Maybe PC component and mobile device prices won't rise, after all
News of a fire at SK Hynix's plant in China blazed across the Internet earlier this week, leading to speculation that prices for for devices like solid state drive (SSDs), tablets, and smartphones would all see a spike. Pictures showed black smoke billowing from the facility, and based on similar incidents to other memory makers in the 1990s, TrendForce surmised it might be six months or more before Hynix is fully operational.
Micron, the memory maker based out of Boise, Idaho, has completed its acquisition of Elpida, a struggling DRAM player in Tokyo. All of Elpida's equity and assets now belong to Micron, including a 300mm DRAM fabrication facility located in Hiroshima, Japan. Other notable assets include a 65 percent stake in Rexchip, which itself owns a 300mm DRAM plant in Taiwan, and 100 percent ownership interest in Akita Elpida Memory, which owns an assembly and test facility in Akita, Japan.
New Vengeance Pro Series RAM to take advantage of Haswell
Corsair announced its new Vengeance Pro Series RAM at Computex 2013. According to the company, the new memory is ready for Intel’s new Haswell processors and ranges in clocks speeds from 1600MHz up to 2933MHz.
If the PC market is insistent on moving towards smaller form factors and mobile devices, then kudos to Crucial for following along. The memory maker announced new Ballistix Sport SODIMMs designed to boost performance of gaming laptops, all-in-one systems, and mini ITX setups that require the smaller size memory modules. The new memory kits feature low latencies and are optimized for Haswell, Crucial says.
Adata is clearly making a fashion statement with the redesigned heatspreaders it slapped onto its new XPG V2 series of DRAM products designed for 3rd Generation Intel Core processors and the Z87 platform. Exactly which statement is up for debate. Some might view them as funky fresh, others might consider them fugly, but Adata says they were designed with a "futuristic form."
AMD on Wednesday announced its new Radeon RG2133 Gamer Series Memory and Radeon RAMDisk 4.1 software. According to AMD, it's RG2133 kit is the only memory on the entire planet that offers both XMP and AMP memory profiles in the same package, so no matter which platform you're rolling with -- Intel or AMD -- you can still benefit from AMD's pre-configured overclocking settings.
Analysts at IHS iSuppli spent some time pondering what would happen if current tensions in Korea escalate to the point of a war on the Korean peninsula, and what they determined is that it could theoretically cripple the global electronics business. South Korea is a major cog in the electronics supply chain, as it accounts for half of the world's DRAM output, two-thirds of NAND flash manufacturing, and 70 percent of the world's tablet display.
The folks at Adata announced an insanely fast DDR3 memory kit that can hit speeds up to 2600MHz, though it's interesting the company is taking aim at gamers instead of overclockers. It's true that PC gamers have a played a pivotal role in driving demand for increasingly faster components, but it seems to us this is the kind of kit a professional overclocker would have more interest in.
Even with prices going up, it's still a great time to be a PC gamer.
Are you planning to build a gaming PC for the summer? If so, you might want to get started early in order to get the most bang for your buck. Yesterday we told you that desktop DRAM pricing is on the rise as contract chip prices have already jumped 50 percent in 2013, spiking 20 percent in March alone, and now we're hearing that graphics cards are getting more expensive.
DRAM makers are shifting focus from desktop RAM to mobile memory.
Growing demand for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets is prompting memory chip suppliers to commit more capacity to mobile DRAM parts. With only so much capacity to go around, DRAM production for PCs is dropping, resulting in a sharp spike in contract prices. What all this means is that if you spot a good deal on RAM and are in need of an upgrade, go ahead and pull the trigger.