[SOLVED] Why HD prices are still so high?

backonshore

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One of my 3 TB drives burnt out last night, so I was hoping to start replacing them with 8s. But I was so naïve (ignorant?).
4 years ago 3 TB Hitachi Desktar and WD blue were $80, and Red was 100. Today for that same price I can barely afford a 4TB.

What gives?

ps: sounds like shucking a what cool kids do now. What's the unit for choice this week?
 
One of my 3 TB drives burnt out last night, so I was hoping to start replacing them with 8s. But I was so naïve (ignorant?).
4 years ago 3 TB Hitachi Desktar and WD blue were $80, and Red was 100. Today for that same price I can barely afford a 4TB.

What gives?

ps: sounds like shucking a what cool kids do now. What's the unit for choice this week?
Advancements in platter density have largely stalled for the better part of the last decade. Your 3TB drives likely used three 1TB platters, and today's do as well, so they cost roughly the same to manufacture as they did then. Many of the higher density drives are using somewhat higher density platters, but they still mostly get those higher densities by adding more platters, thus increasing the cost to manufacture them. 8TB drives generally use five to six platters, roughly double what's in your current drives, so they will naturally cost more.

Be aware that some recent drives with higher-density platters will also use shingled magnetic recording (SMR) to get those capacities using fewer platters, and SMR has a negative impact on performance. It has the potential to significantly cripple performance when performing random writes to the drives, as they overlap data in such a way that they need to overwrite a relatively large chunk of data each time a small amount is written. If you are writing large files once to a drive and only reading them afterwards, like for video storage, then its probably not a big concern, but for tasks involving lots of small writes and rewrites, then you may want a tradition CMR drive, which will often cost a little more due to them using more platters for a given density. Some product listings have actually started noting whether a drive is SMR or CMR now, since the manufacturers recently got called out for quietly swapping in SMR platters in place of CMR ones to cut costs, while keeping the existing model numbers. Of course, if you are shucking an external drive, then it will be harder to tell exactly what sort of drive you will be getting inside.
 

Mr.Spock

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there's always a need for the lower capacity drives and production costs don't decrease so those will stay pretty much fixed with only 2 major players in the game. the motors and housing still cost the same to make unlike silicon... depending on the region you can get a 4/5TB external and harvest the drive - also plenty of HGST Ultrastar 3TB server pulls are available for cheap.
 

backonshore

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there's always a need for the lower capacity drives and production costs don't decrease so those will stay pretty much fixed with only 2 major players in the game. the motors and housing still cost the same to make unlike silicon... depending on the region you can get a 4/5TB external and harvest the drive - also plenty of HGST Ultrastar 3TB server pulls are available for cheap.
Right, I saw a pile of Amazon refurbs for $50-60, but that's still a ton for a drive with a lot of mileage, and it looks like a lot of them are dead on arrival.

Got any suggestions for good external drives to pillage or an active deal?
 

Obiwancanabi

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if its an external you might be able to get into it to replace the HDD itself, they going at about 60 euros for an internal here, the cage and thing is always going to add about the same cost to things so $80 is about right, aint gonna save you much but thats a hell of alot cheaper than then i got mine a few years back :D i think a 2TB drive was about £130

https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-3-5-Inch-Internal-Enterprise-ST14000NM001G/dp/B07SPFPKF4/ref=sr_1_13?dchild=1&keywords=internal+hdd&qid=1609145284&sr=8-13&th=1

16TB 350 euros
 
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backonshore

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if its an external you might be able to get into it to replace the HDD itself, they going at about 60 euros for an internal here, the cage and thing is always going to add about the same cost to things so $80 is about right, aint gonna save you much but thats a hell of alot cheaper than then i got mine a few years back :D i think a 2TB drive was about £130

https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-3-5-Inch-Internal-Enterprise-ST14000NM001G/dp/B07SPFPKF4/ref=sr_1_13?dchild=1&keywords=internal+hdd&qid=1609145284&sr=8-13&th=1

16TB 350 euros
It's one of my QNAP drives.. Made it a year past the warranty so that's nice (ST3000DM008)
Thinking out loud here.... I was hoping to go from 3 TB to 8TB drives. But it looks more expensive than I expected.

Any suggestions for a 6 or 8TB drives?
 
One of my 3 TB drives burnt out last night, so I was hoping to start replacing them with 8s. But I was so naïve (ignorant?).
4 years ago 3 TB Hitachi Desktar and WD blue were $80, and Red was 100. Today for that same price I can barely afford a 4TB.

What gives?

ps: sounds like shucking a what cool kids do now. What's the unit for choice this week?
Advancements in platter density have largely stalled for the better part of the last decade. Your 3TB drives likely used three 1TB platters, and today's do as well, so they cost roughly the same to manufacture as they did then. Many of the higher density drives are using somewhat higher density platters, but they still mostly get those higher densities by adding more platters, thus increasing the cost to manufacture them. 8TB drives generally use five to six platters, roughly double what's in your current drives, so they will naturally cost more.

