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RAM prices look set to rise, and it could affect Nvidia RTX 5090 cost

Prices are predicted to rise for DDR4 and DDR5 RAM while VRAM is also set to increase, meaning future graphics card prices could jump up too.

RAM prices to rise again

Memory prices seemingly can’t catch a break, as another increase looks set to arrive off the back of an inconsistent previous quarter. The latest reports from TrendForce suggest that prices for PC RAM prices could increase by another 3-8% over the next three months.

The price increase also impacts graphics memory, and while this doesn’t mean the best graphics cards will suddenly jump up in price, it may have an impact on the retail price of the upcoming Nvidia GeForce RTX 5090.

While price fluctuations can happen for a wide variety of reasons, this latest TrendForce report shines a light on the main reasons for the upcoming increases and offers insight into the trends.

On PC DRAM, it highlights the general upward trend in prices which is due to increased demand for servers. Trendforce doesn’t specify the nature of that demand but the widely reported explosion in AI server chip demand would suggest it’s AI server-related. The projected 3-8% increase is lower than that expected to hit dedicated server DRAM, and this is likely due to the existing high inventory levels and no real improvement in consumer demand between quarters.

On graphics DRAM, the demand has neither increased nor decreased significantly, meaning the projected 3-8% price increase is said to be down to new GPUs entering verification and the subsequent increase in the production of GDDR7 memory which itself carries a significant premium over GDDR6. We have also covered the threats of price rises from TSMC to capitalize on Nvidia’s sky-high profits, which pose another threat to upcoming GPU costs.

In a direct comparison of price rises between Q2 2024 and Q3 2024, the expected increases are far lower as we move further away from the manufacturing issues that struck earlier in the year, where it’s noted that “Taiwanese manufacturers are still yet to return to profitability”, an issue that will see prices increased until this is rectified.

While price rises are never fun, it remains to be seen how much of this impacts the retail cost. In the meantime, we have much better news coming from AMD, which may have figured out a way to reduce game download times, which is also down to AI.