Something notable happened last October: for the first time, DDR2 memory became more expensive than DDR3. The former status quo returned a few weeks later, but now, DigiTimes reports that DDR3 has once again become the cheaper memory type in spot pricing charts.
The data come courtesy of memory market research firm DRAMeXchange, which tracks pricing for the two memory types (among others) in various configurations. Today, DRAMeXchange shows both branded and "effectively tested" 1Gb DDR3-1333 chips cost about 8-10 cents less than their DDR2-800 counterparts on average, placing them at $3.05-3.07.
That's when you look at spot pricing, at least. DRAMeXchange's contract pricing numbers still give DDR2 the advantage: 1Gb DDR2-800 chips on that scale cost $2.31 on average, and 2GB modules are $40. Compare that to DDR3 prices of $2.50 and $43, respectively, and DDR2 still looks like the better deal.
What about retail? Newegg's cheapest 4GB DDR2-800 desktop memory kit starts at $81.99 before mail-in rebates and shipping, while similar kits of DDR3-1333 RAM start at $94.99. Presumably, it'll take a little while for changes in chip pricing to impact branded modules listed online. Still, DDR3 looks unambiguously pricier right now for consumers.