A fresh prediction of bigger price hikes for system RAM is somewhat worrying news for those who might be mulling an upgrade for the memory in their PC.
Wccftech spotted a report from Taiwan Business Times, flagged up by MyDrivers, which observes that recent cuts in RAM production – by the major players Samsung, Micron, and SK Hynix – have reduced supply considerably, to the point that prices are going to head up soon, and quite steeply.
We’re told that pricing has risen by 15% to 20% for DDR5 and 10% to 15% for DDR4, so those are big cost hikes for the manufacturers – and they will be passed on to the end consumer, as ever in situations like this.
Obviously, RAM makers are not going to lose out, and will maintain their profit levels going forward, meaning the days of cheap RAM – or indeed more affordable high-end memory – could be numbered.
Analysis: An inevitable rise
What’s going on here in the overall picture? If we rewind back through 2023, the RAM market ended up with a glut of supply, which meant prices dropped as the year rolled on, with memory makers trying to shift that excess stock.
At the same time, action was taken by the likes of Samsung to reduce supply levels and correct inventory, which has happened. With that strategy being successful, we’re now at the stage where pricing is going back up. Although actually, we reached that point back in October, you may recall.
The bad news is that the latest rumored price hikes are larger than was previously anticipated. Now, they may not come true – this might be an overly pessimistic assessment, and we have to take any report and prediction like this with caution – but it’s a worrying suggestion nonetheless.
In short, if you were thinking about a RAM upgrade, it’s probably time to make that move, maybe upping your 16GB loadout to 32GB (or certainly shifting from 8GB to 16GB, the latter of which is becoming the minimum configuration for RAM realistically, certainly in one of the best gaming PCs).
And that’s especially true with DDR5 RAM, as with this latest memory standard gradually becoming more mainstream, overall demand is expected to rise which will add extra pressure to the pricing on those modules. A worst-case scenario 20% price rise is going to hurt there, for sure.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).