PC Memory Prices Continue to Rise

Paul Lilly

4GB memory modules jumped in price by more than 11 percent last month, DRAMeXchange says.

Anyone remember when a 2GB overclocking kit would run a couple hundred dollars? Those days are long gone, replaced by the current landscape in which you can scoop up a 32GB DDR3 memory kit for around $150 or $160. DRAM prices are dirt cheap, as they have been for some time now, and it's taken a toll on DRAM makers. According to DRAMeXchange , top tier memory makers continue to reduce shipments of commodity DRAM to drive up prices, and it's working.

The average price for a 4GB module rose by 11.11 percent in January, a "rare occurrence in the past few years due to continually weak demand," DRAMeXchange says . Granted, you're not likely to notice unless you've been following the prices of DRAM, and 4GB modules specifically, which hit a high of $18 in the commodity market in January (they street for around $23 in the retail sector).

OEM PC makers have certainly noticed, but the price bump is a secondary concern to their top priority, which is to secure their supply source.

"PC makers are showing a desire to gradually increase inventory levels, and they are turning to module makers that they have not cooperated with as much in the past," DRAMeXchange explains. "Thus, the proportion of supply from module makers is rising, with some deals closing even higher than contract prices and approaching spot prices. The highest priced transaction was conducted at US$20, a good sign for contract prices."

Based on the above, DRAMeXchange expects further increases in price throughout the first quarter of 2013.

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