It is likely that for most of you it seems absurd that at this point we are talking about DDR3 memory when DDR4 RAM has already been established in the market for many years and, in fact, in the desktop PC niche it is by far the most used . However, DDR3 memory is still used in many of its variants in other types of devices on the market, so this price increase will cause other components to go up in price irremediably.
How does the price increase for DDR3 memory affect?
There are many devices that even in the middle of 2021 continue to use DDR3 memory: routers, smartphones, low-consumption PCs, tablets … the list of devices is very wide, and that is that even SSDs use DDR3 as cache memory. At present, manufacturers such as Samsung, Micron and SK Hynix have made the decision to stop manufacturing DDR3 memory chips to make room for DDR5, and this means that there will be a lack of stock and that its price will skyrocket.
Only a few small Taiwanese manufacturers like Windbond Electronics, Jinghao Technology, and Etron will continue to produce DDR3 memory, but they will do so on a small scale because they obviously don’t possess the manufacturing power of the larger brands we mentioned earlier. This means that DDR3 memory will not disappear, but it will be manufactured with a volume predictably too low for the demand that is still in the market.
This price increase will affect us consumers more than we expect, especially considering that its technology is already clearly outdated. Predictably, it will affect the price we pay for devices such as routers, smartphones, SSDs, monitors and even in gaming peripherals that have onboard memory, so ultimately this is very bad news.
Why is this type of RAM not being stopped?
Not everything in the hardware industry is related to the PC, and although in our computers we have stopped using this type of memory (at least the vast majority, because obviously there are still many users using old PCs that still use DDR3 RAM) that does not mean that the industry has abandoned it.
This price increase will probably lead many manufacturers to decide to upgrade the chips they use in their devices from generation to generation, going to DDR4 or even DDR5, but there are also many who will prefer not to invest money in changing the design of their products and stick to this type of memory even if it means having higher costs and therefore having to raise the price of your products.
In this industry, and especially when we talk about relatively small manufacturers, when they make an investment in design they want to amortize it for as long as possible, and for many of them, changing the design to adopt a new memory technology can have a cost that does not they can afford to assume. Therefore, we will continue to see DDR3 devices for quite some time yet, and this means that presumably their price will have to go up.