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Low DDR2 prices. For how long?

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June 3, 2007 6:05:12 PM

I'm still yet to purchase my new system and still probably won't for a few months. I'm just wondering if we're hitting a bottom for the prices of DDR2 and how long we can expect these great deals to continue. Could these new low prices be somewhat permanent due to the ostensible end of collusion in the RAM industry, or is there merely a temporary glut due to the slower than expected adoption of Vista?

Will the Q3 Intel price drops raise RAM demand significantly enough that it would negate overall savings on a new build?

Do I drop the less than $90 CDN on 2 gigs of DDR2 now (which I won't be able to use for months), or do I hold onto the cash for now and wait to get a better deal with nicer timings when I do my build?

More about : low ddr2 prices long

June 3, 2007 7:49:12 PM

It's always been futile to bet against Moore's Law in the medium to long term, but short-term (less than a year) is anyone's guess. If you can predict that, you shouldn't care about the prices, since you'll also be able to predict the stock market and thus be rolling in money.
June 3, 2007 8:37:58 PM

I read something earlier today on hardocp that prices are expected to bottom out around August. Historically, this is accurate, since the same thing happened last year, and I'm sure its happened many times before. This is due to gearing up for the Christmas season.

If I were you, I'd get it now or within the next month or so to try to hedge your bets. Sure, you may not get the bare minimum cost for the system, but it could definitely save you quite a bit, considering that DDR2 prices were similarly low this time last year, but were twice what they are now earlier this year. The only things I can see benefiting from waiting a bit longer are the videocard and the CPU, both of which will be having new prices and new models out in the next months.

Happy hunting

Oh, and btw, I recommend nothing less than 2gb for a system that will eventually have vista. Trust me, you'll be much better off with it.
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June 4, 2007 12:16:21 AM

Quote:
... it could definitely save you quite a bit, considering that DDR2 prices were similarly low this time last year, but were twice what they are now earlier this year.....

And it could lose you money, too. This time last year, DDR2 prices were about 50% higher than now, then spiked up to about triple today's prices, then started dropping. Forecasts 3-4 months ago said prices would be going up now. Didn't happen. ep says prices will go up 3-4 months from now, because that's what happened last year.
Now, ep is a fine human being, but he can't predict the future any more than you or I can. Think about it: what does "gearing up for the Christmas season" have to do with pricing? If that means "making more RAM for computers to be sold at Christmas", wouldn't prices go down? Who knows? My point is that it's similar to predicting the stock market. Over the long run, it goes up, just as RAM prices go down. Over the short run, if anyone could predict it, they'd make a ton of money off that knowledge.
June 4, 2007 12:39:31 AM

To clarify "Gearing up for the Christmas season" means:

Big OEM's (HP, DELL, IBM, etc.) buy up a lot of the ram out in the market, causing a bit of a shortage, therefore spiking prices. It has happened every year since people started getting computers as presents.

I agree with you though, noone can accurately predict the future. But one can bet on the future by looking at the past. Also interesting to note, in reference to your comment on him losing money, I would like to point out the prices of PC-100/133 ram. It is currently (even in obsolescence) about $100-130/gb. DDR is about 60-75/gb and DDR2 is about 35-55, all when calculated with 512mb sticks for continuity's sake. Personally I doubt that DDR2 will get much lower than it is now, perhaps 5-10 bucks/gb, but not more. Certainly, I would love to see it do that, but I feel that its not going to happen with DDR2. Perhaps with DDR3 we'll see those prices, but not DDR2.

oh, and some links, for reference:
SDRAM
DDR
DDR2
June 4, 2007 1:28:19 AM

I know what your talking about. I say buy some now and save it for your new build.


I purchased 2 gigs of Geil ram DDR2 800 on new egg and after rebate it is
$54.99. I could not resist. Who cares if the wife gets mad. :wink:


I doubt very much that the prices will get any lower. $54.99 for two gigs of memory come on now.
June 4, 2007 1:32:38 AM

Quote:
...
Big OEM's (HP, DELL, IBM, etc.) buy up a lot of the ram out in the market, causing a bit of a shortage, therefore spiking prices.

This seems like foolish behavior on the part of the big OEMs, if true. In such a competitive market, you would think that at least one of them would purchase RAM in advance to lower their system-building costs.

Quote:
... It has happened every year since people started getting computers as presents.

If true, I agree this would be substantial support for your point. Do you have a ref/link for this?
June 4, 2007 1:56:05 AM

Wait 2-3 months and you'll see what I'm saying. Thats all the proof needed.

