flasher702

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EDIT: lots of updates, read the thread.

Prices should be near their lowest, expected to go back up in 2H 2007.

http://www.digitimes.com/bits_chips/a20070226PD205.html
prices to go up 2h 2007
http://digitimes.com/bits_chips/a20070301PR207.html
prices to go down with new Samsung process starting march
http://digitimes.com/news/a20070301PD207.html
Prices stabalize after chineese newyear, to go up for chineese back to school season


Other:
2GB DDR2 modules may not be mainstream until 2008 (Feb 8)
DRAM contract price drop enlarges in 1H February (Feb 7) (you already knew that though)

Overall: Prices should remain stable near current levels until 2H 2007 and then go up for Vista and US back to school season and likely remain high into 2008. Prices will also likely go up at least temporarily around April 22nd from increased demand due to Intel price cuts (you might want to buy your ram a few days before if you plan on building a system shortly after that date).

NAND Flash memory is also supposed to go up in price in the near future as Samsung is migrating NAND capacity to DRAM and Samsung and Hynix both are supposed to stop lowering prices with Hynix proposing an increase.
http://www.digitimes.com/bits_chips/a20070228PD200.html


If you have additional information, especially if it's contradictory information, please post here.
 

garu

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this is more or less a speculation but

Use of the new process technology is a significant milestone in that it increases production efficiency by 40 percent over the 80nm process technology deployed in DRAM fabrication since early 2006, and offers twice the productivity of 90nm general process technology.

http://cdrinfo.com/Sections/News/Details.aspx?NewsId=19865

i think the prices of curent models will stay the same possible be even cheaper
 

flasher702

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Yeah, I linked an article that talks about the same thing but with the end of chineese newyear, chineese back to school season, followed by the iPhone, intel price cuts combined with vista then the US back to school season and US shopping season the prices are going up. The major players know that the supply will become tighter within the next 3-5months anyway and it appears they are pre-emptively not lowering prices agressively.

Samsung has a new process that is more effecient but nowhere did they say they are leveraging that effeciency to significantly increasing DRAM production capacity. It does say that they are migrating fabs to NAND (appearantly this is reletively easy to do, as they seem to migrate between DRAM and NAND frequently) and that NAND is going to be in short supply.

Good information to find right now is how many months of estimated DRAM supply is in inventory now. With prices already stabalizing I'm guessing they are approaching normal levels and supplies will try to maintain normal levels in anticipation of increased demand in 2H.

As of today eTT DDR2 spot prices are down slightly (-1.4%) for the week but eTT modules (the really cheap stuff) are up slightly (+1.5%).
http://www.dramexchange.com/market/price_show.asp
Still waiting on updates for contract prices but they were down 11% or more for the second part of february (but we already knew that just by looking at retail prices) but I'm expecting them to stabalize in march. Small changes such as these in contract and spot prices take longer to trickle down to the retail level, if at all.

Prices might go down very slightly in the next 1-3 weeks but I expect them to start going back up by the beginning of May with a slight blip in retail prices end of april. At this point I plan on ordering a few gigs of ram for my projects before April 20th. It might not be the absolute cheapest time to buy but unless I see information to suggest otherwise I'm thinking that April 20th to the end of the year prices will tend to go up (they should remain fairly stable into june, but they won't go down).


Hsieh said the low season may last until May or June, but demand will pick up in the second half.
From an article I linked above, and I'm inclined to agree at this point.

Any more information please post!

(I'm trying to share my research with other since, while it's interesting, it doesn't really seem worth it to me for the reletively small purchases I make. I'm only going to save like $30 on 3gigs of ram. I wish I could form some sort of co-op and purchase 1gb modules off the spot market for like $10 xD I don't know what kind of minimum orders those prices have though...)
 

Mondoman

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... I wish I could form some sort of co-op and purchase 1gb modules off the spot market for like $10 xD I don't know what kind of minimum orders those prices have though...)
Aren't those prices "per chip", not "per DIMM"? I would expect quantities to be 1000x or more.
 

flasher702

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They are per module, not chip.

