SSD prices could see a steep decline in 2018

What goes up must come down, right? Let's hope that is the case when it comes to solid state drive pricing. As we pointed out last month, tight supply of NAND flash memory chips has led to higher priced SSDs, but the good news is a steep decline might be coming.

According to Trendfocus, SSD pricing has jumped by as much as 36 percent in some places. The market research firm expects that price increases will be the norm throughout the rest of 2017, but once 2018 rolls around, prices could go into a free fall and return to where they were before they started rising in the first place.

There is also a chance that prices could ease before then. That will depend on whether chipmakers are able to ramp up 3D NAND flash memory production in time for the back-to-school season.

"If they do not make this window, then it will be business as usual for SSD vendors for all of 2017—higher prices, higher margins, and healthy financials. But don’t fret, we are all pretty sure the normal (crazy) pricing behavior will return sometime in 2018—and quarterly takedowns for SSDs will once again, ride a slippery, steep, downhill slope," Trendfocus said.

Of course, waiting until 2018 to buy an SSD is not an option is you're if building or upgrading a system before then. If that's the case, be on the lookout for deals, especially among drives that use triple-level cell (TLC) NAND. DRAMeXchange said last month that the industry-wide transition to 3D NAND and 2D-NAND TLC production has cut into the supply of 2D-NAND MLC chips.

"Thus, the price increase of MLC-based SSDs is outpacing that of TLC-based SSDs," said Alan Chen, senior research manager at DRAMeXchange.

TLC-based SSDs are typically less expensive than drives that use other types of NAND flash memory. They also perform slower, though there are SATA 6Gbps SSDs using TLC memory with rated read and write performance topping 500MB/s.

If you're looking to upgrade sooner rather than later, check out or roundup of the best SSD deals for guidance.