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RAM prices to see 30% cuts in the next few months

The end of 2019 could bring halved prices for consumer DRAM modules. (Source: PCGamesN)
The end of 2019 could bring halved prices for consumer DRAM modules. (Source: PCGamesN)
Ever since the Chinese government started to investigate memory chip suppliers over suspicious price fixing schemes, DRAM module prices started to slowly decline, and it looks like prices could get reduced by 30% in Q2 2019. By the end of 2019 DDR4 DRAM modules may end up costing up to 50% less, and prices may flatten as the DDR5 standard becomes more popular.

RAM module prices have had their fair share of oscillations in the past decade. The early 2010s brought really affordable RAM modules and this lasted up until around 2015. Prices then started climbing, as DDR4 became the standard and this escalation peaked in mid-2018. The Chinese government grew extremely suspicious of such price trends and started investigating SEA memory chip suppliers over price fixing schemes. Consequently, prices started to relax towards the end of 2018. Now, market research firm TrendForce is expecting considerable price cuts in the upcoming months.

TrendForce initially predicted consistent price falls for server DRAM contract prices at the start of 2019, but new data points out that the oversupply and lower-than-expected demand is going to affect the entire DRAM market throughout 2019. Thus, DRAM prices should see 20% price cuts in Q1, while Q2 would increase the dip by 15%. Memory chip suppliers are already taking measures to thin out the supplies, so DRAM prices would most likely hit their lowest in the second half of 2019.

Users who are planning PC / laptop upgrades may want to wait a bit more for the prices to bottom out. TrendForce is estimating halved PC DRAM prices by the end of 2019, while server DRAM prices could see an even steeper fall. Furthermore, the DDR5 standard is right around the corner, with the first consumer-oriented modules expected in 2020, so DDR4 module prices might stay low for the next couple of years.

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Bogdan Solca, 2019-02-20 (Update: 2019-02-20)