We all know that HDDs are essentially obsolete as a technology, as SSDs now do everything better. But HDDs have continued to be manufactured and recommended, as they have one very desirable advantage: A lower price.
SSDs have been getting cheaper though, and have overtaken HDDs in some price segments…
How Far SSDs Have Come:
We have already stopped recommending 250GB and 500GB HDDs in our main build chart, as SSDs for those capacities are cheaper. 1TB HDDs and SSDs are (roughly) the same price, so we logically recommend SSDs.
For 2TB capacities, the gap is closing. The difference in price is roughly 30%-40%, so there is still a case to be made for HDDs, but not for much longer. If 2TB SSDs become more common and just a little cheaper, we may find that the cheapest logical HDDs are the 4TB options.
How Far SSDs Will Go:
Speaking of 4TB: SSDs in that capacity are finally coming down in price, low enough to be recommended. They are still expensive, but not prohibitively so. The 4TB SN850X is already half of its launch price from a year ago, making it a good option for those who want best-in-class performance and a large capacity. I have added it to both the Extremist and Monstrous tiers of our chart.
What about non-ultra-high-performance 4TB SSDs? They are much cheaper than a year ago, but the price is still a bit too high to be logical. With dual M.2 slot motherboards being the norm, you are better off buying a second 2TB SSD and putting the saved $$$ into something else.
If prior trends continue, this situation won’t last long though, and we might be recommending normal 4TB SSDs in normal tiers next year. When that happens, we may see HDDs becoming extinct completely, for all builds.