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Windows 7: Manufacturing costs of storage drives

15 Oct 2015   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
Manufacturing costs of storage drives

Are different capacity (128 GB vs 256 GB) more expensive to manufacture? If so, why? How do these costs change depending on the type of storage, like Flash Drive vs SSD vs HDD, and for what reasons?

I realize larger drives will generally be PRICED higher simply because more space = better (generally), better = higher demand, higher demand = people willing to pay more. But are there MANUFACTURING/MATERIALS cost differences between the two and if so, what components/labor/manufacturing processes bring these about? Obviously HDDs have some rare materials, like Neodymium, but this would be present in roughly the same quantity regardless of HD capacity (provided drive physical dimensions stay the same, which they generally do).

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15 Oct 2015   #2
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

Unless someone on our forum is a manufacture of such items, I don't think we can give you a exact answer.
With any product things like demand, materials, labor, market place competition, shipping, storage, advertising and many more have bearing on the cost.

Intel will spend over a Billion dollars to have a plant constructed just to make cpu chips.
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15 Oct 2015   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Reminds of a person [not at all like the sharp-minded OP] going to the dentist, was told braces price [parts & labor], indicated WhatTheHayYouAreOnlyTalkingAbout$1WorthOfMaterial -- so the dentist went to the backroom, brought out a box of metal and plastic pieces, and said: "I didn't know you wanted to do this yourself."
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15 Oct 2015   #4

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

With many (most) manufactured items the selling cost has little to do with the direct costs of manufacture. A company must consider the total costs of doing business:

Building, operation, and maintenance of the manufacturing facility and it's equipment.
Research and development costs.
Costs associated with the staff.
Etc, etc, etc.

The details vary quite a bit depending on the type of product and where the manufacturing facility is located.

A company must consider the total cost of doing business, the number of items that can be built and sold, and arrive at a selling price. And in a competitive business, and the hard drive business is very much so, the selling price must be kept in line with those of competitors. Consumers expect to pay more for larger hard drives, and less for smaller ones.

I don't have any particular knowledge of hard drive manufacturing costs and I expect that very few forum members do. This is all just general knowledge. But I expect the relative price of different hard drives is determined primarily by marketing considerations, which I make no claim to understand.
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16 Oct 2015   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

I know that CPUs, for example, contain some rare (and thus expensive) elements, such as halfnium. But is the halfnium content proportional to CPU speed? That's basically what I'm asking re: hard drives. Do they use greater amounts of rare elements to increase capacity? Just curious.
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16 Oct 2015   #6

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

No to both questions.

There are many factors that determine CPU speed. The content of any specific element is incidental at most.

Much the same for hard drives.

And the total cost of manufacturing such a device has little to do with the cost of raw materials.
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16 Oct 2015   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

That's what I thought. There are likely many costs related to initial R&D and machine tools used to build the drives, but that once this is done, a 4 GB flash drive costs the same to produce as a 128 GB flash drive. The price is different because the consumer is willing to pay more money for more storage space. Then the revenue is taken, divided up to pay for the R&D and machine tools (the bulk of the cost) and the rest is used to pay for the relatively minor raw materials/labor (factory, not R&D)/electricity costs and owner profit. Those who benefit the most from the R&D (which leads to the development of large drives and small drives alike) and buy the biggest capacity drives end up paying the most for them.

Interesting to know.
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 Manufacturing costs of storage drives

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