If I turn out to be wrong, no biggie. I lost a discussion with an anonmymous person on the internet. If I turn out to be right, you'll have learned one more thing about the computer industry.

My money's on the second outcome.
June 4, 2007 12:58:19 PM

Quote:
... I would like to point out the prices of PC-100/133 ram. It is currently (even in obsolescence) about $100-130/gb. DDR is about 60-75/gb and DDR2 is about 35-55, all when calculated with 512mb sticks for continuity's sake. Personally I doubt that DDR2 will get much lower than it is now, perhaps 5-10 bucks/gb, but not more. Certainly, I would love to see it do that, but I feel that its not going to happen with DDR2. Perhaps with DDR3 we'll see those prices, but not DDR2.

oh, and some links, for reference:
SDRAM
DDR
DDR2


I also like to point out in newegg some of the DDR prices are higher than DDR2 which indicates supply/demand. Excess inventory usually leads to the drop of prices on DDR2 RAM right now.

Newegg's entire DDR list
June 4, 2007 2:46:39 PM

You're right. In fact, byte for byte, DDR is more expensive all the way across the board. But that's not the point. The point is that this is historically the best time of year to buy ram.

To directly address the supply/demand issue, the reason DDR (and SDRAM, and even SIMM's) are much more expensive/byte is because there are so few if any places still making them. That means that whoever's selling can charge as much as they want and it will sell, because someone NEEDS it. Thats why older ram tech is more expensive these days than current ram tech. Come to think about it, it seems as though its the same way with everything technology related.


Just so everyone knows, the reason I'm so full of information about ram pricing is because I've been wanting to get some more memory for the rig in my sig for a while now, and have been frustrated about the price difference between DDR and DDR2. I just can't bring myself to pay twice as much for (essentially) the exact same thing, just because its what's compatible with my system. Oh well, we'll see what the computing landscape is this time next year and maybe I'll get something DDR3 based.
June 4, 2007 5:47:39 PM

Quote:
Wait 2-3 months and you'll see what I'm saying. Thats all the proof needed.
Since there are only two possible outcomes, it's hard to distinguish a correct prediction from a lucky guess. :) 

I am genuinely interested in the data on past memory fluctuations that you mentioned and would appreciate a link/pointer to it.

TIA
a b } Memory
June 4, 2007 6:19:05 PM

It's risky. When you finally decide to get the motherboard you may discover that your favourite motherboard and the RAM you have already bought are not compatible. You may want a motherboard that only supports DDR3, for example.
a b } Memory
June 4, 2007 6:22:35 PM

Quote:
Excess inventory usually leads to the drop of prices on DDR2 RAM right now.


True, but sometimes it leads to companies cutting production. Samsung has just announced something of the sort. I wouldn't worry much about it because other companies will fill the gap by increasing their production.
June 4, 2007 6:52:50 PM

The prices start falling at around January/February of this year when companies like Samsung got sued by US for price fixing.

http://news.com.com/90+million+settles+Samsung+price-fi...

For me, I brought 1gb of crucial ddr2 4200 memory for $10 AR 2 weeks ago so I'm happy.

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20070603VL200.html

Samsung is already cutting production, thus reducing supply so that the price will increase. Maybe the price would increase, but I doubt the memory companies will lose money anytime soon.
a b } Memory
June 4, 2007 7:22:36 PM

Yeah, I wouldn't worry about the memory companies and their profits. Now that Vista is out and it wants 2 or even 4 GB of RAM these companies are the big winners.
June 4, 2007 7:48:45 PM

Quote:
...
Big OEM's (HP, DELL, IBM, etc.) buy up a lot of the ram out in the market, causing a bit of a shortage, therefore spiking prices.

This seems like foolish behavior on the part of the big OEMs, if true. In such a competitive market, you would think that at least one of them would purchase RAM in advance to lower their system-building costs.

Quote:
... It has happened every year since people started getting computers as presents.

If true, I agree this would be substantial support for your point. Do you have a ref/link for this?

OEM's buy via contract for the most part. Consumers pay spot market prices. As deliveries are due to OEM's the spot market supply shrinks driving price increases. THis is not a surprising fact, and should make good sense to most people. Memory manuf's could care less about spot market prices being high or low, all that matters is ASP's which are driven by the far larger contract market.

