Builders face inflated memory prices

Builders face inflated memory prices

Steadily rising RAM prices spiked over the weekend, leaving local builders and customers with what is expected to be inflated costs for up to three months.

Dealing with the Kingston memory product line, Simms International sales and marketing director, Gavin Troxler, said the rises were spearheaded by the cost of DDR2 memory.

"The price rise has been driven through the shift to Intel and AMD platforms supporting DDR2 memory," he said. "AMD has typically lagged Intel with this kind of thing but, in this case, it has already released chipsets to support it."

Troxler suggested a 10 per cent premium would exist on DDR2 memory for the next month or so until world DDR2 production got up to speed. Altech national sales manager, Kevin Hartin, said his industry contacts painted a bleaker story.

"We have a very close relationship with Corsair and prices certainly spiked over the weekend," he said. "The indications we've been given is that there won't be a lot of relief until October or even November."

Like Troxler, Hartin blamed the sudden shift towards DDR2 - particularly AMD's quick support of the new format - for applying pressure on production and highlighting that supply needed to ramp up fast. He suggested price hikes would go higher then 10 per cent before the market settled down again.

"The RAM business is very different to motherboards and video cards. We bring in two shipments every week from the US and, when it arrives, the average price of the stock we're holding is affected," he said. "I would suggest we haven't seen the full impact of the price rises."

Pioneer Computers managing director, Jeff Li, said the price increase on DDR2 was starting to bite. DDR prices, however, had remained relatively static.

"RAM manufacturers are currently caught between three different technologies - DDR, DDR2 and Flash," Troxler said. "The market has changed dramatically, pushing production lines to DDR2. Although, by comparison, DDR pricing has been quite steady because the demand for the technology is waning on the whole."

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