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RAM is already expensive, but prices will continue to rise in the coming months

If you’re looking to build your own PC this year, you might need to budget more than expected for your custom rig. Shortages of multiple components are driving up prices of PC parts, which translates to a more expensive build.

Shortages of graphics cards, as well as tariffs that were put into effect in the final days of the Trump administration, have already led to higher prices. And we’re now learning that there is also a shortage of DRAM modules that could increase the price of memory in excess of 15%.

According to a TrendForce analysis, DRAM prices will increase by 13% to 18% in the second quarter after a modest 3% to 8% price hike earlier this year, Wccftech reported. Consumers who are buying memory modules will also have to compete against larger computer manufacturers — like Dell, HP, and Lenovo — who, according to a DigTimes report, have been stockpiling DRAM. By holding four to five weeks of inventory of DRAM on hand, the PC builders may be less affected by immediate-term price increases ifor the component. This means that prebuilt systems, like HP’s Omen 30L and Dell’s XPS Desktop, may be less impacted by fluctuations in component prices.

The rising price of memory could mean that PC shoppers will have to pay more if they’re looking to upgrade to systems powered by Intel’s Alder Lake processors. Alder Lake is expected to hit laptops and desktops later this year, and the chipset will be among the first to support the DDR5 memory standard. Given that memory modules are already in short supply, the new DDR5 memory will likely command a big premium.

Consumers aren’t the only ones that will be affected by the DRAM shortages. It is expected that memory prices for servers will also increase by approximately 20% in the second quarter of this year. Industry observers anticipate that the increased use of artificial intelligence will be a big factor driving up demand for semiconductors in the future.

The memory shortage is only the latest issue to plague gamers following the global shortage of processors and graphics cards. However, unlike prior shortages, which seem to stem from production problems leading to constrained supplies, it seems that the memory shortage is caused by overwhelming demand.

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Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
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