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Falling Prices of DDR2 Memory

I was at Gilmore yesterday looking for a cheap LCD for my friend and I noticed that prices of DDR2-667 DRAM have gone down so much that I was able to buy a 2GB DDR2-667 priced at Php1,350.00 at PC Option even with a tight budget . DDR2 became cheaper than DDR that I myself can’t believe it. So how come this DRAM dropped prices below PHP1,000 for a 1GB? Read on and find out.

I can still remember while I was assembling a PC for a client. It was during President Ramos’ time that the Philippine economy was suffering from economic depression. Computer parts’ prices were going up, almost doubling the price a week ago that time, but PC Express was still offering cheap SDRAM modules. One staff member told me that they were able to stock supplies of low priced SDRAM before prices shot up and were able to offer cheap memory modules for a week more. So I bought lots of memory modules and was able to sell them at a higher price later (editor’s note: GM hoarding oh! yokyokyok).

Today’s scenario is different. Although the US stock market is falling, affecting global economies, there is an oversupply of DDR2-667 memories caused by aggressive production by companies who thought sales of Microsoft Vista OS will prompt consumers to add more RAM to their systems. It was this scenario that they were trying to capitalize on by which consumers will undoubtedly purchase additional memory modules or require their new PC to don hefty memory to feed Vista. The new operating system however was not immediately adopted by XP users, causing the delay of purchases of more RAM.

Companies setup more production facilities to pump their DRAM production, hoping to sell to consumers who are upgrading to Windows Vista. From what we are seeing, Filipinos didn’t adopt Vista immediately upon launch. So far, I haven’t seen internet cafes using Vista OS and only a few of my friends have acquired it. (editor’s note: *Raises hand* Vista bebeh!) Looks like people are delaying their upgrade which of course is hurting DRAM distributors.

Users of XP and Microsoft’s previous operating system were not immediately convinced to upgrade their systems. Reasons include, of course the, cost of new licenses. Next is hardware requirements since Vista renders most PC components obsolete.

This isn’t bad news for all of course since it’s the consumer that benefits from price drops. Later patrons of Vista, including me, are enjoying the lower cost of purchasing additional DDR2 RAM.

I have 1GB memory in my system until yesterday when i bought another 2GB DDR2-667 module for only Php1,350.00 at PC Option. That was really cheap compared to 1GB DDR-400, which until now costs around Php1,600.00.

Before rushing to the store, check your motherboard first if it’s DDR2 compatible. Download CPUID utility at http://www.cpuid.com to see the type of memory you are currently using. Of course you can consult your motherboard’s manual to see your motherboard specification.

You are lucky and can afford the upgrade if the CPUID report indicates that you are using DDR2. If the report is different or shows only DDR then you’re out of luck and will spend more for the upgrade.

Another thing to consider is that you should have at least an extra available slot in your motherboard for  memory. This time you may need to open your case and see for yourself.

Check the image below to have an idea what a DRAM looks like. Be careful not to loosen any attached wires while navigating inside your computer.

So if you think you are ready for the upgrade, head on to your favorite computer vendor and ask for a DDR2 memory which has at least 2GB minimum size. There are different DDR2 memory frequency rated at MHz. Get at least 800MHz speed or a 667MHz if you’re saving money. There are higher memory speeds available such as 1066MHz but not all stores sell them though.

The amount of memory you actually need to buy depends on how you use your computer and you need to factor in if you are using Windows Vista OS. Vista requires plenty of memory to run smoothly, more than its older brother Windows XP. If you want basic document processing, internet surfing and chatting, then 2GB total system memory is more than enough. Gaming, image editing, video editing will require a minimum of 2GB, but 4GB is a must for optimal experience. (editor’s note: If your system is 32-bit, your maximum memory can only be 4GB. If it is 64-bit like Vista 64, you can go all the way up to 4 or more. Consult your manual or check your OS)

I’m not sure how long this trend of dropping DRAM prices will continue but one thing is for sure, you will definitely need more memory if you plan to upgrade to Vista.

About Jerico Vilog

Also known as Salleh. Mostly playing Philippine Ragnarok Online: Valhalla Server. Working as web developer for Hangad I.T. Solutions.

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