Can I link an article no... however digitimes and others have articles on spot/contract prices (for unfinished memory modules), I guess one could go digging through their archives...
June 4, 2007 8:25:41 PM

Quote:
...
OEM's buy via contract for the most part. Consumers pay spot market prices.

This is an excellent point!

Quote:
... As deliveries are due to OEM's the spot market supply shrinks driving price increases. THis is not a surprising fact, and should make good sense to most people.

This is the part that isn't clear to me. If this pricing is really so predictable, wouldn't vendors stockpile RAM early in the year, buying when prices are low, in order to make bigger profits by selling later in the year when prices are higher?

Also, why does the spot market supply shrink when the contract deliveries are due? Is that because current production is shifted toward fulfilling contracts instead of going to the spot market? If so, that seems to imply that during the rest of the year, more/most production is going to the spot market, which again would then seem to be the time for vendors to buy their inventory.
June 4, 2007 10:24:58 PM

The contracts are for a specific price, determined at the beginning of the contract period. So say a certain OEM sets up a contract for a certain price at the beginning of the year, and the terms are that whenever they order modules, they pay that predetermined price. Since the OEM's who are purchasing these modules, they buy only what they need, since they want as little stockpiles (and therefore property tax) as is possible while still being able to satisfy small fluctuations in the market.

Since the market heats up near the end of the year (no telling how much, but definitely warmer) the OEMs increase their stockpiles, and therefore purchase more parts. Since the output from the memory manufacturers (samsung, etc) stays the same, there is a comparative shortage in the main market, and therefore the price goes up.

Stockpiles are bad things for business. Talk to any business owner/operator and they will tell you that product just sitting around is a bad thing. You gotta move it or else its just taking up space becoming obsolete.

Also businesses don't care about stabilizing the market. They just get what they need. Fluctuations in price can be passed on to the consumer, and if the prices are a bit higher, then so be it, they will probably still buy it anyway.

Of course if this whole debate is supposed to be an exercise (i hate that word, can't ever spell it) in forum post documentation, you can stow it, because anyone who's actually watched the market, even a little bit, over a couple years would understand just that.

In fact, the same dynamic occurs in almost every industry that caters directly to consumers, since the holiday season is the hot time of the year for every one of them. Ever heard of "Black Friday"? This is why I can confidently say that ram prices will go up in the next month or two.
June 5, 2007 2:24:54 AM

I'd say wait another month and go from there. No need to rush out and make a hasty decision.
June 5, 2007 3:31:18 AM

DO you guys think a 4 GB set for ~$200-250 is good to go at this point in time?
June 5, 2007 3:48:42 AM

You may want go go for 4 sticks of 1gb for about 160-190 total: Link

But if you must run two modules, you're not going to get a much better deal right now than 200-250, especially with quality modules.

That is, of course, assuming that you are speaking of DDR2 modules.

Basically, as has been implied before, the best time to buy computer parts is when you have the money to spend on computer parts. There will always be better stuff out "tomorrow" and the prices will always fall eventually, but when it comes right down to it, the best time to buy is when you CAN buy. Of course, you can read up, do research, and make sure you make the best buy you can when you do decide to buy, and of course, if you think the price is too high for a component, you can wait for the price to go down a bit.

To bet the odds, if someone had the money to buy computer parts right now, I'd say do the purchasing sometime between right now and the end of next month. This time of year is when most computer prices are lowest, with general exception being graphics cards, which have a strange and more unpredictable price cycle, based more on release dates than seasons.

For ram specifically, it has become commoditised, the oil of the industry. Slowly changing, always needed, and generally useful top to bottom, with different grades for different uses. It is because of this that ram prices are much more predictable than many other components, and why the debate continued here before.

But to answer your question directly: you could find sets cheaper, but if the specific price you're quoting is a set of modules you really want, or that suit your needs especially well, then yes, it is good to go. If you are looking for bottom dollar, you should do more shopping.
June 5, 2007 4:28:31 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I was thinking more along the lines of this...(230$)


I was originally going to go with the Corsair XMS2 ddr2 800 Cas Latency 4
(aprrox 100$)......should i still?