DDR2 512Mb 64Mx8 667MHz
that's 8x64m chips on a stick that presumedly has been at least slightly tested to run at DDR2-667 with a session average of $4.06 per stick.
http://www.dramexchange.com/

I assume that the quantites are much higher than 1000. Like 100,000 maybe. Heck, if I could order 1000 of them at that price I could go in on it with like 3 other people and each one of us would only have to sell like 200 sticks at $15 each by the end of the year (less than half the current price and the prices will go up, shouldn't be too hard) to pull a $2k profit each. 1000units would fit in someons closet so no special storage or transportations costs necessary. If it was that easy tons of people would do it. 100,000 units is pretty daunting though. I think I'll look into it a bit more just for shits 'n giggles but I'm not thinking it's feasible to create a co-op to buy half a million dollars in inventory in one shot...
 

Mondoman

Splendid
They are per module, not chip.


DDR2 512Mb 64Mx8 667MHz
that's 8x64m chips on a stick that presumedly has been at least slightly tested to run at DDR2-667

My interpretation was this: a 512 megabit chip organized as 64Mx8bits tested for DDR2-667 (333MHz?) speed. Note the lowercase "b" in "512Mb". Note also that under the "contract" section on the website, there are entries that specifically include "DIMM" as part of the description, and they use a capital "B" for size (e.g. "512MB"). The "DIMM" prices are also about what I would expect, while the other prices seem about 10x too cheap to be DIMMs.
 

flasher702

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You are correct Mondoman. It states it even more explicitly in the article I link below.

Update and slight revision:
Appearantly china isn't quite on the DDR2 bandwagon yet. Restocking after chineese newyear was centered on DDR and thusly DDR prices went up, not DDR2. Most DDR2 prices continued to drop. The contract prices are slipping below the spot prices. This means that making DRAM modules for the contract market could become unprofitable and these low prices will correct in the near future. Also, since NAND flash is in short supply manufacturers might switch production capacity over.

http://www.dramexchange.com/WeeklyResearch/Post/2/513.aspx

With a number of factors pointing towards higher prices in the near future I'm staying with my buy before april 20th prediction, but it may be prudent to wait until end of March since DRAM prices continued to decline last week.

Note, however, that the contract prices are slightly above some of the retail prices we have seen recently. You can currently get 2x1gb modules DDR2-667 for <$140 shipped.
 

flasher702

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With the information I had a week ago I didn't think they would drop at all, but contract DRAM prices dropped by 10% last week so retail prices may drop by ~10% between now and April 20. As the article I linked to pointed out, however, those contract prices are below spot prices so the market is likely bottoming out so if you see a good deal on something you want grab it.

@The_Vorlon
I saw them at Newegg and Pricewatch.
http://www.pricewatch.com/memory/pc2-5400_ddr2-667_1gb.htm
 

flasher702

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Spot market prices are down a scant 0.18% today on average today. Bottoming out but still declining.
http://www.dramexchange.com/

Retail prices seem to have dropped ~5% since my last post and looks like those predictions are holding true. Another -5% or so between now and April 20th?

Newegg.com seems to be well ahead of pricewatch.com, pricegrabber.com and froogle.com for the very low-end DDR2-667 ram even offing "value" line ram from well-known brands such as kingston and corsair for minimal prices. If you spot a better deal plz let me know.

2x1gb DDR2-667 CAS 5 at newegg for as little as $125 shipped right now o.o
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Submit=ENE&N=2010170147+1052108080+1052308477&Subcategory=147&description=&Ntk=&srchInDesc=
 

flasher702

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High DRAM inventory may cause DDR2 contract price to drop more than 10% in 2HMar

With the inventory levels of DRAM makers running too high, the DDR2 spot price continued to slowly trend downwards. Meanwhile, the DDR2 contract price is expected to slip more than 10% in 2HMar. The current DRAM prices have already grown awfully close to the production costs of manufacturers. Thus, if the DRAM makers can successfully clear out their excess inventory in the near future, there is a chance for the DRAM price to hit the bottom in April or May.
dramexchange.com march 20 2007 newsletter

You can currently get 2x1gb modules DDR2-667 for <$125 shipped in USA (example. Demand seems very soft and inventory is not clearing out like I thought it would when I wrote the OP. Unless you see a good deal on some above-average RAM that you want I'd say wait until the 1h April contract price trend information is available before you make your decision to buy cheap stuff.
 

