I did a survey of the cost of buying hard drives (of all sorts), microsd/sd, USB sticks, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, and tape media (for tape drives).
I excluded used/refurbished options. Multi-packs (5 USB sticks) were excluded, except for optical media like CD-ROMs. Seagate drives were excluded because Seagate has a poor reputation.
Here are the 2023-01 results: https://za3k.com/archive/storage-2023-01.sc.txt
Per TB, the options are (from cheapest to most expensive):
- Tape media (LTO-8) at $4.52/TB, but I recommend against it. A tape drive is about $1,600 (twice that new). That’s a breakeven at 150-300TB. Also, the world is down to one tape drive manufacturer, so you may end up screwed in the future.
- 3.5″ internal spinning hard drives, at $15.00/TB. Currently the best option is 8TB drives.
- Optical media, at $16.71/TB. 25GB blu-ray disks are cheapest.
- 3.5″ external hard drives, at $17.75/TB. Currently the best option is 18TB drives.
- 2.5″ portable spinning hard drives, at $22.00/TB. Currently the best option is 5TB drives.
- SSD drives, at $42-$46/TB. Best option is 1TB.
- USB sticks, at $59/TB. Best option is 128GB sticks.
- MicroSD cards, at $62/TB. Best option is 512GB cards.
Changes since the last survey (4 months ago):
- Amazon’s search improved. Less refurbished drives and sponsored listings.
- Spinning drives: 22TB 3.5″ drives became available
- Spinning drives: Prices for the previous cheapest option (4TB) rose, making 8TB the new cheap option.
- SSDs: Prices dropped by about 30%.
- MicroSD/SD: Prices dropped slightly.
- Optical: The cheapest option (25GB blu-ray) dropped 30%.
- Optical: I stopped gathering data on the cost of BR-RE
- Tape: LTO-7 tape drives are now available used, halving the break-even point on tape.