DDR5 Memory On Pace For A Major Price Drop As Ryzen 7000 Settles Into The Market
Pricing on DDR5 memory has been a bit of a pain point for anyone assembling or buying a cutting edge PC based on Alder Lake, and soon Zen 4. Call it an early adoption tax, if you want. There's good news, though—while initially high, DDR5 prices have come down significantly since Alder Lake debuted, and will apparently drop even further as AMD's Ryzen 7000 series comes into view.
This is the natural progression of things, and is pretty much the scenario that has played out with past memory standards. In this case, AMD is going all-in with DDR5 on its Zen 4 platform, as opposed to Intel supporting both DDR5 and DDR4 with its Alder Lake CPUs. While we don't have any inside knowledge of this, it stands to reason that AMD's decision would pressure memory makers to offer DDR5 solutions at more palatable price points than we've seen up to this point.
In case you missed it, AMD is also introducing a new platform featured with Zen 4 called EXPO, or Extended Profiles for Overclocking. We explained this in a previous article, but to recap, it's a single-click memory overclocking solution that is somewhat similar to XMP and AMP. The caveat is that users will need a memory kit that specifically supports the feature.
It's not clear if those kits will command a premium over non-EXPO kits. Either way, industry sources have relayed to Digitimes that memory chip vendors continue to lower DDR5 pricing, and that this trend will "accelerate further in 2023" as DDR5 chip prices approach their "sweet spot," whatever that might be.
This is encouraging news. Take for example this 32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR5-5200 memory kit. It's dropped from a high of $359.99 in February of this year to $167.99 currently on Amazon. That's a massive price drop since launch, though still quite a bit more expensive than many enthusiast DDR4 kits—you can score a 32GB TeamGroup T-Force Vulcan Z DDR4-3600 kit for $94.99 on Amazon, or a faster 32GB G.Skill Ripjaws V Series DDR4-4000 kit for $123.99.
Now, the reality is that DDR4 pricing will likely stay below DDR5 for the foreseeable future. However, there's still plenty of room for DDR5 prices to come in lower than where they're at now. If those aforementioned industry sources are correct, that's what we'll see happen in the coming months and into next year. Exactly how far, however, remains to be seen.