If you've been trying to build a gaming PC recently, you may have noticed that graphics cards like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 are unreasonably expensive - if you're even able to buy one. Unfortunately, the best RAM might be following in its footsteps.
It looks like RAM may go up in price between 23-28%, according to a Trendforce report, which means that a 16GB kit of G.Skill TridentZ DDR4 3200 RAM could jump from its current price of $114 on Newegg to as much as $146. That's nearly as much as a 32GB kit of the same memory.
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This report suggests that the price increases will take effect in Q2 2021, which we're currently in. Though, these prices reflect what manufacturers like G.Skill and Corsair will be paying for the actual DRAM chips that go on the RAM sticks you buy at the store, so it's likely that these price increases won't be reflected in retail prices for a couple months.
But because this price increase is for the DRAM modules themselves, pretty much everything will be affected. Graphics cards, laptops, even phones and cars will be affected in some way. So, if you were planning on picking up a fresh RAM kit either to upgrade or build a PC, now might be the time to do it.
Not the first time
RAM tends to go through price increases and decreases all the time, and it's been slowly rising over the last year, likely due to more people buying laptops now that we're all telecommuting.
But if in the next quarter the price on RAM kits does rise 28%, it's going to be the highest we've seen RAM prices since the shortage back in 2018. A report from ExtremeTech from back then suggests that one of the biggest contributors in that RAM price bump was the rise in mobile computing – but that it didn't explain the whole situation.
Right now in 2021, however, we're seeing both an increase in mobile computing due to telecommuting and a global silicon shortage. And a big part of that is the increase in demand that all our smart cars and appliances facilitate, according to this report by Bloomberg.
Since the increase in DRAM prices is thanks to some of the same factors that caused the global silicon shortage we're in right now – if only just a little bit – RAM prices could only become more expensive as time goes on.
So, basically, if you've been waiting to upgrade your memory for RAM prices to drop to where they were in 2019 or 2020, we don't think that's going to happen any time soon. Do it now.
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Bill Thomas (Twitter) is TechRadar's computing editor. They are fat, queer and extremely online. Computers are the devil, but they just happen to be a satanist. If you need to know anything about computing components, PC gaming or the best laptop on the market, don't be afraid to drop them a line on Twitter or through email.