For a long time, expensive DRAM has been one of the biggest obstacles to a good PC build. Back in 2016, we didn’t know we had it so good, but recent years has seen the price of RAM shoot up to quadruple its original value.
Those DRAM manufacturers are getting their comeuppance now though, as there are repeated reports of excess inventory and plummeting prices. Memory prices peaked in early 2018 but have been steadily declining since. You can now pick up 16GB DDR4 RAM for well under half the price you could in January 2018.
According to a new report from DRAM analysts DRMAeXchange, the previous quarter has enjoyed the sharpest quarterly decline in DRAM prices since 2011. The prices of RAM dropped 30% in the past three months alone. It’s great news for PC gamers, but terrible for DRAM manufacturers and suppliers. Oh, how our hearts bleed for them.
DRAM suppliers are currently sat on a growing inventory of DRAM, with most allegedly sitting on six weeks’ worth of supply. Intel’s CPU shortage means sales are down as well, meaning consumption of DRAM has dropped considerably. “The overall market has thus entered freefall, meaning that large reductions in prices aren't going to be effective in driving sales,” says DRAMeXchange. “The excessively high inventory will continue to cause down-corrections in prices this year if demand doesn't make a strong comeback.”
If, like me, you’ve been unprepared to pay ridiculous prices like £200 for 16GB DDR4 RAM, then we’re now entering crunch time. The cost of DRAM is now half that and could well be set to plummet even lower in the months ahead.
For PC gamers, we’re now entering the territory where upgrading your RAM makes a great deal of financial sense. The big question now though is - is this the right time to pull the trigger? Do you think now is the best time to upgrade your RAM, or should we wait for an even bigger price decline?