If DDR4 memory pricing is the only thing holding you back from building a new PC or upgrading your existing one, you might be in luck if you can hold off until next year. Following up on a previous report predicting lower DRAM product prices in the fourth quarter of this year, DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, believes an even bigger drop is in store for 2019.
In its latest report, DRAMeXchange doubled down on saying that DRAM prices should drop by 5 percent or more by the end of this year. We'd welcome lower prices on memory, especially since they've skyrocketed over the past year or so, but a 5 percent dip isn't exactly cause for celebration. Looking ahead, however, the market research firm believes prices will plummet by 15-20 percent next year.
"The main reasons behind the falling demand for DRAM are at various levels. First, the smartphone market this year may not see remarkable shipments, since the replacement demand for smartphones has been sluggish due to the lack of differentiation among products in terms of hardware specifications. Second, the server shipments are uncertain. Third, the notebook and PC shipments may be impacted by the shortage of Intel CPUs," DRAMeXchange says.
These and other factors will supposedly push prices down. Even better, the 15-20 percent estimate could be a conservative one, as a steeper price decline could be in store if the demand for servers and smartphones weakens, according to DRAMeXchange's analysis.
Even a 15 percent drop would not be insignificant though. It still wouldn't restore RAM prices to the good old days when memory kits were comparatively dirt cheap, but it could enable builders on a budget to go with a bigger capacity or faster kit than they otherwise would have.
It's not just RAM prices that could see a big drop, either. DRAMeXchange is also predicting a 25-30 percent price decline in NAND flash memory next year, due to increased 3D NAND production capacity. NAND flash memory is what SSDs use.
Will it actually happen though? We don't have a crystal ball, unfortunately, and it remains to be seen if DRAMeXchange's is accurate. However, it's worth noting that SSD prices have already started to drop in recent weeks. We've noted a bunch of SSD deals, as you might have noticed, and it's possible that it's all been a precursor to bigger (or continued) price drops. Let's hope so.