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[ale] Why is RAM is so expensive?!? Anyone know an inexpensive source?



I did some research on this about a year ago and also contacted some vendors for answers (mainly Dell and Cisco whom I was already dealing with), and the answer is somewhat simple - whatever is in production "now" will benefit from from the production improvements on previous generations and larger volume, and will be generally cheaper than what was in production "before", even if that "before" is still being produced.  So if the standard being produced is DDR3, and even if DDR2 is still being produced, DDR2 in this case is more expensive to produce and in less quantity, and will thus be sold at a higher price point.

I don't have any white papers to back this up - it was research for upgrades of systems vs. replacements; but in most cases replacements were deemed cheaper than upgrading and I found the same to be true on my own systems as well.  While not cheaper, per se, it was more cost effective to replace a system with 8gb ddr2 ram with a 32gb ddr3 ram motherboard and new cpu, than it would have been to upgrade the ram to 16gb of ddr2 ram.

In smaller quantities, it is probably better right now to build out a system with the maximum ram (say up to 128gb) as it will very likely be cost-prohibitive to upgrade it later.  That said, it's definitely not worthwhile to invest in the 32gb dimms on server-class machines to get 2tb+ of ram from a machine when the cost of doubling the ram exceeds the cost of buying a second machine with the same amount of ram as the first.

Just my two cents though.

Kaerka

On Apr 23, 2013, at 6:43 PM, Jim Kinney <jim.kinney at gmail.com> wrote:

> It's cheaper for power and RAM to get a new system than mess with an older system now. Unless you are hell-bent on spending as little as possible NOW and will to pay through the nose later at least.
> 
> DDR3 Registered ECC is less per GB than DDR2 unbuffered. The flops per watt of new systems is quite an improvement over stuff just 5 years old. 8, 12, 16 cores in the same power envelope as 2 from 6 years ago.
> 
> 
> On Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 6:22 PM, David Tomaschik <david at systemoverlord.com> wrote:
>> ECC, Registered, DDR2: all magic words that push the price up.  I thought about buying a used 1U to have at home for virtualization until I saw how much an "adequate" amount of memory would be.  (~$1k)
>> 
>> 
>> On Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 10:17 AM, Derek Atkins <warlord at mit.edu> wrote:
>>> It's currently got DDR2 667 ECC Registered RAM.  The machine has 8
>>> sticks of 2GB RAM.  Alas, this means it's full, so I'd have to remove
>>> some of that RAM to put in new sticks.  :(
>>> 
>>> It's a SuperMicro H8DA3-2 based system that I bought in January 2009.
>>> 
>>> -derek
>>> 
>>> Calvin Harrigan <charriglists at bellsouth.net> writes:
>>> 
>>> > I'll hazard a guess and say yes, it's just crucial.  Could it be
>>> > because it's DDR1 or DDR2?
>>> > That density isn't very common, at least at the consumer level.  I
>>> > found a set of G.SKILL for about 100.
>>> > http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231486
>>> > There are dozens of other options.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > On 4/23/2013 12:37 PM, Derek Atkins wrote:
>>> >> Hey Alers,
>>> >>
>>> >> I was looking at buying some RAM for my 3+-year-old server to try to
>>> >> give it a boost over its current 16GB.  But when I was searching for RAM
>>> >> (on crucial.com, where I've always had good luck) I found 16GB (2x8GB)
>>> >> but it cost almost $400!
>>> >>
>>> >> What's up with that?  I was seriously expecting half that, or less.
>>> >>
>>> >> I know there were the floods in Thailand and such a couple years ago but
>>> >> I thought that those factories had come back online.  So why is RAM so
>>> >> freaking expensive?  It feels like chips are 2x or 3x (or more!) what
>>> >> they were a year or two ago.
>>> >>
>>> >> Is it just crucial?  Maybe there is a better/less-expensive source?
>>> >>
>>> >> -derek
>>> >>
>>> >
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>>> 
>>> --
>>>        Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
>>>        Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
>>>        URL: http://web.mit.edu/warlord/    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
>>>        warlord at MIT.EDU                        PGP key available
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>> 
>> 
>> 
>> -- 
>> David Tomaschik
>> OpenPGP: 0x5DEA789B
>> http://systemoverlord.com
>> david at systemoverlord.com
>> 
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> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> -- 
> James P. Kinney III
> 
> Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It's like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won't fatten the dog.
> - Speech 11/23/1900 Mark Twain
> 
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