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(EE Times)   Help us 3D DRAM, you're our only hope against skyrocketing RAM prices   ( eetimes.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Flash memory, DRAM, planar dram, DRAM vendors, low cost DRAM, Planar DRAM scaling, DRAM bit, DRAM fab  
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2294 clicks; posted to Geek » on 03 Dec 2017 at 5:14 PM (7 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-12-03 02:57:23 PM  
Of course RAM and graphics card prices are through the roof, just as I'm looking to upgrade my rig.
 
2017-12-03 03:29:45 PM  
Holy crap, yes the price has shot up  -  I just bought a new power supply and graphics card, and was looking to bump up my SDRAM from 12 gigs to 16...cheapest I saw was $130 from a reputable maker. Think I'll wait.
 
2017-12-03 03:44:15 PM  
So I now have to wear silly glasses to use my DRAM?

Thanks, Obama.
 
2017-12-03 05:23:36 PM  
Hobbes was fond of his DRAM.
 
2017-12-03 05:24:22 PM  
I'm old, and still bitter about Sumitomo.

In the early 90s, a chemical plant blew up in Japan, owned by Sumitomo, they were the sole maker of the plastic resin use in IC chips. Overnight, the price of RAM tripled, and took over a year to recover.

Funny thing was.... the plant had a 6 month stockpile of resin, and most major manufacturers also had similar stockpiles (meaning it would be a full year, without any production, before there would be a shortage).. and the price of the resin itself, around $6 a pound, didn't rise. You see, it wasn't even worthwhile for Dow Chemical to fire up its plants to start producing the resin again. There was never an actual shortage of the plastic resin, and while the stuff was used in many other IC chips at the time, no other IC component rose in price, either.

It's a similar pattern repeated over the years... the last big incident was the floods in Thailand, which have kept platter hard drives artificially high for the least 8 years.

Bad behavior by big corporations, yet we elected a moran who defers to their leadership and is willing to give them more rights and less accountability. It's like we live in bizarro world.
 
2017-12-03 05:33:25 PM  

LesserEvil: I'm old, and still bitter about Sumitomo.

In the early 90s, a chemical plant blew up in Japan, owned by Sumitomo, they were the sole maker of the plastic resin use in IC chips. Overnight, the price of RAM tripled, and took over a year to recover.


Wasn't the 90s rise in RAM prices down to an earthquake in Kobe?

I may be wrong.

Bad behavior by big corporations, yet we elected a moran who defers to their leadership and is willing to give them more rights and less accountability. It's like we live in bizarro world.

There is a reckoning coming.

That belief is the only way I'm able to sleep at night.
 
2017-12-03 05:34:53 PM  
FTF"A":
This year, bit growth of DRAM will be the strong 23 years

What does that even mean?
 
2017-12-03 05:36:30 PM  

iron de havilland: LesserEvil: I'm old, and still bitter about Sumitomo.

In the early 90s, a chemical plant blew up in Japan, owned by Sumitomo, they were the sole maker of the plastic resin use in IC chips. Overnight, the price of RAM tripled, and took over a year to recover.

Wasn't the 90s rise in RAM prices down to an earthquake in Kobe?

I may be wrong.

Bad behavior by big corporations, yet we elected a moran who defers to their leadership and is willing to give them more rights and less accountability. It's like we live in bizarro world.

There is a reckoning coming.

That belief is the only way I'm able to sleep at night.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/archiv​e​/business/1993/07/22/fallout-from-a-fi​re-chip-prices-soar/c59d1f0b-493c-4b68​-9a37-cf7588ea8641/?utm_term=.b1dc696b​292c

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/19​9​3-08-06/business/9308060189_1_competit​ion-from-japanese-suppliers-world-memo​ry-chip-market-dram-market
 
2017-12-03 05:37:28 PM  
I remember convincing my dad to buy a 8MB stick for $350 so I would have the RAM to run Win95.
 
2017-12-03 05:39:05 PM  
I upgraded my rig 18 months ago. At that time i got 32GB of DDR-4 for $190. Today that exact same package in the exact same store cost $380.
 
