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DDR3 Expected to Skyrocket in Value During 2021

DDR3 memory on PCB
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

According to the DigiTimes, DDR3 is expected to gain value by 40-50% for the duration of 2021. This jump in value is caused by a number of events, but overall the situation is caused by more demand than supply.

You might be surprised to hear that DDR3 DRAM is still thriving when DDR4 has been out for years, not to mention the fact that DDR5 already exists. DDR3 maintains decent popularity due to the vast amount of systems that are still around, which are only compatible with the older memory technology. While DDR4 may be the mainstream option for PCs, DDR3 supported systems are still widely used in IoT devices, older servers, and other devices that need to be operational for decades.

In the first quarter of 2021, DDR3 is expected to jump in value by 20%, then as the year goes by, continue to increase in value up to 40-50%. Two factors are at the root of the surge: An unexpected jump in demand for DDR3 in 2021, and memory manufacturers like Samsung and SK Hynix are starting to phase out DDR3 and are producing significantly less DDR3. This last is presumably in preparation for DDR5 production, as older foundries are updated to newer tech and used for more lucrative devices.

SK Hynix has stopped producing 2Gb DDR3 memory chips altogether (4Gb are still in production), and Samsung has cut its monthly production of DDR3 modules from 60,000 wafers to just 20,000. This has caused spot prices for 2Gb and 4Gb DDR3 memory to rise by over 30% already.

Fortunately for the DDR3 industry, Samsung and SK Hynix aren't the only cowboys in town. Taiwan-based Nanya Technology and PSMC (Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing) also produce DDR3 modules and don't plan to stop production anytime soon. Nanya Technology currently has a monthly production capacity of about 100,000 wafers. PSMC on the other hand has a monthly production run of just 30,000-40,000 wafers, but the company wants to expand its capacity in the future.

Despite its age (DDR3 first launched in 2007), it's safe to say that DDR3 isn't going anywhere. DDR3 production is slowly shifting from top memory brands like SK Hynix and Samsung to smaller companies that can still turn a profit off the older memory architecture. However, even with smaller companies like PSMC ramping up production, it still won't be sufficient to meet the demand for DDR3 during the coming year, so DDR3's value is expected to continually rise as 2021 rolls on. 

  • Master Djoza
    Gonna sell my 3x8gb for 200$ :devilish:
    Reply
  • King_V
    Funny! But, I'm also looking at a couple of older PCs I have handy, and wondering if their RAM will literally become the most valuable parts of them.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    King_V said:
    Funny! But, I'm also looking at a couple of older PCs I have handy, and wondering if their RAM will literally become the most valuable parts of them.
    Not if they have any sort of dGPU or a name brand PSU of 500W or more.
    Reply
  • King_V
    spongiemaster said:
    Not if they have any sort of dGPU or a name brand PSU of 500W or more.
    One has a dGPU - I'd keep the GPU, naturally.
    They are both OEM Dell systems with the factory Dell PSUs.
    Reply
  • kal326
    Glad I bulked up my home lab when I did when ecc registered was hitting $1.25 a GB. Granted I was getting 16GB quad ranked, the cheapest tier of sticks. However, I'm surprised to see small sticks 2-4GB pushing $2+ a GB now. Server 16GB sticks still seem to be in the $1.50 per GB. However there are tons of these from server pull decomms. Consumer non-ecc, UDIMMS is probably were you are going to see the most volatility.
    Reply
  • CerianK
    kal326 said:
    However there are tons of these from server pull decomms. Consumer non-ecc, UDIMMS is probably were you are going to see the most volatility.
    I probably have 128GB of ECC RDIMMs just laying around, so I might get lucky to have it be worth the time to sell it if I wait, or not given the 'tons' pulled... but before now I was convinced it was just going to collect dust for years like most of my 'stuff'.
    Reply
  • athletics
    the subtitle says "Time to sell your old collection of DDR3 modules" but the article says prices will go up 20% Q1 and and 40-50% throughout the year. That means for those who don't understand including the author that you want to HOLD your DDR3 modules and sell at the end of the year. Are people this incompetent?
    Reply
  • paesan
    athletics said:
    the subtitle says "Time to sell your old collection of DDR3 modules" but the article says prices will go up 20% Q1 and and 40-50% throughout the year. That means for those who don't understand including the author that you want to HOLD your DDR3 modules and sell at the end of the year. Are people this incompetent?

    Exactly. I just looked at DDR3 prices, and Amazon has 2x8GB modules under $100. It won't be until the end of the year before prices potentially skyrocket. Another person commented getting $200 for 3x8GB, not going to happen right now.
    I have a bunch of DDR3 modules that I was contemplating on getting rid of, guess I will hold on to them for a while longer.
    Reply
  • LolaGT
    Since there is still a whole lot of people running on the 11xx DDR3 platforms I am not surprised.
    The couple three most legendary CPUs ever are still strong enough to handle what the majority of gamers are doing.
    I have been on a 3570k since 2013 and I am literally putting together a "new" system on a 4790k. I'll likely even upgrade that old PC to a 3770k as it is a small investment for a significant gain, for my use.

    A tough time to build a new bleeding edge PC, and unless one is using it to actually make money, there really isn't a lot of incentive outside of showing your buddies you have the latest and greatest. .
    Reply
  • DaveTea
    King_V said:
    One has a dGPU - I'd keep the GPU, naturally.
    They are both OEM Dell systems with the factory Dell PSUs.
    Excuse my ignorance, but what is a dGPU pls?
    Reply