Bad news GPU fans, prices may be climbing

Subject: General Tech | April 3, 2013 - 10:21 AM |
Tagged: gpu, DRAM, ddr3, price increase

It has taken a while but the climbing price of memory is about to have an effect on the price you pay for your next GPU.  DigiTimes does specifically mention DDR3 but as both GDDR4 and GDDR5 are based off of DDR3 they will suffer the same price increases.  You can expect to see the new prices last as part of the reason for the increase in the price of RAM is the decrease in sales volume.  AMD may be hit harder overall than NVIDIA as they tend to put more memory on their cards and buyers of value cards might see the biggest percentage increase as those cards still sport 1GB or more of memory.

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"Since DDR3 memory prices have recently risen by more than 10%, the sources believe the graphics cards are unlikely to see their prices return to previous levels within the next six months unless GPU makers decide to offer promotions for specific models or launch next-generation products."

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Source: DigiTimes

OCZ is no longer driving SSD prices down?

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2013 - 12:58 PM |
Tagged: ocz, price increase, price cuts, ssd

The hard drive market has recovered somewhat over 2012 from the sharp spike in prices we saw as a result of the flooding in Thailand, though never to the prices we became used to in 2011.  That issue fell by the wayside in 2013 thanks to the sharp drop in prices for SSDs, with a price of $1/GB becoming a common price point even before specials and deals are considered.  The Tech Report noticed something different about Q4 of 2012, with the pricing trend actually reversing and many drives increasing in price by 10-20%.  In part this might be accounted for due to the drop in overall PC sales but The Tech Report has another culprit in mind, read on to see why you might have OCZ to thank for both the rapid drop in SSD prices as well as the current upwards trend.

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"SSD prices fell by 38% in 2012. However, they actually went up in the fourth quarter, spurred largely by an end to OCZ's deep discounts. We've crunched the numbers for more than 40 drives to get a better sense of what's going on."

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DRAM Prices Expected To Rise

Subject: Memory | July 18, 2012 - 09:13 AM |
Tagged: price increase, memory, Elpida, ddr3

The memory market has traditionally seen razor thin margins and cheap prices as the various manufacturers crank out DRAM chips to healthy levels. While we are not yet at the point for DDR4 memory to come out with high early-adopter prices, iSuppli believes that we will be seeing increased pricing later this year regardless.

A DDR3 memory module

According to Tom’s Hardware, analysts working for IHS iSuppli have determined that inventory is decreasing this year, and has decreased 4 percent since the fourth quarter of last year. Whereas DRAM suppliers were estimated to have 12.1 weeks of inventory in Q4 2011, they are currently sitting on 11.6 weeks. While supply grew last year and prices fell dramatically, prices have increased by 1.5 percent versus last year. The analysts further expect prices to rise by 7.7 percent and 3.5 percent in Q3 2012 and Q4 2012 respectively.

One possible aspect of the drop in supply is the declaration of bankruptcy and subsequent buyout of Elpida Memory by Micron. As supply goes down and demand stays the same – or continues to rise – prices are naturally going to increase for consumers. Now that there is one less manufacturer to contend with, it is likely that prices will continue to be higher than before. If you have not already upgraded your RAM, now seems to be as good as it’s going to get price-wise, so be sure to jump in on the good deals while you can!

Adata CEO Claims RAM Prices To Climb Early Next Year

Subject: Memory | December 23, 2011 - 01:10 PM |
Tagged: supply, ram, price increase, nand, dram market, adata

Computer enthusiasts and OEMs alike have been living the dream of extremely cheap RAM modules; however, Adata CEO Simon Chen believes that the dream may be close to ending. In 2012, the DRAM manufacturers will start to cut production such that they are reducing supply and thus can charge more than they currently can (they have been producing DRAM consistently over the past couple years such that there has been more than enough supply and thus a lower cost). After the holiday season, PC OEMs will start to replenish their inventories and when they do, they will be increasing inventories to a months supply instead of a two week supply.

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Chen notes that the four major manufacturers of DRAM chips including Elpida Memory, Hynix Semiconductor, Micron Technology, and Powerchip Technology have suffered from selling the chips at such reduced prices for so long. While DRAM chips produced on older manufacturing processes may still be sold below the cost of production, newer DRAM manufactured on the 30nm process "will rebound from the current bottom level to a level above cash-flow production cost."

In addition to the reduced production and newer process, the demand for DRAM in general is expected to decrease due to the rising popularity of mobile computers, Chen notes. Further, the decrease in desktop DRAM demand is balanced out by increased demand for server memory from data centers purchasing additional RAM direct from the manufacturers as the server OEMs charge a hefty premium for RAM. Due to the shake up in the industry, "many makers of DRAM modules have shifted business operation to other areas" like ruggedized memory and to producing NAND flash chips for SSDs.

Admittedly, the memory makers are walking a fine line between spinning down production and being accused of price fixing; however, the ride has been a good one for consumers for a while now and the manufacturers are likely getting tired of the razor thing profit margins. Chen's analysis of the situation may be correct in light of that fact, the new process technology allowing for better yields combined with generally lower production while the big OEMs will be buying up more RAM for their own inventories may well spell the end of being able to impulse buy tons of DDR3 RAM! What are your thoughts on both Chen's analysis of the price increase and the industry itself- do you think prices are likely to go up next year?

Source: Digitimes