2017-12-03 05:39:12 PM  
"DRAM prices are heating up, and there is no easy solution to relieve this high price issue because it does not come from the imbalance between supply and demand, but instead from the end of Moore's Law for planar DRAM (see related article, Why Memory Prices Are Heating Up)."

What the hell does "If she needs a babysitter then she's my type of girl." have to do with computer components?
 
2017-12-03 05:40:01 PM  

LesserEvil: iron de havilland: LesserEvil: I'm old, and still bitter about Sumitomo.

In the early 90s, a chemical plant blew up in Japan, owned by Sumitomo, they were the sole maker of the plastic resin use in IC chips. Overnight, the price of RAM tripled, and took over a year to recover.

Wasn't the 90s rise in RAM prices down to an earthquake in Kobe?

I may be wrong.

Bad behavior by big corporations, yet we elected a moran who defers to their leadership and is willing to give them more rights and less accountability. It's like we live in bizarro world.

There is a reckoning coming.

That belief is the only way I'm able to sleep at night.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive​/business/1993/07/22/fallout-from-a-fi​re-chip-prices-soar/c59d1f0b-493c-4b68​-9a37-cf7588ea8641/?utm_term=.b1dc696b​292c

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/199​3-08-06/business/9308060189_1_competit​ion-from-japanese-suppliers-world-memo​ry-chip-market-dram-market


Fair enough, I guess I was thinking about the Great Hanshin earthquake
. That was the excuse used to raise prices on RAM in 1995.
 
2017-12-03 05:48:13 PM  

LesserEvil: It's like we live in bizarro world

a kleptocracy...

/FTFM
 
2017-12-03 06:07:18 PM  

gopher321: Holy crap, yes the price has shot up  -  I just bought a new power supply and graphics card, and was looking to bump up my SDRAM from 12 gigs to 16...cheapest I saw was $130 from a reputable maker. Think I'll wait.


I paid $160 for four megabytes in the late 90s, on sale from $50 a stick down to $40, so I'm thinking "holy fark memory is cheap nowadays"

/haven't upgraded memory since then that wasn't freebie takeouts from friends who upgraded
 
2017-12-03 06:10:10 PM  
Also, the link to TFA tried to give my computer ass cancer.
 
2017-12-03 06:29:01 PM  

LesserEvil: I'm old, and still bitter about Sumitomo.

In the early 90s, a chemical plant blew up in Japan, owned by Sumitomo, they were the sole maker of the plastic resin use in IC chips. Overnight, the price of RAM tripled, and took over a year to recover.

Funny thing was.... the plant had a 6 month stockpile of resin, and most major manufacturers also had similar stockpiles (meaning it would be a full year, without any production, before there would be a shortage).. and the price of the resin itself, around $6 a pound, didn't rise. You see, it wasn't even worthwhile for Dow Chemical to fire up its plants to start producing the resin again. There was never an actual shortage of the plastic resin, and while the stuff was used in many other IC chips at the time, no other IC component rose in price, either.

It's a similar pattern repeated over the years... the last big incident was the floods in Thailand, which have kept platter hard drives artificially high for the least 8 years.

Bad behavior by big corporations, yet we elected a moran who defers to their leadership and is willing to give them more rights and less accountability. It's like we live in bizarro world.


I seriously doubt there was a 6 month stockpile.  It was all accounted for with futures contracts.  No way anybody keeps that much inventory around if they don't have to.
 
2017-12-03 06:42:12 PM  

Shazam999: LesserEvil: I'm old, and still bitter about Sumitomo.

In the early 90s, a chemical plant blew up in Japan, owned by Sumitomo, they were the sole maker of the plastic resin use in IC chips. Overnight, the price of RAM tripled, and took over a year to recover.

