In the history of the DRAM industry there is a key factor that comes over and over again on the news table: Price. For those of you that in the past weeks might have checked the prices of memory online for and upgrade of even for buying new, you might have notices yet another downgrading of the prices.
Memory price keeps going down
If you are looking for a moment to upgrade your RAM in your Rig for standard or overclocking use it probably never has been a better moment than now. What is funny with it is that the DRAM prices have dropped so low in the past years that by looking at figures from this year and last year, we are simply a few 2,5% over last years exchange price on the market.
(Note : most of the actual down-price last years where related to the bankruptcy of ELPIDA)
This makes the fall of the DRAM prices slowly contestant over the past months bringing down DDR3 prices as low as $18 for 4Gb of DDR3 . For DDR2, prices remain a little more constant with a limited fall of about 2,4% bringing a 2GB DDR2 module price down to $10,25.
How can manufacture cope with that?
Shirking exchange prices for DRAM is a problem for manufacturers. In a market in which everyone can more less become a memory module manufacturer, competition is fierce and the fall of prices impact the margin possibilities of memory vendors competitng on similar market segment.
On the overclocking and enthusiast segment, this price drop-down had limited consequences on the retail prices. Vendors on that segment have the capacity to input larger margins and add features that kind of add value to their memory modules. (believe it or not, sometimes it’s only decoration and sometimes its really worth your money)
Another strategy for memory vendors is to focus on the laptop and server DRAM segment. There, margins are higher but again, ones everybody will be there, the same situation will happen over again.
So what’s next?
Right now next? nothing. DDR4 is not coming yet and DDR3 still has at least one more year to go before it’s starts to see its replacement modules. And then again, DDR4 remains DRAM, just another standard. The “new” effect of DDR4 on prices won’t hold long within a market with such competition.
So if you think about changing or adding memory to your rig, now is the time!