I previously posted about upcoming memory price increases, which were realized shortly thereafter. Memory prices are almost certainly headed higher.
The information below is from Larry at Other World Computing, sponsor of my Mac Performance Guide, offered here as a public service (no matter where you decide to get your memory). I recommend OWC memory, and it’s all I use in my two Mac Pros and my MacBook Pro. I’ve added emphasis below where it seemed appropriate.
With the way memory prices are currently moving, figured it might be a nice thing for us to send out a quick heads up on the topic. I know you covered this before the last price bump and hopefully a good number of readers benefited. There is definitely a trend here and looks to be ongoing.
At the moment, most if not all memory upgrades are still selling for substantially below the prices the same upgrades went for this time last year. Prices a year ago were pretty much at lows already with the chip makers (Micron, Hynix, Samsung, Etc) selling the parts at prices under that which it costs to produce. These companies have posted – individually – billions in losses on these memory chip sales over the past 2 years. Micron alone is over 2 billion during that period. When 4GB was selling for $99 last August – those prices were not sustainable.... Due to the global economic meltdown at the end of 2008, costs that were already way below what was supportable dove to all new lows as the chip makers needed to keep cash flow going. In 2009 we’ve seen productions reduced and entire producers (Qimonda/Infineon for example) completely exit production. As a result, prices had been easing up over the course of the year as the supply/demand equation has come into balance.
Today’s prices are still as much as 50% below where the cost of various modules could be heading. Just over the past 5 days we’ve now seen cost increases of another 5-10% on DDR2 and DDR3 memory that was already up about 20-30% just over the prior 3-4 weeks. After about 2 years+ of supply imbalance, we are seeing things start to move swiftly back to a cost level that – if nothing else – will ensure that memory continues to be available as these producers stop bleeding red ink to turn out the parts.
Right now we’ve got stock that doesn’t reflect the latest cost increases. More memory makes a tremendous difference for performance and will make an even bigger difference with Apple’s 10.6 Snow Leopard too. I have no crystal ball – however – with respect to real costs and supply, it’s far more likely for pricing to continue sloping up than for another dip. It’s a matter of the chip makers no longer able to continue producing where the parts are not sold above true cost vs. that long time bit about better to keep the lines going... They can’t afford to and the adjustment to supply is starting to show.
More than just the original factory maximums, we also have tested and support configurations that were not available and thus nor able to be supported originally by Apple. This includes up to 6GB or 8GB on various MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac models that were limited to 4GB; 16GB or 32GB on Mac Pro models originally limited to 8GB or 16GB. When you select by your model – our site shows exactly what upgrade options we have tested and support for your specific machine. Outside of Apple, OWC has the most extensively Apple Mac computer equipped testing lab which enables us to truly confirm all aspects of memory operation. This lab includes nearly every Apple Mac model that has been released over the past 15 years. We don’t just produce & sell memory for Mac – we know Mac memory inside and out.
Not all memory is created equal – OWC guarantees all our memory to meet or exceed Apple Specifications with particular attention to Apple specific requirements including (but not limited to) cooling/temperature, temperature sensor chips, SPD firmware, etc. OWC Memory is backed by a Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty.
DIGLLOYD: I can personally attest to the quality of OWC memory in my Mac Pro and MacBook Pro and MacMini and MacBook, all modules have worked perfectly for me, running for long periods (24X7 in some cases), sometimes under extreme temperature conditions and artificial stress testing that no normal Mac has to endure.