How RAM and video memory are getting more expensive in 2021

Over the past year, the attention of PC users has been riveted to the prices for video cards, which have grown two to three times, and then to the rapidly rising prices for hard drives and large SSDs. But it seems that the “surprises” of this difficult year are not over. We can expect a significant rise in the cost of RAM and video memory.

The microchip shortage triggered by the pandemic continues to gain momentum. Around the world, a huge part of office workers were transferred to remote work, schoolchildren and students – to remote learning. Self-isolation has increased the need for home computers and electronic entertainment. Semiconductor factories simply do not have time to fulfill all orders for the production of microcircuits.In addition, semiconductor factories in Taiwan were hit by the worst drought in a decade, disrupting their water supply. The shortage of microcircuits in 2021 has become so serious that even automakers have to cut production and shut down factories. An acute shortage of semiconductors , and especially memory modules, arose in the production of components for the IT sector.

Lack of RAM

While gaming graphics cards and high-capacity storage are a niche commodity that most electronics consumers can do without, the rise in the price of RAM and video memory has hit the entire sector: ready-made PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones and game consoles have begun to rise in price. Electronics market research company TrendForce previously predicted a 13-18% increase in DDR4 memory prices quarterly, but has now revised its forecast upward to 28%.

The rise in prices will continue and will affect the still actively used DDR3 memory, memory for mobile devices, video memory GDDR5 and GDDR6, and especially server RAM. According to TrendForce forecast, this quarter these types of memory will rise in price by an average of 18-23%. Much of the growth is due to a sharp increase in laptop production, only accelerating due to the transition to remote learning and work in connection with the pandemic, which does not yet think to decline.

The selling price of the most widely used 2666 MHz DDR4 memory modules rose by almost a quarter in the quarter, exceeding TrendForce’s previous forecast. Such RAM modules are often used by large firms (PC assemblers) or for independent, inexpensive, entry-level and mid-level PC assemblies. Goodram DDR4-2666 MHz 8GB is an example.