Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Apple Lowers SSD Prices

Benjamin Mayo (tweet, MacRumors):

In addition to launching refreshes to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, Apple has lowered the cost of higher-end Mac solid state storage options, cutting the price in half for many of the configurations.

For example, the 4 TB SSD of the 512 GB 15-inch MacBook Pro used to cost $2800. It now costs $1,400. These savings are seen across the iMac, iMac Pro, Mac mini, and MacBook Air line.


The general pattern is that the first upgrade still costs the same, with price reductions applied to the bigger capacities.

This is great news, although the prices still seem inflated. For comparison, Apple is charging $400 to go from 256 GB to 1 TB, but you can get a highly regarded 1 TB Samsung SSD for $137. And there’s now a 2 TB Intel one for $103. Granted, this is not as fast as what Apple ships, but for many people the tradeoff would be worth it for that amount of storage. And it would certainly be an improvement over the spinning hard drive in the 2019 iMac.

It’s important to get enough internal storage because current Macs don’t have many ports, and there are issues with external drives.

Howard Oakley:

The snag with thermal throttling is that it only happens when you’re putting pressure on the SSD, maybe with it writing hundreds of GB of video. So when you need the X5’s performance most is when it’s most likely to have to use thermal throttling to keep itself cool. In what I thought was a comfortable ambient of 23˚C (73˚F) with a light breeze and good shade, my X5 suffered thermal throttling fairly consistently when I left it to run the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test for longer than 2 minutes 45 seconds, and by 3 minutes most of its writing was being done at 700 MB/s or less.


Yes, the installer thought it had worked and installed the two kernel extensions it required (two kernel extensions? really?), but in fact they had been blocked by macOS, so the Samsung app couldn’t see the SSD.


4 Comments RSS · Twitter

"This is great news, although the prices still seem inflated. For comparison, Apple is charging $400 to go from 256 GB to 1 TB, but you can get a highly regarded 1 TB Samsung SSD for $137. "

And what most people (not you, necessarily) apparently forget when comparing prices like this is you are effectively paying TWICE. Once for the original 256 GB included in the base configuration (whatever the current market price for that is) which Apple does not give you if you choose to upgrade PLUS the $400 upgrade fee. So not only can you get a Samsung for $137, the price premium is not just $400-$137=$263 it's [$400+(price of 256GB that you don't get)]-$137. Compared to say, upgrading after the fact yourself (not possible on MBP now) where you get to keep the 256 GB SSD and throw it into an external enclosure or whatever. Considering this, the upgrade fees are even more insane than they seem.

That Intel SSD pricing was unusual for sure. I’ve been tracking it the past several months, and lately it’s been hovering around $195 (where it’s at currently), down from $200-300+ earlier. Even at its current price, it’s been the price/TB leader for most of the year.

Ghost Quartz

For whatever reason they don’t want to use slower SSDs. They should’ve called their high-performance NVMe SSDs “Pro Flash” or something, leaving room for lower-end “Flash” SSDs on the entry-level desktops.

I wish the comparison would be better, the Samsung 1TB was an SATA III SSD, A similar quality SSD from Samsung [1] is still going for around $200.

That is assuming all the new SSD used inside MBA / MBP 2019 are the same as those prior to 2018. They might be slower, not MLC but QLC, we don't know just yet.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-970-EVO-Plus-MZ-V7S1T0B/dp/B07MFZY2F2/ref=lp_1292116011_1_6?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1562754749&sr=1-6

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