Price of RAM to jump due to Japan's earthquake

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
Intel's CEO Paul Otellini said on the radio the other day that RAM
manufacturers' were affected (although he was careful to mention that
Intel itself has no factory in Japan) and it looks like some analysts are
seeing this happening already: /

As it happens, I was getting ready for a RAM upgrade and my first try of a
SSD drive in a month or two and a price jump is not a welcome thing
obviously. Especially in SSDs since there is so much of that memory in
them and they are expensive as it is.

So, is this already felt through suppliers like Newegg and Tigerdirect? I
haven't looked for pricing in over a year, don't know what to compare what
I see now with.

This is not the first time a disaster disrupts component supplies. I
remember from back in the day there were things like factory fires that
sent pricing ripples across the industry. So, how quickly do you think
other manufacturers in places like South Korea and China can pick up the
slack? In other words, would you recommend delaying the upgrade for s
certain period of time or do it now before price goes up too high?


             |       |
             |   _   |
    _________|__( )__|_________
        x/ _| |( . )| |_ \x
            |_| ---*|_|

Delivered via /
PC Building Community
Web and RSS access to your favorite newsgroup -
alt.comp.hardware - 75069 messages and counting!

Re: Price of RAM to jump due to Japan's earthquake

DA wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it /
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Take it from a plant owner, as to how much of a disruption this is. Yes,
there will be a glitch, and fabs in countries outside Japan will have to
fill in the gaps. This plant is near Tokyo.

    "it will return to full production no sooner than mid-July"

    "The company said the return to normal production could be delayed further
     if the power grid is not repaired or other complications arise."

You can't make silicon chips, if the power won't stay on. It requires
a continuous source of power, to keeps the ovens at constant temperature,
the pumps to keep all the vacuum lines at high vacuum and so on.
When our fab was shut down due to a power issue, it took about a month,
before good silicon was coming out of the fab again (and we didn't have
an earthquake - that's how long it takes to get the line clean again).
You don't really want to shut off the line and let it go cold, once it's
running. You keep the thing powered, even if you're not running wafers through
it. If Japan is using rotating power blackouts, to conserve limited power
resources, then the silicon plants will remain shut down. So in that example,
even if T.I. repairs the infrastructure, they need constant power before
they'll start the line again.

For the spot price of DRAM chips, check the graph in the lower left here.
You'll notice there was a glitch in the price in February, so even without
Mother Nature, the price does change. It all depends on how many companies
stop making DRAM, or how many of the fab lines they shut down, as to what
happens to the shape of that curve. If a company outside Japan wanted to
get into the business again, that could take a long long time.

If a retail price has risen already, that would be *retailer* gouging. We
haven't seen the spot price of DRAM chips peak yet.


Re: Price of RAM to jump due to Japan's earthquake


Here's a question for you.  When buying SODIMMs, and having
a choice between OEM Micron, where they manufacture the chips
and the modules, or retail Kingston, where the chips could be from
a number of manufacturers, which would you choose?  Both carry
a lifetime warranty, but the Kingstons are a few dollars more.  

Both products are 2x4GB 1066 Mhz SODIMMs.

Re: Price of RAM to jump due to Japan's earthquake

Ian D wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

OEM Micron should be well manufactured. I wouldn't expect them to
skip steps, like a small supplier might.

My personal experience with Kingston has been excellent. Zero dead
so far.

I think either would be good choices, and I personally would
be more likely to buy Kingston, as they would be more available
to me, and easier to find.


If you use the customer reviewer comments on a site like Newegg,
that can give an idea if any manufacturer is having quality problems.

While it may sound like I'm "brand loyal", I'm not. My last purchases
were guided, by noting certain big name DIMM makers were shipping
crap, and companies can change from good to bad, overnight. If you
"sort product by rating", it'll help shape your choices better.

Now that the supply of DRAM chips has been upset, this is even more likely
to be an issue. In the mad scramble to acquire chips, mistakes
will be made. And reputations will be damaged, by whatever shortcuts
are taken to get product out the door. So now, more than ever, it'll
be "buyer beware".


Re: Price of RAM to jump due to Japan's earthquake

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks, Paul

I was leaning toward Kingston anyway, so that's what I ordered.
This RAM is for an Apple Macbook Pro, and the Kingston
package is designated for the MBP, whereas the Micron is only
guaranteed to be device tested and 100% compatible by the supplier.
For some reason, laptops tend to be more finicky about RAM than

On CNN this morning, an industry analyst said that if you are
planning to by any major electronic items, do it now.  I agree
with you that, in order to meet the bottom line, manufacturers
will start to second source components with approximate, or
lower quality items.   This could put Apple in a bind with the
iPad 2, that's manufactured in China by Foxconn.  Among
other components, the screen glass is made by a specialized
manufacturer in Japan, and the supply of the iPads is already
behind demand with slipping delivery times.

Site Timeline