Valtiel

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I've notcied some pretty significant drops in high performance RAM (specifically chips with Micron D9's) The G.Skill DDR2-800 CL4 (GBHZ) dropped to $220 a few days ago from $230. Very nice in my opinion :)
 

wun911

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Do you think it has anything to do with Vista requireing more RAM?

I think as Vista comes out more and more people will move to 2 gB +

Where suply and demand rules.... the more demand the greater the price
 

flasher702

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Do you think it has anything to do with Vista requireing more RAM?

I think as Vista comes out more and more people will move to 2 gB +

Where suply and demand rules.... the more demand the greater the price

Yes, as previously discussed and linked to.

Vista has already come out, it's the vista + back to school followed by vista + holiday shopping season that's going to do it. The amount of RAM the OEMs put in their boxes is a major deciding factor in demand and it should be much higher with vista this year. MS isn't giving the OEMs any option to sell XP for those buying seasons so the OEMs will be using ~2x as much ram as ussual.

Pricewatch shows 2x1gb DDR667 modules for $118 shipped. DDR2-800 isn't really mainstream yet so it's prices don't fluctuate quite the same way.

@Valtiel That's $220 for... a 1gb module? Neither 1gb nor DDR2-800 are really comodity items yet so I don't think the contents of this thread have much of anything to do with their prices. dramexhange isn't tracking 1gb modules but for 533 and 667 speeds they seem to be following the same trends as the 512mb modules and 2x1gb is the best configuration for a gaming rig right now so that's why I keep refering to prices for that. DDR2-800 modules should have a much higher markup on them as they are more of a premium item and are supposed to remain so until at least next year.

DDR2-667 is definately the sweet spot right now for price/performance, expecially with the new C2Ds coming out.
 

flasher702

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$190 isn't too bad. Most of the other stuff they recommend is really 'spensive though.

With e4300 or e4400 you don't really need to clock above 333mhz FSB 1:1 for a decent OC. I'm shooting for ~345mhz. Don't need to pay a huge price premium for fancy RAM just to under-clock it. All of the ram that advertises lower timings says it needs extra voltage (2v or more when 1.8v is spec). Maybe at lower speeds I could reduce the voltage but I'm not sure. Temps are important to me, I'm not putting active cooling on my RAM :roll:

RAM advertized as capable of tighter timings has always had a premium on it's price without much difference in performance and there is almost no info available on what ICs the cheaper stuff uses. I'm pretty sure I can hit 350mhz at 5-5-5-15 with a variety of cheap DDR2-667 @1.9v though. Without much info I am pretty much at the mercy of the luck of the draw though :/ But for only slightly more than 1/2 the price if I get unluckly I'll just buy more and sell the slow ones :)

Spot prices still declining slightly today...
 

flasher702

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http://www.digitimes.com/bits_chips/a20070323VL201.html March 23rd
After witnessing DRAM contract prices drop more in March, the DRAM market now seems to be stepping into an industry downturn in the second quarter, the typical slow season for DRAM makers. Industry players now generally have a more conservative outlook for this quarter with some even adjusting their revenues goal or foreseeing pressure to drop prices for quite a while.

Accumulated price falls of DRAM in the first quarter of 2007 reached 48.9%. Recalling major DRAM makers’ predictions about first quarter DRAM average selling prices (ASPs), Elpida Memory, Hynix Semiconductor and Samsung Electronics, which together constituted a 58% share of the global DRAM market according to iSuppli, all missed their guidance over price predictions. Elpida projected prices to fall in the range of 20%, Hynix 15% and Samsung 10% for the entire first quarter of 2006.

Hynix, which saw its last quarter sales pick up considerably due to the DRAM upbeat, now foresees downside pressure for both revenues and margins in the second quarter, according to a March 21 CBS Market Watch report. The Korean chipmaker highlighted the current price environment is very "difficult," according to the report.

Inotera Memories, which opened its second 12-inch fab in Taiwan on March 22 and is proceeding to a third fab expansion, is uncertain about the the DRAM market. Company president Charles Kau commented that it is still uncertain to judge whether DRAM pricing will hit the bottom in the second or third quarter, saying that it will take about one to two quarters for demand for Windows Vista to warm up.

