DRAM prices continue to surge in August

DDR3 computer memory chips rose 18.9 percent in August, Gartner said

DRAM prices continued to rise in August, finally reaching profitable levels for most chip makers after they reached multi-year lows early this year.

Contract prices of 1Gb DDR3 (double data rate, third generation) chips rose 18.9 percent in August to $US1.58 per chip, while the price of older DDR2 (second generation) chips increased 13.7 percent to $US1.45 during the month, market researcher Gartner said in its weekly Semiconductor DQ Monday Report.

The price increases come at the most important time of the year for PC manufacturers to build and send computers to global markets. For many countries, the back-to-school season is kicking in and many students return to school with new laptop PCs or parents buy desktops.

The rush to put goods on store shelves often causes price increases in the DRAM market, and sometimes prices don't stop moving higher until around the end of October, when stores want to have products ready for the end-of-year holiday season.

This year, the launch of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system could cause higher demand as stores buy systems to have ready for the Oct. 22 launch date.

Dell, the world's second biggest computer vendor by shipments, also spurred talk of better PC sales later this year when it said last week it expected revenue in the second half of the year to be stronger than the first.

Intel added to the positive sentiment by increasing its revenue guidance for the third quarter. The chip maker said last Friday that its third quarter revenue will likely be between $US8.8 billion and $US9.2 billion, from between $US8.1 billion and $US8.9 billion, due to better-than-expected demand for processors and chipsets.

The company's microprocessors are in about 80 percent of the world's computers.

Investment banking firm Credit Suisse said 2010 could be even better for the company and the PC industry, potentially driving Intel earnings over that of its record high in the year 2000.

Bullish sentiment for the PC industry normally leads to rising DRAM prices.

Gartner noted that DDR3 prices have moved up so fast that PC vendors have turned to using DDR2 instead, which has sent DDR2 prices higher.

On Monday, smaller capacity chips were on the rise. The price of 512Mb DDR2 was up 4.2 percent to $US0.75 per chip in afternoon trading, according to DRAMeXchange Technology, which runs an online clearinghouse for the chips.

The price of 1Gb DDR2 was up just 2.4 percent at the same time, to $US1.60.

Users looking to increase the amount of DRAM in an existing PC should buy soon or wait until later this year or early next year, when PC production slows down and prices fall. The DRAM industry has been going through a rough consolidation due to the global recession, with one company, Qimonda, already out of business.

Other companies shut down production lines as part of a strategy to cut costs and stay in business, but with DRAM prices on the rise, they could turn those lines back on and flood the market again with cheap DRAM.

The price of DDR2 chips has increased 116.9 percent since the beginning of this year, according to Credit Suisse.

The price of the chips has risen 45.3 percent in the third quarter, compared to a 25.8 percent increase for DDR3 memory chips.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags dramprice risemarket researchDDRmemory

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?