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DDR5: Availability Improving, Prices Dropping

GSkill
(Image credit: GSkill)

After Intel released its 12th Generation Core 'Alder Lake' processors for enthusiasts in early November, it quickly turned out that the supply of DDR5 memory modules was insufficient, causing prices to skyrocket. Those shortages were expected to worsen with the release of the mainstream 12th-Gen Intel processors, but availability is now improving and prices are falling. 

Due to the tight supply of power management ICs (PMICs) and voltage regulation modules (VRMs) for DDR5 memory sticks, prices of dual-channel 32GB DDR5 memory kits reached as high as $1,300 late last year. Today 32GB DDR5 kits are less expensive, which is great news for the enthusiast crowd.  

To examine DDR5 pricing trends, we looked at several 32GB dual-channel DDR5-4800, DDR5-5200, DDR5-5600, and DDR5-6000 kits.

Dual-Channel 32GB DDR5 Memory Kits at Amazon

Speed BinKit ModelPrice in Late DecemberPrice in Late JanuaryDifferenceLink
4800Corsair Vengeance DDR5-4800 CL10$1300$410-69%https://camelcamelcamel.com/product/B09MTS5YH1
4800Crucial DDR5-4800 CL40$1000$450-55%https://camelcamelcamel.com/product/B09HW97JVF
4800Kingston Fury Beast DDR5-4800 CL38$800$595-26%https://camelcamelcamel.com/product/B09KCLWW2K
5200Corsair Dominator DDR5-5200 CL40$2499$550-78%https://camelcamelcamel.com/product/B09NCP3RWB
5200Kingston Fury Beast DDR5-5200 CL40$1000$428-57%https://camelcamelcamel.com/product/B09KCLP63B
5600G.Skill Trident Z DDR5-5600 CL36$1000$510-49%https://camelcamelcamel.com/product/B09MY29TXB
6000G.Skill Trident Z DDR5-6000 CL36$3995$800-80%https://camelcamelcamel.com/product/B09MYJW7RB

If you look at the table and the graphs, one thing that will catch the eye is the fact that the modules come from third-party sellers on Amazon. This is a good indicator that the availability of DDR5 memory kits is still very limited, which is why manufacturers like Corsair sell DDR5 SDRAM memory sticks directly and to some distributors (who then ship the products to various resellers). Yet, even dealers have been forced to lower their prices as availability improves.

While Amazon tends to sell at prices close to those recommended by the manufacturer, prices set by dealers tend to fluctuate per supply and demand. This is why some of these retailers charged large sums of money for rare high-performance modules in late December. Now the supply of DRAM has improved, which is why prices dropped anywhere from 26% to 80% per kit in just a few weeks.

Since Intel has started shipments of mainstream 12th Generation Core processors with DDR5 support, memory makers like Micron, Samsung, and SK Hynix will inevitably increase volume production of their DDR5 ICs, which will, in turn, lower prices. What remains to be seen is whether makers of PMIC and VRM components can also keep up with supply as every DDR5 module requires these chips. Given that demand for these components is fairly predictable, companies like Renesas should be inclined to increase their shipments of these ICs. 

In general, DDR5 memory module supply is getting better, but we are still not quite out of the woods yet. It remains to be seen when DDR5 matches DDR4 pricing, but at least a 32GB kit no longer costs $1000.

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • InvalidError
    It takes about two years from new memory hitting the consumer market for it to reach price parity with the outgoing standard. DDR5 may take a little longer due to the extra costs from additional on-board bits and bobs this time around.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    People (plural) paid $4000 for 32GB of DDR5?
    Reply
  • samopa
    I had paid my Team DDR5-6200CL38 32GB kit less than $500 in November 2021, and never pay attention to the DDR5 prices since, but for 4000$ for 32GB kit, not even DDR5-8000CL40 worth that much money IMHO.
    Reply