Be aware that some recent drives with higher-density platters will also use shingled magnetic recording (SMR) to get those capacities using fewer platters, and SMR has a negative impact on performance. It has the potential to significantly cripple performance when performing random writes to the drives, as they overlap data in such a way that they need to overwrite a relatively large chunk of data each time a small amount is written. If you are writing large files once to a drive and only reading them afterwards, like for video storage, then its probably not a big concern, but for tasks involving lots of small writes and rewrites, then you may want a tradition CMR drive, which will often cost a little more due to them using more platters for a given density. Some product listings have actually started noting whether a drive is SMR or CMR now, since the manufacturers recently got called out for quietly swapping in SMR platters in place of CMR ones to cut costs, while keeping the existing model numbers. Of course, if you are shucking an external drive, then it will be harder to tell exactly what sort of drive you will be getting inside.
 

backonshore

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Advancements in platter density have largely stalled for the better part of the last decade. Your 3TB drives likely used three 1TB platters, and today's do as well, so they cost roughly the same to manufacture as they did then. Many of the higher density drives are using somewhat higher density platters, but they still mostly get those higher densities by adding more platters, thus increasing the cost to manufacture them. 8TB drives generally use five to six platters, roughly double what's in your current drives, so they will naturally cost more.

Be aware that some recent drives with higher-density platters will also use shingled magnetic recording (SMR) to get those capacities using fewer platters, and SMR has a negative impact on performance. It has the potential to significantly cripple performance when performing random writes to the drives, as they overlap data in such a way that they need to overwrite a relatively large chunk of data each time a small amount is written. If you are writing large files once to a drive and only reading them afterwards, like for video storage, then its probably not a big concern, but for tasks involving lots of small writes and rewrites, then you may want a tradition CMR drive, which will often cost a little more due to them using more platters for a given density. Some product listings have actually started noting whether a drive is SMR or CMR now, since the manufacturers recently got called out for quietly swapping in SMR platters in place of CMR ones to cut costs, while keeping the existing model numbers. Of course, if you are shucking an external drive, then it will be harder to tell exactly what sort of drive you will be getting inside.
Thanks. I've spent the last 2 hours looking at comments of 6 and 8TB drives to see what's not SMR. It's frustrating but I'm no closer to pulling a trigger in the $130-$150 range.
 

backonshore

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Of course, if you are shucking an external drive, then it will be harder to tell exactly what sort of drive you will be getting inside.
Seems that if I get an 8tb WD enclosure, I'd most likely not get a SMR drive. But it's always a gamble. I decided to just buy one now at full price (8TB for $150 seems like a good deal), but even that is proving difficult
 

Obiwancanabi

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Any suggestions for a 6 or 8TB drives?
Nah not that i have any experience with, something inside me doesnt like having drives that are too big, I think id go for a little NAS tower and run in RAID or something with some backup if i had the understanding and funds :p Iv got a WD 4TB external and 3TB seagate doing me well, but I make sure they are out of the way and i prey i dont lose either lol they are both getting pretty full, i have a bit of a hoarding problem, well a rational fear of losing internet for prolongued periods, i use this as a media centre so its full of everything to survive the boredom
 

Mr.Spock

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WD doesn't make SMRs in 8TB yet - many were in fact are HGST Ultrastars
you can get the 8TB easyStore from BestBuy, OEM Red Plus was on sale @Newegg last week for $150 (assuming you're in the US)

Seems that if I get an 8tb WD enclosure, I'd most likely not get a SMR drive. But it's always a gamble. I decided to just buy one now at full price (8TB for $150 seems like a good deal), but even that is proving difficult
 
Dec 28, 2020
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One of my 3 TB drives burnt out last night, so I was hoping to start replacing them with 8s. But I was so naïve (ignorant?).
4 years ago 3 TB Hitachi Desktar and WD blue were $80, and Red was 100. Today for that same price I can barely afford a 4TB.

What gives?

ps: sounds like shucking a what cool kids do now. What's the unit for choice this week?
What speed are they, 5400 or 7200? The 7200 are considerably higher and if your replacing a 5400 drive with a 7200 you are definitely going to experience a price increase.
 

Mr.Spock

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it dropped in price today - 129.99, also the 12TB elements is $180 at B&H
That's literally what I just got. Right now it's $140 with a $25 gift card.
the Reds and Blues (over 2TB) would be 5400, Deskstar could be either depending on whether they're Coolspin. so it's not a matter of changing speeds - those specs haven't changed
What speed are they, 5400 or 7200? The 7200 are considerably higher and if your replacing a 5400 drive with a 7200 you are definitely going to experience a price increase.
 
