RAM prices are set to drop as a global shortage of memory comes to an end. The easing situation could see the price of memory-centric hardware drop by as much as 25 percent. Graphics card prices have already begun to return to normal as cryptocurrency bubbles burst. Paired with the softening price of memory, building a new gaming PC could be far cheaper soon.
The last few years have seen computer memory prices, like popular DDR3 and the newer DDR4 RAM used in desktops and laptops, increase exponentially as a worldwide silicon shortage led to slowed production against increased demand.
According to Tom’s Hardware, things look set to slowly return to normal as supplier contracts are negotiated for the fourth quarter of the year. DRAMeXchange predicts that prices could fall by anywhere between 15-25 percent in the next year.
Around the world, RAM prices have remained high in the last few years, but a lack of major increases or decrease in the last few months has pointed toward a steadying situation. Less demand for memory across the board may also be part of the supposed incoming price drops.
PC builders have had to deal with grossly inflated RAM prices for a while now, with budget-conscious builders having to adjust their builds to compensate for the added cost of memory compared to just a few years ago. In the past, RAM was considered one of the cheaper main components when building or buying new PCs, but has quickly become one of the biggest concerns when it comes to price/performance benefits.
The shortage was also part of the reason why the cryptocurrency boom caused the prices of graphics cards to sharply increase, and could also be part of the reason why prices are starting to drop.
Graphics cards all use some form of onboard memory for a multitude of reasons, and the lack of available memory paired with the drastically increased demand for GPUs during the height of the mining craze caused shortages. Demand quickly outpaced supply, impacting the profitability of GPU mining and increasing the cost of PC gaming.