Funny thing was.... the plant had a 6 month stockpile of resin, and most major manufacturers also had similar stockpiles (meaning it would be a full year, without any production, before there would be a shortage).. and the price of the resin itself, around $6 a pound, didn't rise. You see, it wasn't even worthwhile for Dow Chemical to fire up its plants to start producing the resin again. There was never an actual shortage of the plastic resin, and while the stuff was used in many other IC chips at the time, no other IC component rose in price, either.

It's a similar pattern repeated over the years... the last big incident was the floods in Thailand, which have kept platter hard drives artificially high for the least 8 years.

Bad behavior by big corporations, yet we elected a moran who defers to their leadership and is willing to give them more rights and less accountability. It's like we live in bizarro world.

I seriously doubt there was a 6 month stockpile.  It was all accounted for with futures contracts.  No way anybody keeps that much inventory around if they don't have to.


I'm going by what the trades said at the time. The plant wasn't actually making any more resin and they had a 6 month stockpile. I was working in the industry at the time. It **IS** done when making specialized resin pellets, because you'll switch over to other materials, and the particular resin used in IC chips was very low cost, low-margin stuff. No futures... just outright contracts to provide the stuff on demand by the IC makers when called on.

Dow had a plant in Midland, MI they had closed down because it wasn't profitable... and announced they'd look into reopening it. In the end, they did not. The Sumitomo plant was back online in 3~4 months.

There was never a crisis. It was just a big lie to jack up prices.
 
2017-12-03 07:26:45 PM  

iron de havilland: Wasn't the 90s rise in RAM prices down to an earthquake in Kobe?

I may be wrong.


Taiwan

Christ, I'm so old I just went looking for egghead.com......
newegg damnit.....
 
2017-12-03 07:38:18 PM  
Skyrocketing RAM prices?

I remember paying the same for 2MB back in the day, as I did to get 16GB the most recent time I built a PC.
Ignoring inflation, that's 8,000 times more memory for the same price -- RAM is dirt cheap compared to what it used to be.
 
2017-12-03 07:45:10 PM  
Yeah, I have 8GB of DDR3 (cost was ~$70) and I still can't fill it up.
 
2017-12-03 07:54:36 PM  
BTW price trackers really clear up what's been happening in the market:
img.fark.netView Full Size

img.fark.netView Full Size


Last year was a good time to buy.
 
2017-12-03 08:00:59 PM  

Excelsior: Skyrocketing RAM prices?

I remember paying the same for 2MB back in the day, as I did to get 16GB the most recent time I built a PC.
Ignoring inflation, that's 8,000 times more memory for the same price -- RAM is dirt cheap compared to what it used to be.


F*ck, I spilt some water on my PC last night and it appears to have fritzed my boot drive. So, I bought a 1To drive to replace it. For about $50.I spent more than that on a 3 Go drive back in the day, and wondered how I could ever fill that up.

/porn.
//Lots and lots of porn.
 
2017-12-03 08:01:30 PM  

Excelsior: Skyrocketing RAM prices?

I remember paying the same for 2MB back in the day, as I did to get 16GB the most recent time I built a PC.
Ignoring inflation, that's 8,000 times more memory for the same price -- RAM is dirt cheap compared to what it used to be.


No kidding. I paid $50/MB back in the mid-90s. Modern memory prices are ridiculously low.
 
2017-12-03 08:04:40 PM  
My watch has 100x the RAM and 24x the storage compared to my first computer.
 
2017-12-03 08:11:42 PM  

Excelsior: Skyrocketing RAM prices?

I remember paying the same for 2MB back in the day, as I did to get 16GB the most recent time I built a PC.
Ignoring inflation, that's 8,000 times more memory for the same price -- RAM is dirt cheap compared to what it used to be.


img.fark.netView Full Size


$290 per 16 kilobytes.

16 gigabytes would've set you back over 330 million dollars. Probably well over that, given the global supply crunch that such an order would have caused.

The good old days weren't all they were cracked up to be. On the other hand, there wasn't much room for keyloggers or Trojans in my Model I Level 2 machine, and they would've had a hard time exfiltrating info over an intermittent 300-baud connection...
 
