It’s looking like today is a good day to buy a new SSD, because if the rumours emanating from Taipei are to be believed prices are set to skyrocket over the next few months. Prices of NAND flash memory, the essential building blocks of solid state drives, are set to rise by up to 40% this year.
That’s according to sources at memory chipmakers themselves, and given that there’s a cabal of NAND producers who practically control the price of the necessary flash memory by boosting or limiting production in the face of demand, they’re the ones who should know.
NAND prices have been steadily dropping over the last year or so as manufacturers ended up increasing their production of memory chips just as the demand for them fell off a cliff. That drove down prices and NAND suppliers have been cutting production to compensate and balance out the supply/demand equation ever since. And it looks like 2020 is where that balance is going to be reached if the manufacturers feel comfortable enough about bumping up the cost price again.
The report has come from Digitimes (behind a paywall) and cites “sources at memory chipmakers” as the leading doomsayers. There has already been a 10% price increase in December, and another 10% on that is expected for the first quarter of this year. Fingers crossed that Sony and Microsoft already have their SSD supply deals signed on the dotted line for both the PS5 and Xbox Series X, or the margins on the next gen consoles are going to get squeezed even more.
Both are set to sport high-performance NVMe SSDs at their hearts, which could have more impact on gaming performance than the improved AMD Navi GPUs inside each of them. But the next-gen SSDs could also have some serious impact on PC ports too…
The upshot of all this, however, is that the SSD you’ve been saving up for might be the cheapest it’s going to be right now. So if you’re after one of the best SSDs for gaming it’s probably worth taking a punt on one now before the price increases really bite.