Dec 28, 2020
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it dropped in price today - 129.99, also the 12TB elements is $180 at B&H


the Reds and Blues (over 2TB) would be 5400, Deskstar could be either depending on whether they're Coolspin. so it's not a matter of changing speeds - those specs haven't changed
The spin specs change a lot in a comparison of 5400 vs 7200 rpm. All of the specs like cache, spin, read / write. Don't kid yourself. If budget is a limiting factor you tend to accept and live the slower speeds, but if you can afford the difference in price, by all means go with the faster.

You seem to be fixated on Western Digital. Have you overlooked Seagate. They manufacture up to 14 TB drives in 7200 rpm for a few extra dollars. A Seagate ST8000NM000A 8TB 7200 rpm 256MB 3.5" will run about $220 and 4TB 7200 rpm drives for under $100.
 
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Have you considered the MVMe M.2 SSD drives. With the Gen 4 drives reaching unbelievable R/W speeds the Gen 3 drives are going down in price. I was just looking and you can get a 2TB Crucial for $225. Now the data transfer rate on your SATA HDD is 600 MB/s at best, most likely in the 350-400 MB/s range if that. I just ran a test on my 1TB Intel, which is not state of the art by a long shot, and it was 1300-1400 R/W MB/s. If your budget can afford some of the GEN 4 NVMe M.2 drives you can see REAL LIFE these data transfer rates increase to 5000 MB/s.
 

backonshore

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it dropped in price today - 129.99, also the 12TB elements is $180 at B&H
Yeap! Noticed last night, asking BB for a price match.
Maybe they'll keep going down in price :) ?

Have you considered the MVMe M.2 SSD drives. With the Gen 4 drives reaching unbelievable R/W speeds the Gen 3 drives are going down in price. <snip>
My boot drive is 960 Evo. It's so fast, the only reason to upgrade is more space :)
8TB nvme for a NAS is probably more expensive than a car ;p
 

Mr.Spock

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spin rate affects access, thoughput on the WDs is excellent @180MB/s.

That renders access time moot for NAS

The spin specs change a lot in a comparison of 5400 vs 7200 rpm. All of the specs like cache, spin, read / write. Don't kid yourself. If budget is a limiting factor you tend to accept and live the slower speeds, but if you can afford the difference in price, by all means go with the faster.

You seem to be fixated on Western Digital. Have you overlooked Seagate. They manufacture up to 14 TB drives in 7200 rpm for a few extra dollars. A Seagate ST8000NM000A 8TB 7200 rpm 256MB 3.5" will run about $220 and 4TB 7200 rpm drives for under $100.
 

LeiHeJun

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Dec 13, 2020
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One of my 3 TB drives burnt out last night, so I was hoping to start replacing them with 8s. But I was so naïve (ignorant?).
4 years ago 3 TB Hitachi Desktar and WD blue were $80, and Red was 100. Today for that same price I can barely afford a 4TB.

What gives?

ps: sounds like shucking a what cool kids do now. What's the unit for choice this week?
I think prices will drop when HAMR comes. Seagate probably is going to release some this year.
They use heat to write more data in the same area. So we'll have 60tb inside same 3.5" box (many years later of course)

But anyway, with Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording coming, I think there will be big price drops for 10tb or so.

I got mine in summer, now it's 9% cheaper.
 
What speed are they, 5400 or 7200? The 7200 are considerably higher and if your replacing a 5400 drive with a 7200 you are definitely going to experience a price increase.
Except some of WD's "5400 RPM-class" drives are actually 7200 RPM models. >_>

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/wd-5400rpm-drive-speed-examined

Have you considered the MVMe M.2 SSD drives. With the Gen 4 drives reaching unbelievable R/W speeds the Gen 3 drives are going down in price. I was just looking and you can get a 2TB Crucial for $225. Now the data transfer rate on your SATA HDD is 600 MB/s at best, most likely in the 350-400 MB/s range if that. I just ran a test on my 1TB Intel, which is not state of the art by a long shot, and it was 1300-1400 R/W MB/s. If your budget can afford some of the GEN 4 NVMe M.2 drives you can see REAL LIFE these data transfer rates increase to 5000 MB/s.
They are looking for 8TB of storage in the sub-$150 range, not the $1000 range. : P And if it's for something like bulk video storage, then the extra performance might not often be all that beneficial anyway.
 
Dec 28, 2020
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Except some of WD's "5400 RPM-class" drives are actually 7200 RPM models. >_>

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/wd-5400rpm-drive-speed-examined


They are looking for 8TB of storage in the sub-$150 range, not the $1000 range. : P And if it's for something like bulk video storage, then the extra performance might not often be all that beneficial anyway.
I just got off of NewEgg's site and they have the WD 8 TB Elements for $145. That is abn attractive price and the direction to go if your mainboard supports USB 3.1 or better yet 3.2
 

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