Skyrocketing memory prices may get worse before getting better

The price of desktop RAM is skyrocketing—and it may not get any better until later this year.

The price of desktop RAM keeps on going up, and the disappointing trend is expect to continue for a good chunk of 2017.

Right now, the best price you’re going to find for 2 x 8GB desktop DDR4 RAM modules on Newegg is about $73. But if you want something from a larger brand like G.Skill or Corsair, expect to pay more—those 16GB kits are frequently selling for more than $100. 

The price increases began around mid-2016, as Newegg Business noted in a blog post in August. PCPartPicker's memory price trend page indeed shows the cost of all types of RAM surging upward since May or so. The reason at the time was that the big money was in producing DRAM for mobile devices, followed by servers, and then finally desktops.

Since then not much has changed, with mobile device production being so big the demand is outstripping supply. At least that’s the word from DigiTimes. The newspaper spoke with Pei-Ing Lee, president of Nanya Technology, a RAM manufacturer based in Taiwan. Lee told DigiTimes that global RAM supply is still falling just short of demand—a situation Lee doesn’t expect to see improve in the spring.

By the third quarter (July through September) prices could stabilize, according to Lee. But all that really means is the price will stop going up.

Lee’s view is, of course, only one opinion, but it’s a well informed one, and corresponds to overall trends in RAM pricing. As PC Gamer points out, pricing is seriously rising. A 2 x 8GB kit of G.Skill DDR4-2400 RAM was priced around $75 at Newegg in late November (the cheapest vendor at the time), but that RAM is now hitting $92 at the same outlet, according to PC Part Picker’s pricing history. In mid-December you could’ve picked-up Patriot Viper Elite 2 x 8GB DDR4-2133 RAM for $80, but today that kit would set you back at least $100.

The impact on you at home: If you need to buy RAM for a new system, it appears there’s no real reason to wait as you’ll be paying extra now and possibily paying even more in the coming weeks. Anyone planning a rebuild later in 2017, however, might want to buy their RAM now, as reusing your DDR3 from an older PC may not work.

With the switch to Intel’s Skylake and Kaby Lake processors, modern systems require the newer DDR4 RAM or low-voltage DDR3L memory. On the AMD side, the DDR4-supporting Ryzen is rolling out in the coming weeks.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags shopping

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.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


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?