It wasn’t that long ago that buying PC memory was accompanied by a wince and a cringe. For a while we were hearing about memory prices rising and rising. There was even a price-fixing class-action lawsuit at one point. Now, prices are on the decline and that looks like it’s going to continue, according to a report from DRAM Exchange.
The site said that DRAM prices fell almost 10% in 2019’s second quarter, part of a continuing drop. Supply is outweighing demand for the hardware right now. DRAM Exchange expects prices to keep falling through the third quarter as supplies push through existing inventories. Prices might drop even further. On the supplier side, this has meant falling revenue and lower profit margins.
The supply complications haven’t hit NAND quite so hard, though. A combination of demand for memory across different markets bouncing back from the offseason and a power outage in a Toshiba production facility have helped keep NAND prices more steady. The suppliers’ big stockpile of NAND is reportedly what kept prices from rising. The firm says that demand may be weaker than previous years “due to the geo-economical conflicts,” which Tom’s Hardware notes likely refers to the ongoing trade war between the United States and China.
Memory prices have been pretty volatile at times, with factory fires and the like sending prices soaring for years at a time. Demand for memory also boomed along with the smartphone market, making memory suppliers’ jobs that much more difficult. Not even two years ago, 16GB of DDR4 RAM had jumped up as high as $200. These days, you can get 32GB for $179. A pair of 8GB DIMMs with all the blinkenlights .
If you’ve been holding off on an upgrade, now isn’t a bad time to do so. Unless you’re holding out for DDR5, which is reportedly going to start hitting the mass market in 2020.