2017-12-03 08:31:40 PM  

iron de havilland: F*ck, I spilt some water on my PC last night and it appears to have fritzed my boot drive. So, I bought a 1To drive to replace it. For about $50.I spent more than that on a 3 Go drive back in the day, and wondered how I could ever fill that up.


Heh. I spend more on my first 40MB HD than I did on a 4TB drive. -- That's a 100,000-fold increase in space, for less money.

/Of course a hard drive can only exist in one of three different states: new/empty, full, and broken.
//On top of the amazing density increases, the 40MB drive was actually full height, so at least twice the physical size of a modern multi-TB drive.
 
2017-12-03 08:35:45 PM  

jfarkinB: 16 gigabytes would've set you back over 330 million dollars. Probably well over that, given the global supply crunch that such an order would have caused.


Also, 16GB would have taken a medium size warehouse to store it back in the day.

Today, you can buy a 400GB micro-SD card that's the size of your pinky nail and weighs a whopping 0.5 grams (0.018 ounces), for less than $250:
https://www.adorama.com/idsiums400gb.​h​tml
 
2017-12-03 08:40:34 PM  

Excelsior: Skyrocketing RAM prices?

I remember paying the same for 2MB back in the day, as I did to get 16GB the most recent time I built a PC.
Ignoring inflation, that's 8,000 times more memory for the same price -- RAM is dirt cheap compared to what it used to be.


...and it's doubled since you bought some, still compared to back in the day, blah blah blah, but doubled exactly against trend in the last while.
 
2017-12-03 08:46:53 PM  

Excelsior: Today, you can buy a 400GB micro-SD card that's the size of your pinky nail and weighs a whopping 0.5 grams (0.018 ounces), for less than $250:


Yup. 1.25 kg per petabyte. In other news, a petabyte can now fit in a reasonably large pocket.
 
2017-12-03 09:13:25 PM  
Yeah, call me up when a 32 MB stick costs $100 again.
 
2017-12-03 09:14:55 PM  

Excelsior: jfarkinB: 16 gigabytes would've set you back over 330 million dollars. Probably well over that, given the global supply crunch that such an order would have caused.

Also, 16GB would have taken a medium size warehouse to store it back in the day.

Today, you can buy a 400GB micro-SD card that's the size of your pinky nail and weighs a whopping 0.5 grams (0.018 ounces), for less than $250:
https://www.adorama.com/idsiums400gb.h​tml


I just but a 64 GB SanDisk card for $13. That's gonna be hard to top.
 
2017-12-03 09:20:28 PM  
Doesn't a solid-state hard drive make it so that RAM isn't necessary?
 
2017-12-03 09:22:08 PM  

Excelsior: iron de havilland: F*ck, I spilt some water on my PC last night and it appears to have fritzed my boot drive. So, I bought a 1To drive to replace it. For about $50.I spent more than that on a 3 Go drive back in the day, and wondered how I could ever fill that up.

Heh. I spend more on my first 40MB HD than I did on a 4TB drive. -- That's a 100,000-fold increase in space, for less money.

/Of course a hard drive can only exist in one of three different states: new/empty, full, and broken.
//On top of the amazing density increases, the 40MB drive was actually full height, so at least twice the physical size of a modern multi-TB drive.


My first thump drive cost me $75 and held 256 MB. Now you can get a 256 GB one(1,000 times the capacity) for about $30(just under half the price). And that one I got was USB 1.0, so a thousand times the capacity, and something like 4,000x the speed for about half the price... Insane.

And I remember the days when HDDs were going for about a hundred bucks a GB.
 
2017-12-03 09:27:08 PM  
I'm really confused on something.  If we are hitting the Moore's Law limit and DRAM is about as good as it can possibly get, then why aren't the existing products getting cheaper?

I understand that  each incremental upgrade will be more expensive (a 32Gb stick would be a lot more expensive than 2x 16Mb sticks), but what's the deal with proven technologies that have already paid off their R&D costs?
 
