Now might be the time for that RAM upgrade – to beat rumored price hikes

(Image credit: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock)

DDR4 (and DDR5) RAM for your PC could soon be getting pricier, according to a new forecast, and somewhat sooner than was anticipated.

If you’ve been following RAM pricing – and we’ll excuse you, if you haven’t (just this once) – then you’ll have seen that throughout the course of this year, DDR4 system memory pricing has been falling steadily to the delight of consumers. (DDR5, on the other hand, has seen some rises already – though it’s a good deal more expensive by its very nature, anyway, as the latest standard).

However, according to a new report from analyst firm TrendForce (via Tom’s Hardware), the good times of price drops are about to come to an end, and we are going to see DDR4 head the other way for the rest of this year.

We’re told DDR4 memory sticks will be increasing in price over this final quarter of 2023 possibly to the tune of (up to) 5%. DDR5 will also continue to get more expensive with a predicted rise of up to 8%.

TrendForce further forecasts that graphics DRAM is set for an up to 8% price rise, which could mean that the best graphics cards and gaming laptops are subject to upward pricing pressure, too. Bah, in a word.

Analysis: RAM makers move to tackle surplus inventory

Why is this happening? TrendForce observes that one of the major factors coming to bear here is that Samsung is cutting RAM production considerably, in an effort to reduce the surplus stock floating around (which has caused prices to be depressed through 2023).

That’s a theme in the RAM industry, and with PC makers now grabbing more supply – trying to beat the mentioned price rise – that’s obviously going to be a factor too.

In short, the stock correction is in full swing – certainly for DDR5, and most likely for DDR4 too, though we should note that a 5% rise is a worst-case scenario. The bottom-end of the analyst firm’s estimate is DDR4 pricing remains static, but given that the reality will likely end up between those two estimates, we can expect a 3% or so rise. In theory – this is just a forecast after all.

What’s interesting here is that DDR4 rises weren’t predicted to happen until next year, and they are apparently now imminent for Q4 2023. So, now might be the right time to pull the trigger on a DDR4 RAM purchase if you want to buy in at the bottom of the market.

Depending on what happens with manufacturers being conservative with production, trying to reduce surplus inventory that way, we may see more impactful rises going forward, too.

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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).