Thailand floods did triple hard disk prices, but did it help Solid State Drives (SSD) sell better instead?
The effect of last month's Thailand floods is still felt far and wide in the storage industry as well as the computer market in general. Prices triple that of usual are still not uncommon for many hard disk drive types, as the componentry for them was coming from flood-affected areas – even then, it's hard to find them. Now, SSDs don't suffer from the same problem, it seems, so what to make out of it?
Yes, it does seem that there is benefit for SSD sales, even the biggies like Intel have privately acknowledged that. The immediate benefit for them is that, coupled with some SSD price reductions and X'mas period promotions, having a 120 GB-class SSD is now not exactly unaffordable even for a mainstream PC. A 240 GB one may still feel a little pricey, but not nearly as much as it was a quarter ago when the price-per-GB vs hard disk was like five times higher. And, when you take into account that exponentially higher read performance – writes can still be a bit of problem sometimes depending on the controller you're using – and the 'cool' factor of having a solid state drive to show off, the sales would improve surely.
With the differential being much lower now, having the first system drive as SSD, and using your old – no extra price to pay – HDD as the second drive for the paging file and often-rewritten documents or data, means good sense. However, keep in mind that, within a quarter, the HDD supply situation should come back to normal, so SSD vendors better figure out the way to maximise the use of the current hard disk supply doldrum before their comparative price benefit diminishes again.