DDR3, DDR2 could hit price parity soon

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.

Comments closed
    • Decelerate
    • 13 years ago

    Hey now! I spent 700$ once on 2GB of DDR ram.

    I got wiser with time…

    • gml_josea
    • 13 years ago

    If you like to spend money, you’re welcome, for the rest of us, even cheaper stuff never hurts.

    • Krogoth
    • 13 years ago

    I forgot to mention that there are even more restrictions on certain memory controllers depending on what speed you want to run the memory at.

    As you can guess, the higher memory bus speed tend to not like to deal with higher capacities.

    • mczak
    • 13 years ago

    Any Athlon 64 for socket am2 can do 16GB (unless there are some bios bugs which would prevent it).
    Nehalem/core i7 can do more (24GB), if you count that as desktop.
    I’m not sure those chips strictly can’t do more, but pretty much everybody only uses 2 memory modules per memory channel. Hence the 4 module (6 for core i7 Nehalem) limit. And since with 1gbit dram chips you can only build 2GB memory modules (double-sided each side 8 chips – note rules are different for registered/fully buffered etc.) you can only build 8GB boxes for cheap. 16GB requires 4GB memory modules which require 2gbit dram chips, which are still very expensive (oh and I expect that’s where ddr3 will be massively cheaper than ddr2 ultimately since noone might produce 2gbit ddr2 chips in large quantities). Prototypes for 4 gbit dram chips (samsung) seem to exist however already (useful for 8GB unbuffered modules) but I guess it’ll take a while before you can buy them… No idea if current chips will be able to use these though, but if they can they should have no problem taking 4 of them for a nice little 32GB box – just don’t install 32bit Windows on it :-).

    • ironoutsider
    • 13 years ago

    No problems on vista either. But I don’t feel bad for those who spent $600.00 on RAM. Those are the same people who blend $10,000 cash into milkshakes so they can laugh about pissing away $10,000 dollars.

    • ironoutsider
    • 13 years ago

    In soviet russia RAM prices drive you!

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    A decent core2 for Jody Userbabe goes for $150. That is overpricedg{

    • juampa_valve_rde
    • 13 years ago

    yeah.. in usa.. here at argentina we have to drop 65 usd for 1 GB DDR400 to update a 939 platform.

    • HiggsBoson
    • 13 years ago

    2GB would cost me $62.99 for DDR400 in order to upgrade an aging S939 box to 4GB 🙁

    • blubje
    • 13 years ago

    servers with more than 4gb maybe? I agree, the cpu is most overpriced.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 13 years ago

    Oh, isn’t that horrible! We should round up those memory makers and shoot them…

    Seriously, it is about the only thing that is cheap compared to everything else in a PC. PSU are stupid high. (I’m talking quality here), MB, ha, CPU, well, good ones are not cheap. And we are going to bitch about DDR3 being expensive? I’m just curious what they are basing this on…?

    • Hattig
    • 13 years ago

    ” Prices for 4GB DDR3 kits start at $63 ”

    Oh no, that’s terrible. How will people cope? $63 whole dollars for 4GB RAM. It makes me so sad that this price is so high and people will go without.

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    +1, would read and nod head againg{<.<}g

    • cegras
    • 13 years ago

    Heinous. Absolutely heinous. ; )

    Woops, that was meant as a reply to #7. Sorry.

    • Krogoth
    • 13 years ago

    I suspect some of those issues are actually from the memory controller. Most desktop-level memory controllers can only address up to 8GiB. There are some desktop-level controllers that can do more than that.

    I don’t think there are any on the current market that can do more than 16GiB. You have to get a workstation/server platform in order to support greater memory capacities.

    • Farting Bob
    • 13 years ago

    Do new motherboards still have issues with using all RAM slots? I never understood why so few board makers could consistently solve that puzzle. My Asus P45 has a list of kits that wont work in all 4 slots. Theres even a few that have been certified for use in 3 slots but not 4…

    • VaultDweller
    • 13 years ago

    This is what I’m waiting for, too. 4 GB modules are still much too rare, and much too expensive. If I build a Lynnfield machine, 2×2 GB will be less RAM than I want… but I don’t particularly want to get 4x2GB and populate every memory slot, either.

    • Meadows
    • 13 years ago

    Well, I own Vista and I still have no regrets.

    • Farting Bob
    • 13 years ago

    Lets take a moment to think about everybody who bought anything PC related only to see prices fall and quality increase over time. Its a sad world we live in…

    • Krogoth
    • 13 years ago

    Correction, let’s hold a moment of silence for those who are willing to spend the steep premiums of playing early adopter for technology x…………….

    • VILLAIN_xx
    • 13 years ago

    F$#@’ em!

    • khands
    • 13 years ago

    Those sad, money burning fools.

    • flip-mode
    • 13 years ago

    Wake me when 2 x 4GB DDR3 memory kits are commonplace.

    • Meadows
    • 13 years ago

    Let’s hold a moment of silence for the folks who bought DDR3-1333 kits last year for 600 dollars plus shipping.

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