South African SSD prices decreasing
SSD makes moves to dominate HDD tech, but how long before it’s affordable?
“In South Africa we are currently experiencing a decrease in solid state drive (SSD) pricing. This can be attributed to an escalation in the production of SSDs as more and more users adopt the technology.” This is word from Grant Rau, Business Development Manager for Kingston Technology in South Africa.
“The pricing for SSDs is expected to come down even more, as retailers are showing a growing interest to stock SSDs, which in return will drive sales. I see this as the tipping point for SSD technology, where it will become more and more affordable for price conscious gamers and consumers,” said Rau.
SSDs are appealing to consumers who want a high-speed operating system drive and those who seek a performance boost when loading large applications and games.We asked Rau to highlight some of the benfits of the technology.
“Users are becoming more aware of SSDs and what they have to offer, as they become more and more tech savvy. This is prevalent with users such as gamers, enthusiasts, and power users who are raising their standards when it comes to performance. We are living in an ”instant on” society, whether it is a smartphone, desktop, or notebook – users need instant access to information. SSD technology provides users with lightning fast boot up times, 10 times faster read and write speeds, as well as the reliability of no moving parts. On top of all of that, it offers silent, cool precision with a time before failure of over one million hours,” said Rau.
However, although prices may be on a downward trend according to Rau, this doesn’t mean they are yet considered cheap in comparison to the more common HDD. MyGaming recently compared SSD pricing in SA, and numbers ranged from R900 for 60GB drives, up to R3,000 for 240GB drives.
We asked Rau when he thinks SSD will reach a price tipping point where users are willing to make the switch for the performance gains.
“We are already at the tipping point, as we are currently seeing prices below $1 (R8.40) per GB. This type of pricing, coupled with the current sweet spot of the 128GB SSD capacity, will make the transition easier. The ideal price-point we would like to see is R999.00 for a 128GB SSD being readily available at a retail level,” said Rau.
We asked Rau for his predictions on the movements of SSD technology in the industry.
“We see SSD technology moving into the mainstream market by 2013. One only has to look at the adoption and utilisation of embedded SSDs in products such as the Ultrabook or Macbook Air, to see that the use of SSD technology is on the rise. Embedded SSD’s will become established in point of sale, digital signage, and many other areas by improving performance and reliability,” said Rau.
“Not only will SSD technology be used in a client/desktop space, but we will see it become more prevalent in terms of server applications, which will then in return enhance the cloud and virtualised environments. With a large scale adoption of SSD technology, we will then again see a decrease in pricing.”
“In our current economic climate, price is always going to be a major consideration for our customers. However, we don’t believe this is a major barrier. Those that have adopted SSD technology have realised the benefits it can provide and the increased performance per $/R it can bring to them,” said Rau.
As for the future of SSDs, Rau said “SSD technology will definitely take over the reins from the traditional HDD that has been around since 1956. We are already seeing large HDD companies releasing their own SSD products. When it comes to speed, HDD technology is limited to 15,000RPM, and is unable to utilise significant processing power.”
“At the moment HDD technology does offer greater benefits in terms of storage capacity, however SSD is catching up. There are currently 1TB SSD capacities available in the market.” said Rau.
We asked why the average retail shopper should choose a more expensive SSD option?
“It all boils down to performance,” said Rau. “The average retail shopper should also take the following aspects into account:”
- SSDs offer greater read and write transfer speeds than HDD,
- Increasingly higher capacities are becoming available,
- Superior controllers and,
- They offer ease of installation.
In conclusion, we asked Rau to outline Kingston Technology’s plans for the South African market. “Kingston’s focus in SA is to educate the market about the benefits of SSD technology, as well as making the product more readily available in the consumer and gamer space. We are also looking at building on the established Kingston brand name by selling reliable and quality memory products, which offer the best in performance,” said Rau.