My new July Rig: Q6600/E6600 (depends..), 8800GTS 640MB, OCZ Gamexstream 600W, 320gb HD Seagate, P180B Antec Case, havent decided on a good motherboard yet for quad if i decide to get it...(mobo spending around 150-200$)

TOtal of 1700-1800$......used for moderate-high gaming/program apps/vids
June 5, 2007 4:42:51 AM

If you want the memory and have the money, go for it, but you're not going to be really needing 4gb anytime soon, at least not until a different ram tech comes around, DDR3 or 4 (I know DDR3 is out). If I were spending that much on a system (keep in mind its my opinion) I'd stick to 2gigs, a level where vista runs like about 1-1.5 gigs in xp. Since it is inevitable that you're gonna have vista on the computer (lets not kid ourselves), you may want to keep that in mind. After sticking to 2 gigs, I'd go for a second hard disk and do a raid setup. A couple partitions a that. Half of each drive in raid0, and the other half in raid1, if the controller supports it on the motherboard. That would give you a 320GB partition that is blazingly fast and a 160GB partition that is saved from data failure.

But that's a whole other idea. If you want your setup that you've put together, do it and be proud of the system you've put together, its gonna be a monster any way you put it together.
June 5, 2007 4:50:00 AM

I was think about 4x1GB crucial rendition 667mhz 4.4.4.12 1.8v for 116.96$ in total.
June 5, 2007 5:07:11 AM

lol, inq + outrageous fact + anonymous article = total bs

A good laugh tho, Dramurai!

@jack:
Sounds cool. Earlier this year, one could barely get 1/4th of this amount of ram for that price. Nice pick.
June 5, 2007 5:12:19 AM

I just bought those ram yesterday although i don't have any use of it yet. My newest system is 5 years old and still uses ddr 266mhz LOL. Can't wait till i build a new computer. I just can't resist the temptation of the price. Dam 120$ for 4GB of Ram
June 5, 2007 7:42:28 AM

Quote:
This year I invested in pumpkins. They've been going up the whole month of October and I got a feeling they're going to peak right around January. Then bang! That's when I'll cash in

Anyone else reminded of this while reading this thread?
June 5, 2007 5:23:00 PM

Quote:
The contracts are for a specific price, determined at the beginning of the contract period. So say a certain OEM sets up a contract for a certain price at the beginning of the year, and the terms are that whenever they order modules, they pay that predetermined price. Since the OEM's who are purchasing these modules, they buy only what they need, since they want as little stockpiles (and therefore property tax) as is possible while still being able to satisfy small fluctuations in the market.

I guess I'm probably asking for too much detail on this for this forum -- I assume that the contracts must include minimum and maximum volumes, and there are enough jurisdictions in the world that wouldn't tax inventory that that shouldn't be an issue (of course, there are other bad sides to inventory, as you note).
Here's my issue: if a substantial (say, 25%) increase in RAM prices between summer and 3 months later is as sure a thing as you seem to be implying, what's to stop companies from buying up a lot of RAM in the summer and using it/selling it 3 months later? The only answer I can think of is that such a 25% increase must not really be such a sure thing. That's why actual pricing data from a number of previous years (say, the last 10 years) would be so helpful.

...
Quote:
Stockpiles are bad things for business.

Certainly there are big drawbacks to stockpiles, but there can also be big benefits (for example, it would be hard to have bread year-round w/o grain stockpiles). If a company *knew* their stockpile would be worth 25% more three months from now, that would seem to be a big incentive to maintain the stockpile.

Quote:
Also businesses don't care about stabilizing the market. They just get what they need.

Exactly right. However, through the magic of arbitrage, the profit motive encourages buying when plentiful (low prices) and selling when scarce (high prices), thus stabilizing the market.

Quote:
Fluctuations in price can be passed on to the consumer, and if the prices are a bit higher, then so be it, they will probably still buy it anyway.

True for some things like gasoline, untrue for others - it's the whole demand elasticity issue.

Quote:
Of course if this whole debate is supposed to be an exercise ... in forum post documentation,...

No, I've heard similar things in the past and was curious to know if there is any hard data to back it up, or if it's more on the lines of received wisdom. You seemed to be knowledgeable in your technical posts, so I thought I'd ask if you had links/pointers to data.

Quote:
In fact, the same dynamic occurs in almost every industry that caters directly to consumers,...

Certainly, the sales *volumes* go up dramatically, but what I'm interested in here is the pricing.

My guess is that we've both exhausted our hard knowledge of the subject by this point, and I've decided ( :wink: ) not to spend $12000 for a subscription to the historical pricing data at dramexchange.com, so it may be better to turn back to more productive posting. I do welcome your posts, and if you come across any other info (even something like a book/article on the modern DRAM industry) would welcome the ref.
June 5, 2007 5:31:26 PM

:D  :D 
!