In Advance of Intel’s X99 Launch, DDR4 is Starting to Drop in Price

Posted on August 25, 2014 4:00 PM by Rob Williams

A couple of weeks ago, we took a quick look at DDR4 pricing – based on what was available at Newegg. What we found was that initial kits are going to be rather expensive when compared to DDR3, which really shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. But while bleeding-edge components usually carry a premium, they’re not usually not spec’d so closely to the previous generation, as is the case here.

Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2800 16GB Kit
Our testbed’s first DDR4 kit, Corsair’s Vengeance LPX DDR4-2800

Since that post was made, Newegg’s DDR4 selection has nearly tripled; Crucial expanded its selection a bit, while Corsair and G.SKILL have joined in on the fun. At the same time, we’ve begun to see some cheaper pricing. In the last post, no Crucial 32GB kit dipped below $520, whereas now, one can be had for $440, and another for $460. At the moment though, only two 32GB kits exist from Crucial – it seems like the last kits disappeared and were replaced with these new ones.

Here’s where pricing stood last week:

2133MHz 2x8GB$155 (Mushkin, 1.58V, CL 10)$260 (Crucial, 1.2V, CL 16)+68%
2133MHz 4x8GB$315 (G.SKILL, 1.65V, CL 10)$520 (Crucial, 1.2V, CL 16)+65%
2400MHz 2x8GB$155 (Team Xtreme, 1.65V, CL 10)$260 (Crucial, 1.2V, CL 16)+67%
2400MHz 4x8GB$325 (G.SKILL, 1.65V, CL 11)$520 (Crucial, 1.2V, CL 16)+60%
CL = CAS Latency. All DDR3 kits were the least-expensive non-sale options on Newegg as of the time of this post.

And here’s where things stand now:

2133MHz 2x8GB$163 (G.SKILL, 1.5V, CL 11)$220 (Crucial, 1.2V, CL 15)+35%
2133MHz 4x8GB$315 (G.SKILL, 1.65V, CL 10)$440 (Crucial, 1.2V, CL 15)+40%
2400MHz 2x8GB$153 (ADATA, 1.65V, CL 11)$230 (Crucial, 1.2V, CL 16)+50%
2400MHz 4x8GB$320 (Mushkin, 1.65V, CL 11)$460 (Crucial, 1.2V, CL 15)+44%
CL = CAS Latency. All DDR3 kits were the least-expensive non-sale options on Newegg as of the time of this post.

In the short span of two weeks, the minimum premium has decreased from +60% to +50%, but the upsides don’t end there. Note that three of the four Crucial kits have a CAS latency of 15 instead of 16 – we’re not only seeing cheaper kits, but higher-performing ones. With Intel’s X99 set to launch soon, we might just see some kits drop their prices even further within the next week.

Two weeks ago, the fastest DDR4 kit on Newegg was 2400MHz, but now, there are a couple of 2800MHz kits available (like the one shown at the top), as well as a 3000MHz kit – although that one is currently out-of-stock. When comparing these speeds to DDR3, things become a little humorous:

2800MHz 4x4GB$440 (Mushkin, 1.65V, CL 12)$400 (Corsair, 1.2V, CL 16)-10%
3000MHz 4x4GB$1,060 (G.SKILL, 1.65V, CL 12)$400 (G.SKILL, 1.35V, CL 15)-62%
CL = CAS Latency. All DDR3 kits were the least-expensive non-sale options on Newegg as of the time of this post.

That’s right – a DDR3-3000MHz 16GB kit costs 2.65x more than its DDR4 equivalent. Likewise, even the 2800MHz can be found cheaper on the DDR4 side.

I should point out that the bulk of the above kits involved 2133MHz and 2400MHz speeds, which as far as DDR4 goes, isn’t that fast. If you’re wanting to splurge on an enthusiast kit, the purchase price is still going to be a little painful. While 16GB of DDR4-2800 can be had for $400, 32GB of DDR3-2400 costs $320. Paying $60 beyond $400 would net you a 32GB kit of DDR4-2400 from Crucial – that’s going to be mighty tempting for those who favor density over sheer speed (and admittedly, 2800MHz isn’t that different than 2400MHz).

One thing’s for sure, if you’re an enthusiast planning to adopt DDR4 early, you’re going to be paying a very noticeable early-adopter’s tax. On the upside, the rest of the market will owe you their thanks. That’s gotta count for something.

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