile of dung.

    TLC drives can easily maintain faster than HDD speeds even after running out of caches.
     
  11. pc-guy

    Mobster

    Joined: 29 May 2005

    Posts: 3,706

    Heard about this. But isn’t it a complete gamble? Also haven’t WD put a stop to this by soldering on the controller circuit board to the HDD.

    also I don’t think every TLC drives are made the same. The controllers are the weakest link. My 1TB Kingston Drive was slower than my Ironwolf when doing data backup after the initial burst speed ran out and for some reason small file transfer rate was less than HDD. It was a TLC but I suspect it was a very densely packed TLC. That’s why I am ever so aware that QLC drive is just not gonna be viable for most of my usage.
     
  12. JasonM

    Mobster

    Joined: 19 Jun 2009

    Posts: 2,897

    I still use Western Digital Enterprise HDD's for SQL / database storage, they give very quick consistent speeds. I have 100% reliability with them also.

    As I type this I have 3 2TB WD Enterprise UltraStars on my desk ready to be used.
     
  13. EsaT

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 6 Jun 2008

    Posts: 9,372

    Location: Finland

  14. Justintime

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 24 Jul 2006

    Posts: 8,869

    Location: Edmonton, London, UK

    Yep bought a few toshiba 2.5" 2tb a few years back as the couple smaller ones i had were native sata.. surprise all were USB native interfaces..stubbornly i plonked a usb hub in the pc and used drivepool and they are still fine :D I've got a HTPC with a 8 drive 2.5" bay thats sat empty for a few years waiting on those 'cheap' 4tb SSDs for me to use an array for my 12tb of music :rolleyes:
     
  15. Cyber-Mav

    Capodecina

    Joined: 30 Jul 2005

    Posts: 15,440

    Location: Midlands

    Hdd has base line cost for the main body, then its just more platters inside and heads. Deffo some price gouging going on after a certain capacity point.
     
  16. streamvn

    Associate

    Joined: 3 Nov 2020

    Posts: 1

    That's right, Supply and Demand, which means that the demand for people to use hard drives today is still huge, so there won't be cheap prices now.
     
  17. pp111

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Oct 2018

    Posts: 2,053

    Yes they do seem to have got stuck. I noticed that last time I went to buy one that they were pretty much the same cost as the previous time I bought one. I suppose they have just reached their bottom line. Now we are just waiting for SSD's to wipe them out altogether.
     
  18. chaparral

    Capodecina

    Joined: 27 Nov 2005

    Posts: 22,656

    Location: Guernsey

    Maybe it because Hard drive manufacturers know how much 4GB & 8TB SSD's & NVMe cost so they don't need to drop there prices

    8TB NVMe = About £1400
    8TB SSD = About £800
    8TB 3.5" Around £200
     
    Last edited: 3 Nov 2020
  19. mattyg

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 17 Jun 2007

    Posts: 8,104

    Just had a WD 14TB HC530 delivered this morning for £204+vat

    Supply and demand they are now 264 + vat at the same place
     
  20. MrFunex

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Oct 2005

    Posts: 1,128

    Location: Southampton

    Shucking from 3.5” external drives seems to be the only way the big drives are affordable any more.