Chia Mining craze has eased, but HDD prices are still rising
This Chia Coin The cryptocurrency boom has caused an almost immediate shortage of many popular hard drives, and the resulting price has risen sharply. Now Chia seems to be slowing down, which should lead to reduced demand for high-capacity HDDs and high-endurance SSDs. We have studied how Chia’s slowing expansion and increased HDD supply affect retail HDD pricing. Although some pricing declined last month, it turns out that most drives still sell for much higher prices than their manufacturers’ suggested retail prices. In some cases, pricing has even increased.
The storage crisis driven by Chia unfolded at an extremely fast pace. In just one month, from late April to early June, the space allocated to the Chia network increased from 1 exabyte to 16 exabytes.Since the largest hard drive manufacturer only sells 30% to 40% of products Through distributors and retailers, the sharp increase in demand immediately led to shortages and soaring prices.
According to our previous observations, by mid-May, even if the price of each drive increases from US$100 to US$350, it is almost impossible to find a large-capacity HDD.
However, as you can see in the graph above, which measures the total amount of storage capacity dedicated to the Chia network, growth has now slowed. It increased from 16.1 EB on June 1 to 29.098 EB on June 29, which is still a significant increase, but Chia’s pace of expansion has slowed down significantly. Let’s see how this affects HDD pricing.
Desktop hard drives: 10TB, 12TB and 14TB, 7200 RPM, CMR
Advanced desktop drives are not suitable for Chia Agriculture because they are not designed to work in a multi-drive environment. However, their usually lower prices are really suitable for miners who want the most profit, leading to shortages.
To our surprise, the pricing of some 10TB desktop hard drives, such as Seagate’s BarraCuda Pro 10TB And Western Digital WD_Black 10TB, Which has actually increased since mid-May, probably because of a decrease in supply.In contrast, Toshiba’s X300 10TB Keep the pricing in mid-May.
Seagate BarraCuda Pro 12TB It seems to stay at around $430 (if you can buy it from Amazon).In contrast, Toshiba’s X300 12TB HDD prices range from US$336 to US$398, lower than the US$498 to US$506 in mid-May, but higher than the price in April.
Western Digital does not produce 12TB desktop hard drives, so we are considering its enterprise-oriented WD Gold 12TB For this category. In May, Amazon sold this drive from US$340 to US$440, but the current price is from US$400 to US$580, a significant increase. Unfortunately, as of press time, Western Digital did not provide this drive in its own online store, which indicates a supply issue.
Overall, 12TB desktop hard drives are mixed: Seagate’s BarraCuda Pro maintains its price, Toshiba’s X300 is cheaper, but Western Digital’s WD Gold is actually more expensive than in May.
14TB desktop hard drives are hard to find.Western Digital does not provide desktop drives of this capacity at all, which is why we must consider WD Gold 14TB In this category.Thanks to Seagate Barracuda Pro 14TB Not found at the time of writing, we have to consider Seagate’s Exos X16 14TB drive. Both drives are cheaper than in May, but still much more expensive than in March or April.
Toshiba’s X300 14TB It is the only 14TB hard drive that is truly designed for desktops rather than cloud data centers. This part has never been completely affordable at a price as high as $550. As early as May, Amazon resellers sold for $599. As we said, its price is $598, and the price has not changed.
NAS: 12TB & 14TB
Considering that they are designed to work in a multi-drive environment, proper NAS drives (7200 RPM, CMR) are better prepared for Chia mining than desktop HDDs.
For 12TB NAS HDD, we once again see a mixed bag.Seagate Iron Wolf 12TB And Toshiba’s N300 12TB Actually more expensive than in May.In contrast, Western Digital’s WD Red Plus 12TB (We are talking about the CMR 5400-RPM drive here) It is actually cheaper than before.
Up to 14TB indicates Seagate’s Iron Wolf 14TB It can be purchased from one of Seagate’s partners for US$470, which is lower than the US$620 in mid-May, but still slightly higher than Chia’s previous frenzy price.Something similar happened to Toshiba Enterprise capacity 14TB: It’s cheaper than May, but it’s more expensive than before.
In contrast, the price of Western Digital Red Plus 14TB One of the drives that did not become more expensive during the Chia frenzy. Its price has remained at around US$460 for a long period of time.
Data Center/Enterprise HDD: 16TB and 18TB, 7200 RPM, CMR
Enterprise-oriented HDDs are designed for heavy workloads. They are very fast (compared to other HDDs) and are designed to be very reliable, but their design is not quiet. Given the capacity of these drives, CMR and ability to work in a multi-drive environment, these drives are suitable for Chia mining.
Just like other high-capacity drives, Toshiba’s Enterprise capacity 16TB Due to strong demand, May became more expensive. Its price has now dropped to $410 (provided you can buy it), which is a bit higher than before. Basically, it can be said that the price of this hard drive has returned to a normal level.
Seagate’s situation is completely different Exos X16 16TBAnd Western Digital WD Gold 16TBThe prices of these two SKUs soared in May, and although they have fallen sharply now, they are still much more expensive than earlier this year.
The 18TB hard drive is the top model and not cheap. Due to the high demand for high-end HDDs, the selling price of these drives is much higher than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.
If you are lucky, you can get Seagate’s Exos X18 18TB About $600, or Western Digital WD Gold 18TB Today it is about 700 dollars. In both cases, hard drives are much cheaper than a few weeks ago ($1,000). In fact, there are still dealers offering 18TB hard drives at a price of $1,400. Typically, these drives cost about $500 earlier this year.
Although the price of enterprise hard drives has fallen sharply (perhaps due to the weakening of the Chia boom and the decline in retail demand), it is still not at the level of three months ago. The design of these drives is not cheap, but at present, they are very expensive, because their price is about 200 dollars higher than before. The bigger problem is that not all SKUs are readily available.
In contrast, the prices of consumer-oriented drives are actually rising due to strong demand, or they remain at levels that most of us think are too expensive. In addition, some high-end SKUs (for example, Seagate Barracuda Pro 14TB) are not available at all, which shows that the company prioritizes the production of enterprise HDDs over the production of conventional desktop drives.