Prior to 2016, DDR4 DRAM saw a decline in prices as demand for desktop computers waned. The average 2012 price for an 8GB 1600MHz kit was around $30-$40. Today, however, the same kit is priced in the $70-80 range and is expected to continue rising in price. A few unexpected circumstances caused increased demand and subsequent price hikes.
Reasons for DDR4 DRAM price increases are as follows.
- All three major DRAM companies have decided to produce more NAND FLASH and mobile DRAM. The reason is simply because they realize there is more demand in cell phones than the desktop computers. These days, many are abandoning the good old desktop computer for smaller devices.
- More cellular phone manufacturers are now using DDR4 DRAM chips.
- The Samsung Xi’an plant, which produces 3D-NAND Flash memory, experienced power outages when a nearby power plant exploded. While the power plant does not produce DDR4 DRAM wafers, the delays were enough to disturb the market.
- An August 2016 power outage, in Korea, caused Samsung Electronics to scrap between 30k-50k DRAM wafers.
- The spontaneous combustion of Samsung Note 7 phones caused the company to work in a frenzy to replace its defunct devices. Since most phones use DRAM, this had a large effect on prices.
Will prices continue to skyrocket?
There is a good chance prices will continue to rise before they normalize. However, there is no way to foretell the future. We can only hope that DRAM prices will one day come down to normal again.
What should DDR4 DRAM buyers do next?