We looked at how much you should may for quality system memory back in March and May of this year. The two-month look showed that DDR3's pricing had fallen around 20 per cent, with higher-speed modules becoming slowly, but surely, more readily available.
Now with Intel's upcoming Core i7 (Nehalem) integrating a DDR3 memory controller on the CPU, and performance being such that it will be the only sensible choice for the enthusiast, DDR3 sales should see a nice jolt and, subsequently, lower pricing.
DDR2, though, remains the memory of choice for most chipsets, so let's take a look at how the etail market shapes up in early September.
Bear in mind that the stated memory may not be the cheapest around.
DDR2 - 667MHz (PC5300/5400)
The bread-and-butter memory that's used in a wide range of budget-to-mid-range systems. Pricing is wonderfully low, so, please, do your PC(s) a favour and fill those slots!
2GB kits (2x 1GB sticks) - everyone should have at 2GB in their systems, at the very least.
Corsair Value Select PC5400 - CL5 - no heatspreaders - £26.32 @ Scan.co.uk
4GB kits (2x 2GB sticks) - perfect for resource-hungry Microsoft Vista, and the minimum that we would recommend to a 'power-user', given the price of current DDR2.
Crucial PC2-5300 - 5-5-5-15 latencies - no heatspreaders - £51.69 at Crucial.co.uk.
Pricing remains relatively unchanged from late May.
DDR2 - 800MHz (PC6400)
DDR2-800 still represents a worthwhile investment for most readers. It'll run on the vast majority of chipsets and provides 12.8GB/s of potential bandwidth to a system when run in dual-channel mode, constituting two modules placed in the same-coloured slots on a motherboard.
2GB kits (2x 1GB) -
Kingston HyperX - CL4 - integrated heatspreaders - £28.38 @ Ebuyer.co.uk.
4GB kits (2x 2GB) -
GeIL Value - 5-5-5-15 latencies - integrated heatspreaders - £46.99 @ Microdirect.co.uk.
DDR2-800MHz pricing has dropped by around 10 per cent in the last three months, and the 4GB GeIL pack offers remarkable value.
DDR2 doesn't usually scale much past 1,066MHz and focus for higher speeds has moved on to DDR3
The extra bandwidth that DDR2-1,066 provides is of particular benefit when running the host CPU at higher-than-default speeds. DDR2 of this speed will generally require above-JEDEC (1.8V) voltages.
2GB kits (2x 1GB)
OCZ PC2-9200 Reaper HPC - 5-5-5-18 latencies - HPC heatspreaders - £33.60 @ Ebuyer.co.uk.
4GB kits (2x 2GB)
Corsair TwinX DDR2 XMS2 PC2-8500 - 5-5-5-18 latencies - XMS heatspreaders - £75.20 @ Scan.co.uk.
PC8500 DDR2 has also dropped by around 10 per cent. We'd be inclined to forego the extra speed and opt for a sub-£50 pack of PC6400 memory instead.