2017-12-03 09:38:31 PM  
First computer ran at about 1Mhz, 64K of RAM, and ran off a 440K 5.25" floppy. It cost about $2000.
I'm building an emulator box right now with dual-core 3.9ghz, 4GB of RAM, and an old 1TB drive. With rebates the price will be just over $200.

8000x the processing power, 62,500x the memory, and 2.27 million times the storage for 1/10th the cost.

Yeah, I didn't like spending $50 on the RAM but life is pretty good right now.
 
2017-12-03 09:43:47 PM  

Dedmon: Doesn't a solid-state hard drive make it so that RAM isn't necessary?


No, a solid state HDD is still (massively) constraind by the bus speed -- a SATA 3 SSD is still maxing out around 500MB/sec read/write, while DDR3 can do over ten times that.

That said, HP's memristor is supposed to blur the lines between RAM and HDD and technically be able to used interchangeably.
 
2017-12-03 09:46:40 PM  
Holy crap, I bought 2 x 16gb of this in July for $225 bucks, now its $379 on Newegg...on sale.
img.fark.netView Full Size


Of course GPU prices are still stupid so I'm going to just suck it up with a GTX1060 till next year.
 
2017-12-03 09:59:39 PM  
 I found a "broken" PC on the sidewalk and harvested 16GB of compatible (if not blazing) RAM so I'm getting a kick, etc.

/failed HDD
//idiot just threw it away
///sold the bones on ebay
 
2017-12-03 10:19:42 PM  
The only good news I've recently read regarding RAM prices is that some folks at Samsung allegedly aren't entirely happy about the price explosion and might break cartel ranks and increase DDR4 production next year; given Samsungs size and diverse product portfolio, they are less desperate than Hynix and Micron to make up for the low prices last year by squeezing out whatever the market will bear.
Instead, they're allegedly starting to worry that the profits being made right now might entice the Chinese to enter that market which is relatively well protected from competition due to its high barrier of entry. Long-term,they might be content with more modest profits if it keeps the Chinese from completely upsetting that otherwise rather cozy, price-fixed market in the future.
 
2017-12-03 10:20:45 PM  

RogermcAllen: I'm really confused on something.  If we are hitting the Moore's Law limit and DRAM is about as good as it can possibly get, then why aren't the existing products getting cheaper?

I understand that  each incremental upgrade will be more expensive (a 32Gb stick would be a lot more expensive than 2x 16Mb sticks), but what's the deal with proven technologies that have already paid off their R&D costs?


You will learn about basic economics next year when you're a sophomore...

Basically, it costs money to make things, no matter what you think. There are materials to be sourced. Those materials cost money because there are people who do the work, equipment that they use, buildings and warehouses that have to be paid for, electricity, transportation costs, marketing costs, costs for packaging, and so on. Them the people making RAM have to buy these materials at a markup so that the company providing the materials can stay in business. Now, the company making the RAM has to do this all over again, equipment to keep running, facilities to pay for, wages to cover, utilities, shipping, etc. After that, THEY need to make a profit to stay in business.

Then you have the store or website that you buy it from..

In other words, goods can only get so low in price. They can't just keep getting cheaper and cheaper, that's not how this works. Eventually these things hit a bottom where they can't go any lower, no matter how confused that makes you. Considering that back about 2001, my brother in law lost a 32 MEGAbyte RAM chip that he had just bought for $100(I remember this because we felt guilty and paid him $100  for it because it was in our apartment), RAM is insanely cheap nowadays. I can buy 16 GB for about $160, I'd say people need to quit biatching. That's 512 times as much,for 60% more, and at a far faster data rate.
 
2017-12-03 10:26:43 PM  

The Voice of Doom: The only good news I've recently read regarding RAM prices is that some folks at Samsung allegedly aren't entirely happy about the price explosion and might break cartel ranks and increase DDR4 production next year; given Samsungs size and diverse product portfolio, they are less desperate than Hynix and Micron to make up for the low prices last year by squeezing out whatever the market will bear.
Instead, they're allegedly starting to worry that the profits being made right now might entice the Chinese to enter that market which is relatively well protected from competition due to its high barrier of entry. Long-term,they might be content with more modest profits if it keeps the Chinese from completely upsetting that otherwise rather cozy, price-fixed market in the future.


