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What to pay for your desktop DDR2 RAM in late January 2009

by Tarinder Sandhu on 23 January 2009, 15:34

Tags: Crucial Technology (NASDAQ:MU), Kingston, OCZ (NASDAQ:OCZ), Corsair

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Cheap as chips

We looked at how much you should may for quality desktop system memory back in March, May, and September, and November of last year. We noted that DDR2 prices stayed at roughly the same levels, dropping a little at the end of the year, but DDR3 - prohibitively expensive at the outset - dropped in price during each two/three-month look

DDR2 remains the memory of choice for most chipsets, but IDC, the market research company, reckons DDR3 will account for 29 per cent of sales in 2009 and as much as 72 per cent in 2001.

What's more, Samsung and Elpida will start producing higher-density DDR3 chips on a smaller manufacturing process, 50nm, so DDR2 pricing may well have flatten out as companies forego the same transition for DDR2.

Further, the continuing slide of sterling means that it has lost around seven per cent since we last looked at the cost of desktop memory, and it will be interesting to see how this has been manifested, if at all, in today's etail links.

Prices were taken from scan.co.uk, eBuyer.com, Crucial, MemoryC, Microdirect, and Dabs.

Bear in mind that the stated memory may not be the cheapest around, and November and September prices, if available for a similar set, are shown in parenthesis. 

As always, UK-based HEXUS.community discussion forum members will benefit from the SCAN2HEXUS Free Shipping initiative, which will save you a further few pounds plus also top-notch, priority customer service and technical support backed up by the SCANcare@HEXUS forum. Crucial, too, offers free delivery and does so on all purchases.

Lastly, HEXUS does not receive any kind of commission or kickback from the links; they're listed for your benefit only.

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.

Crucial PC2-5300 - CL5 - 1.8V - no heatspreaders - £19.54 @ Crucial (£19.95 Nov, £26.32 Sep)

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 - CL5 - 1.8V - no heatspreaders - £35.64 at Crucial. (£39.82, £51.69)

Everyone else's prices have gone up in the last two months, but Crucial's have gone in the opposite direction. Basic DDR2 is now cheaper than ever. 4GB for £35 delivered.

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) 

Crucial DDR2-800 - CL6 - 1.8V - no heatspreaders - £19.54 @ Crucial. (£21.14, £28.38)

4GB kits (2x 2GB) 

OCZ Gold XTC PC6400 - 5-5-5-18 latencies - 2.1V - integrated XTC heatspreaders - £34.00 @ ebuyer.co.uk (£38.35, £46.25)

DDR2-800MHz pricing continues to drop and now we reckon it's plain rude not to opt for 4GB of XMS2-quality memory for £34, plus delivery.