Kau also added that oversupply is certain for the second quarter of 2007. However, he did say that the price plummet should help expel less competitive makers from the market.

According to Gartner Dataquest, the ASP of DRAM was US$4.01 in the first quarter of 2007, down from US$4.84 in the fourth quarter of 2006. The research firm predicts the ASP will keep heading south throughout 2007, with the ASP to be US$3.46 in the second quarter, US$3.22 in the third and US$3.19 in the fourth quarter of the year. Based on the weak pricing environment projected, Gartner estimates that global DRAM makers' revenues on-year change will swing from an on-year growth of 35.9% in 2006 to 11.7% drop in 2007 and the on-year fall will enlarge further to 27% in 2008.

Some predictions that RAM prices will keep falling into 3rd or 4th quarter?! O.O

I really don't see how such continued substantial price declines could be posible. If they can make ram that cheaply and remain profitable they have been royally screwing us for some time xD Supply and demand be damned +100% profit margins at a mass-produced manufacturing level is huge. A few players have built new fabs, but they have only gone online just recently and likely aren't producing mature yeilds yet. Most of them are using the same stuff they have been using for 6 months. Some are building more fabs, but they won't be online and mature for at least several more months.

Reasons I think that ram prices will bottom out by end of june at the latest as previously predicted by a number of authorities:
1.
Kau also added that oversupply is certain for the second quarter of 2007. However, he did say that the price plummet should help expel less competitive makers from the market.
Less competition ussually means higher prices. And even the players that can manage to stay in business won't enjoy having hugely reduced revenue and profit and will look for anyway to get out of it.

2.
NAND 16Gb 2Gx8 MLC Up ( 10.65%)
NAND 8Gb 1Gx8 SLC Up ( 16.04%)
[etc... they are all up]
And there's teh way out. NAND HDs are being offered for sale in laptops today, iPhone is coming out soon, PMPs and media-capable cell phones are becoming more popular all the time and they need NAND. No reason to make DDR2 that no one wants while prices are plummiting when NAND prices are going up.


3.
Back to school Shopping season. Why would demand and prices stay low during a traditionally hot computer sales season when many computers will feature at least 2x as much ram as they did last year to support vista?

Crazy stuff be happening. I almost hope prices DON'T keep dropping after june cuz I can't wait that long xD
 

flasher702

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http://www.dramexchange.com/WeeklyResearch/Post/2/519.aspx
n the wake of the plummeting NAND Flash prices from last year, most of the upstream vendors have readjusted their respective Fab capacity. To decrease the NAND Flash output, some have concentrated on the production of DRAM from Fabs that are able to simultaneously roll out NAND Flash and DRAM.

Recently, MP3 manufacturers have been aggressively placing large orders to NAND Flash suppliers to stock up on inventory. However, the reduced capacity has rendered the major suppliers unable to provide enough NAND Flash chips to downstream retailers or memory card makers.

DRAMeXchange believes that as the NAND Flash supply becomes tighter, the price should remain stable in the short term, where a drop in the price will unlikely be seen. As for how it will change in the next one to two months, further observations need to be made on the production adjustments by suppliers, and whether or not the market demand will continue to grow.
and here is a juicy nugget I hadn't thought of:
As April marks the quarterly end for some US-based PC OEM makers, any increase in the DRAM inventory levels would affect their fiscal results. It is projected that the DRAM demand will not return until May.

But we are not directly concerned with the prices the OEMs pay. We care about what WE pay. Some of the really hot deals (I saw a 2x1gb SuperTalent DDR2-667 for ~$107 the other day) may not be around after April as the OEMs may be trying to clearance them now. For non-clearance suseptible items (DDR2-675 and 800, 2gb modules, and other more premium items) mid-may is probably fine.

With prices dropping this low I'm considering waiting until mid-may to try and get something that I can run at tighter timings and lower voltage.

Oh, if you do want some cheap but decent ram this deal is probably about as low as it will get at ~$107 for 2g. Some users reporting 4-4-4-12 1.9v @ DDR2-800 speed. http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?t=478927