I have fond memories of Samsung's "Magic RAM" - 4GB sticks for $20 each... and it was decently performing, too.
 
2017-12-03 10:28:38 PM  

Mikey1969: I understand that  each incremental upgrade will be more expensive (a 32Gb stick would be a lot more expensive than 2x 16Mb sticks), but what's the deal with proven technologies that have already paid off their R&D costs?


One catch is that with state-of-the-art electronics, the machine cranking out those chips can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and the manufacturers would like to reap the rewards for investing and tying up massive amounts of money in this... Plus they'd like to have the funds to buy next years all-new manufacturing equipment as well.

(It can cost 1-4 BILLION dollars to built a CPU manufacturing fab -- and they're only used for a couple of years, when the next technological breakthrough happens and all manufacturing equipment is upgraded to deal with ever-decreasing scales.)
There's a reason that AMD doesn't own their own production plants anymore, but have others manufacture their designs on their behalf.
 
2017-12-03 10:37:40 PM  
Spent $180 three months ago on 16 gigs of DDR4 for a new rig so I'm get...wait, not really getting a kick out of these.

/graphics card prices are through the roof too.
 
2017-12-03 10:37:53 PM  

Dedmon: Doesn't a solid-state hard drive make it so that RAM isn't necessary?


To elaborate on Excelsior's post above the SSDs aren't quite there through both tech and interface to the rest of the system but they're closing the gap fast.  There's a new interface (NVMe or commonly known as M2 drives) which is getting into the range of about a tenth the raw speed of current day RAM and only about +50% the price point of its regular SSD brethren.  I mean we're talking literal GBs/sec read/write rates, its pretty hilarious considering just a decade ago what that'd mean outside of the idea of a pure ramdrive for storage.

The line between 'memory' and 'storage' is blurring pretty fast and its awesome to see happening.  Too bad all the shiatty programmers are going to abuse this to make even less optimal code then they already have, if that's possible, with java, because of course its going to be using java.  Farkin' "Hello world" eats half your system memory for christ sakes.

Sorry, I hate bloaty software and those who make it.  Like Firefox.
 
2017-12-03 10:46:32 PM  
RogermcAllen
I'm really confused on something. If we are hitting the Moore's Law limit and DRAM is about as good as it can possibly get, then why aren't the existing products getting cheaper?


The reason that's usually given for the high prices isn't Moore's law, but that smartphones and tablets are hugely popular, come with more RAM and storage, use the same chips (or at least production facilities), and are more profitable.
So the mobile devices get first dibs when they're competing for the same resources with RAM and graphics cards (and AFAIK SSDs) for PCs.
 
2017-12-03 10:50:01 PM  

Mikey1969: RogermcAllen: I'm really confused on something.  If we are hitting the Moore's Law limit and DRAM is about as good as it can possibly get, then why aren't the existing products getting cheaper?

I understand that  each incremental upgrade will be more expensive (a 32Gb stick would be a lot more expensive than 2x 16Mb sticks), but what's the deal with proven technologies that have already paid off their R&D costs?

You will learn about basic economics next year when you're a sophomore...

Basically, it costs money to make things, no matter what you think. There are materials to be sourced. Those materials cost money because there are people who do the work, equipment that they use, buildings and warehouses that have to be paid for, electricity, transportation costs, marketing costs, costs for packaging, and so on. Them the people making RAM have to buy these materials at a markup so that the company providing the materials can stay in business. Now, the company making the RAM has to do this all over again, equipment to keep running, facilities to pay for, wages to cover, utilities, shipping, etc. After that, THEY need to make a profit to stay in business.

Then you have the store or website that you buy it from..

