Western Digital factory woes may trigger SSD price hikes

Western Digital factory woes may trigger SSD price hikes


Gaming SSDs may be the next component to suffer from supply issues due to the recent troubles at Western Digital’s production plants. According to the Trendforce report, the memory maker lost 6.5 billion gigabytes of memory to contamination, or 3 percent of the company’s annual production.

While the exact circumstances of the contamination issue are unclear, the incident primarily affects 3D NAND flash memory. As a result, SSD prices may rise by 5-10% in the second quarter of this year, a situation that could exacerbate the ongoing shortage of gaming PCs across the board.

Western Digital’s business partner, Kioxia Holdings, said in a statement that the issue was related to “impurities in a specific production process for 3D flash memory.” While the company said it is taking steps to implement a recovery plan, its 2D NAND business is not expected to be affected. That could allow some storage options to sidestep upcoming pricing and availability issues, but it could still sting anyone looking to buy the best gaming SSD around.

GPU pricing is already a headache for enthusiasts, as Nvidia’s upcoming GeForce RTX 3090 Ti could cost closer to $4,000 (if it ever launches). If Western Digital’s woes turn into a worst-case scenario, it could kill our storage upgrade plans, which in turn could hamper games that rely on superfast SSDs.

There are still plenty of great SSD deals out in the wild right now, so you might want to grab one while you can. Hopefully Western Digital and Kioxia will curb any fallout from the contamination incident, especially since future Steam Deck owners may want to upgrade the handheld’s M.2 storage.

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Kirsten Bennett
Kirsten is a passionate writer who loves games, and one day he decided to combine the two. She is now professionally writing niche articles about Consoles and hardware .