DRAM Prices May Drop Five Percent In 2018

DRAMeXchange's senior research director Avril Wu reported today that it's highly possible for DRAM products to see a five percent price decline in the last quarter of the year due to oversupply and weak demand.

(Image credit: Samsung)

DRAM products have enjoyed steady growth for nine consecutive quarters until the third quarter of 2018, when the market began to show weak price growth. PC and server DRAM products prices grew barely, in the range of one to two percent, while mobile DRAM prices stayed flat. Meanwhile, graphics DRAM products faced a price drop during the same quarter. Avril Wu noted that the current spot prices are 10 percent lower than contract prices, which is a very good indicator that there will be a general decline in DRAM prices.

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Item3Q184Q18(Prior Version)4Q18(Revised Version)
PC DRAM1~2 percent-4 percent~Flat~-5 percent
Server DRAM~1 percent-2 percent~Flat~-5 percent
Mobile DRAMDiscrete: FlateMCP: -3 percent~FlatDiscrete: -2 percent~FlateMCP: -2~-5 percentDiscrete: -2~-5 percenteMCP: -3~-8 percent
Consumer DRAMDDR3: -2 percentDDR4: FlatDDR3: -3 percent~FlatDDR4: -1~-4 percentDDR3: ~-3 percentDDR4: ~-5 percent
DRAM ASP>3 percent-1~-3 percent~-5 percent

Source: DRAMeXchange, Sep. 2018

The revised forecast from DRAMeXchange shows that the server DRAM and PC DRAM markets could suffer a price drop as great as five percent. The demand in the server space is uncertain, and since the spot prices for DRAM products continue to descend, Korean DRAM manufacturers have adjusted their target prices for the upcoming quarter. Samsung has even gone as far as to slow down its memory chip production with the purpose of keeping prices stable. Meanwhile, the shortage of Intel processors might potentially help lower demand for DRAM products in PCs and notebooks. As for specialized DRAM products, demand has gotten weak and seen price declines since September because of the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.

On the mobile end, the launch of the new Apple iPhone is expected to help boost demand for mobile DRAM products. Nevertheless, the market tends to take a conservative approach when it comes to smartphone sales since iPhones are notorious for carrying eye-watering price tags. As a result, DRAMeXchange states that there is a high possibility for oversupply.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • Zaporro
    Lol, sweet dreams

    Samsung and other ram companies are such scumbags that they now openely admit that they will "slow down production" to "keep current prices". Current prices that are result of their shameless price fixing.
  • Brian_R170
    "The revised forecast from DRAMeXchange shows that the server DRAM and PC DRAM markets could suffer a price drop as great as five percent."

    Consumers have been suffering for 2 years. Let the markets suffer for a while.
  • Giroro
    awesome. Now instead of being double the price that it should be at, DRAM will be negligibly less than that.

    And by double what it should be at, I mean double the price per gigabyte I paid almost 6 years ago.
  • hannibal
    Six year ago there was competition... not anymore. Hopefully some new company could afford to come to the market, to make a difference! But new factories are so expensive that it is not likely
  • MoxNix
    Thanks to price fixing, the price of RAM is now is more than double what I paid less than 2 years ago!
  • compprob237
    A whole 5%?! We should be thankful for such a great discount! /s
    In 2016 I paid $80 for a 2x8GB DDR4-2400 kit. That very same kit, last I checked, was sitting at $150-$160. 5% drop in price? Drop dead.
  • Tanyac
    Any price drop is welcome. But I don't think it's going to create any significant increase in demand.
    I purchased a F4-3200C16Q-32GTZ kit in 2016 for $249. That same kit is now selling for as much as $799 depending on retailer, but no less than $569.

    5% off either of those prices is still going to result in prices of between $540 and $759. Still massively inflated. Such price drops also typically do not reach UK, AUS and some EU states.

    Then we have to consider Samsung's move to keep prices high and fixed.
    Consumers definitely need some relief. There is virtually no segment of the component industry that hasn't been hit with massive price hikes and price fixing. Taking everything into consideration, though, I think the consumer reaction to this anticipated drop is going to be "Yawn".

    EDIT: Prices in AUD
  • SkyBill40
    Nice. The longer I wait to rebuild, the cheaper vital components get. Now if Zen 2 would hurry up and get here already, that'd be great.
  • rantoc
    So just another 45% missing to get back to the prices before the 100% price rippoff!
  • mischon123
    PC sales are down. Plenty of Ram available. Still prices are up. Gouging, fixing, cartell? There, I said it.