When Intel’s Lynnfield processors roll out later this month, more folks will be forced to scrap their old memory and buy DDR3 if they wish to upgrade. There’s just one problem: DDR3 is still more expensive than DDR2. Prices for 4GB DDR3 kits start at $63 on Newegg, while DDR2 kits with the same capacity can be had for as little as $49.
According to DigiTimes, the two memory types may not be too far from reaching price parity. Quoting data from "market sources" as well as research firm inSpectrum, the site says Taiwanese memory manufacturers still produce more DDR2 than DDR3. Earlier this quarter, limited DDR3 supply sent prices shooting up, but DDR2 prices also rose after some PC vendors jumped ship.
Pricing for bulk 1Gb (128MB) DDR2 chips has now risen above the $1.60 mark, and 1Gb DDR3 chips are hovering around $1.90. Production of DDR3 and DDR2 chips should be "close" next quarter, and DigiTimes expects a crossover to take place "somewhere below US$2." inSpectrum claims PC vendors will only use DDR3 for a third of their memory needs in that same time frame, though.
DDR3 memory has gotten increasingly popular in notebooks, especially those based on Intel’s Centrino 2 platform and 4-series chipsets. Low-cost desktops and netbooks are still sticking with the older memory type, however. Only when Intel launches Clarkdale either late this year or in early 2010 will low-end desktop CPUs start requiring DDR3. AMD’s Socket AM3 Athlon II and Phenom II processors all support both memory types.