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Want cheap DDR5 RAM? We have some bad news...

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(Image credit: Shutterstock / Dean Drobot)
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If you were hoping to update your PC to using DDR5 modules, the latest generation of memory, then you might need to just bite the bullet and do so, because according to a recent report by Trendforce (opens in new tab) it won't be getting more affordable for a while.

The report notes that several areas of the memory market are expecting a downward trajectory for prices, but while PC DDR5 is predicted to fall by around 3-8% by Q1 2022, it's unlikely we will see that reduction reflected in the prices on the shelf, with Trendforce stating that "DDR4 and DDR5 PC DRAM will experience QoQ declines of 5-10% and 3-8%, respectively, for 1Q22, although the latter product will not noticeably impact the overall PC DRAM ASP, as its penetration rate is still relatively low."

Since the launch of consumer DDR5 modules earlier this year, many of us are keen to make the upgrade away from DDR4 (or even DDR3) to this new, faster generation of RAM, but it isn't as easy as simply buying some sticks to install into your device.

In fact, updating your current desktop to this new generation of RAM will require you to also upgrade some pretty major components, as only the latest generation of Intel Alder lake CPUs can be used with DDR5, with a new motherboard also required that can support both the new processors and memory modules. 

AMD is currently working on a new line of Ryzen processors that support DDR5 RAM, but until those products (and again, supported MOBOs) appear on the market, your path to upgrading lays solely with Team Blue. 

Prices will stay inflated for some time, but that’s nothing new and it is always the case that a new standard of RAM will remain costly for some time. MSI has previously commented on the wider memory market and states that it takes around two years before pricing starts to normalize. In short, it's going to take a couple of years for DDR5 to reach the same kind of price tags as the ones seen on DDR4 now.


Analysis: Don't rush to upgrade

It should go without saying that just because DDR5 has appeared on the market, that doesn't mean you should rush out and buy it just yet. The current DDR4 standard is fine and is available at speeds that can run any game or application you need, so while something new and shiny is obviously going to be exciting, you don't need to worry about jumping on the bandwagon just yet.

Via VideoCardz (opens in new tab)

Jess Weatherbed
Jess Weatherbed

Jess is a former TechRadar Computing writer, where she covered all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. Jess is now a journalist at The Verge.