The 8TB SSD Storage Enigma: Why Aren’t They More Popular?

Price – The main reason why 8 TB SSDs are not more popular. Because even if the dollar-per-byte efficiency of SSDs has driven down significantly, they are still massively more expensive than HDDs.

More than that, though, is practicality. There are just so many other more attractive capacity options in the market that cater to PC users’ specific data needs. This is similar to how CPUs and GPUs are segregated into performance tiers, with mid-tier as the mainstream option.

Let’s dive deeper into it and elaborate more on these factors and why you probably should not really bother with the question in the first place.

Typical Storage Market Data Capacity Segregation

The current storage market segregates data capacities into what we can consider the two typical storage amounts: low-capacity and high-capacity segments.

Low-capacity Segment

Anything that is lower than 1 TB in advertised capacity can be considered a “low-capacity” SSD in terms of product segmentation. This is where most of the sold SSDs fall due to the right balance of price and capacity value.

Within this category, 256 GB is commonly considered the standard minimum. 128 GB is still technically accepted, but due to bigger storage requirements for newer software and applications, most typical PC builds use the 256 – 512 GB range when it comes to boot drives. 64 GB has long since been considered obsolete ever since SSD prices started to fall off during the first half of the 2010s, but some devices like Valve’s Steam Deck still use it, albeit in a smaller form factor. 

High-capacity Segment

The price for 1 TB SSDs and above also started to go down during the same period, making the much faster NAND flash storage technology more available to the average PC user than ever. That being said, costs still stayed relatively high, which kept their level of adoption quite low even after 2020.

Then there is also the fact that high-capacity SSDs are often only exclusively used for specific applications. If you are not a video editor dealing with 4K lossless files or someone who launches many games and software that eats up gigabytes of storage, you often don’t really SSDs of this capacity. Oftentimes, something like a 512 GB SSD + 2 TB HDD will do for most typical users.

8 TB SSDs in the Market

Most of the 8 TB drives that are popularly available in the standard consumer market are HDDs, and they are catered exclusively for mass-archiving applications, such as keeping surveillance footage. The 8TB SSDs that are on the market are never usually recommended by default and are often more optimized for data center use.

With this in mind, if you just want to search for 8 TB SSDs, typical online retail websites like Amazon can provide an exhaustive list. Some of the most popular ones are as follows:

Do be warned, though, that these SSDs are exorbitantly expensive. Even the supposedly massively cheaper SATA ones cost about as much as a single brand-new Geforce RTX 4060 Ti today. The NVMe SSD ones are about twice more expensive. And with the aforementioned limitations to their practical use, there just isn’t any reason to buy them regularly, just as you would a 2 TB or 4 TB SSD today.

Given what we have shown so far, these are the primary factors why 8 TB SSDs are not popular:

Higher pricing – when building PCs, it is somewhat important that storage drive costs (for a single unit, not total) remain well below the price of more critical components, such as the GPU and CPU. 8 TB SSDs are well outside such requirement, with just a single drive often costing equal to or twice more than a typical mid-range GPU or CPU.

Impractical capacity – 8 TB as a general capacity value simply isn’t worth much in today’s PC market. 4 TB, despite still being relatively costly, can still provide a hefty amount of space for very heavy applications like modern triple-A games, while a vast majority of images and multimedia today can be enjoyed exclusively online.

Very specific use – even if they do find actual use, they are usually so specific that it falls well outside any typical PC build, even in 2023. Refer to the sub-topic below for more details.

Where 8TB SSDs and HDDs Are Mainly Used

Regardless of storage technology type, such capacities are mostly used in the following applications:

Surveillance – recording video 24/7, even on lower resolutions or quality, still requires lots of storage capacity. In fact, 8 TB is often still not enough and nowadays requires upwards of 20 TB or higher to keep records of more than a week or months at a time.

4K lossless video – if your profession works creating edited videos for all types of content, then you will always want the highest quality possible to maintain image fidelity. You will always want a storage type that could snappily access those files to keep the editing work smooth and seamless, hence the specific need for 8 TB SSDs.

Graphics editing – in the same vein as lossless video editors, graphics designs also need to keep raw graphical assets instantly accessible so that all you need to worry about is either downscaling the visual information or quickly accessing the files for rendering.

Mass archiving – a personal NAS server will be a great help in archiving all your stored files through the years in a medium that can be accessed by all eligible devices. HDD is, of course, the more affordable option, though SSDs are also a viable option if speed is the higher priority.

Large-scale backups – same reasoning as setting up a NAS, only with a specific focus on creating duplicate files for data emergencies.

Two of these uses are data centers, which always need faster random read and write speeds to cater to millions of users, and visual application professionals, who need the capacity to either store raw graphical assets or edit lossless media files.

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