In other words, goods can only get so low in price. They can't just keep getting cheaper and cheaper, that's not how this works. Eventually these things hit a bottom where they can't go any lower, no matter how confused that makes you. Considering that back about 2001, my brother in law lost a 32 MEGAbyte RAM chip that he had just bought for $100(I remember this because we felt guilty and paid him $100  for it because it was in our apartment), RAM is insanely cheap nowadays. I can buy 16 GB for about $160, I'd say people need to quit biatching. That's 512 times as much,for 60% more, and at a far faster data rate.


Thank you Professor Economics.  If assets are deprecated and inputs are stable, why would prices need to go up?

Excelsior: Mikey1969: I understand that  each incremental upgrade will be more expensive (a 32Gb stick would be a lot more expensive than 2x 16Mb sticks), but what's the deal with proven technologies that have already paid off their R&D costs?

One catch is that with state-of-the-art electronics, the machine cranking out those chips can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and the manufacturers would like to reap the rewards for investing and tying up massive amounts of money in this... Plus they'd like to have the funds to buy next years all-new manufacturing equipment as well.

(It can cost 1-4 BILLION dollars to built a CPU manufacturing fab -- and they're only used for a couple of years, when the next technological breakthrough happens and all manufacturing equipment is upgraded to deal with ever-decreasing scales.)
There's a reason that AMD doesn't own their own production plants anymore, but have others manufacture their designs on their behalf.


If I'm reading this right they refurb their assets every few years instead of fully depreciating them, which means they have to keep selling more expensive shiat to pay for the upgrades.  Cost of entry is high and there is no 2nd hand market for equipment, which keeps anyone else from jumping in to produce last gen tech at commodity pricing.
 
2017-12-03 11:07:45 PM  
P.S.
(P.P.?)

..there's also a fun conspiracy theory that Coffeelake-capacity-challenged Intel is up to its old tricks again and exerting pressure behind the scenes to keep RAM prices high in an attempt to make some people postpone hardware upgrades for now lest they decide to go with Ryzen.
 
2017-12-04 12:38:58 AM  

RogermcAllen: Mikey1969: RogermcAllen: I'm really confused on something.  If we are hitting the Moore's Law limit and DRAM is about as good as it can possibly get, then why aren't the existing products getting cheaper?

I understand that  each incremental upgrade will be more expensive (a 32Gb stick would be a lot more expensive than 2x 16Mb sticks), but what's the deal with proven technologies that have already paid off their R&D costs?

You will learn about basic economics next year when you're a sophomore...

Basically, it costs money to make things, no matter what you think. There are materials to be sourced. Those materials cost money because there are people who do the work, equipment that they use, buildings and warehouses that have to be paid for, electricity, transportation costs, marketing costs, costs for packaging, and so on. Them the people making RAM have to buy these materials at a markup so that the company providing the materials can stay in business. Now, the company making the RAM has to do this all over again, equipment to keep running, facilities to pay for, wages to cover, utilities, shipping, etc. After that, THEY need to make a profit to stay in business.

Then you have the store or website that you buy it from..

In other words, goods can only get so low in price. They can't just keep getting cheaper and cheaper, that's not how this works. Eventually these things hit a bottom where they can't go any lower, no matter how confused that makes you. Considering that back about 2001, my brother in law lost a 32 MEGAbyte RAM chip that he had just bought for $100(I remember this because we felt guilty and paid him $100  for it because it was in our apartment), RAM is insanely cheap nowadays. I can buy 16 GB for about $160, I'd say people need to quit biatching. That's 512 times as much,for 60% more, and at a far faster data rate.

Thank you Professor Economics.  If assets are deprecated and inputs are stable, why would prices need to go up?

Excelsior: Mikey1969: I understand that  each incremental upgrade will be more expensive (a 32Gb stick would be a lot more expensive than 2x 16Mb sticks), but what's the deal with proven technologies that have already paid off their R&D costs?

One catch is that with state-of-the-art electronics, the machine cranking out those chips can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and the manufacturers would like to reap the rewards for investing and tying up massive amounts of money in this... Plus they'd like to have the funds to buy next years all-new manufacturing equipment as well.

(It can cost 1-4 BILLION dollars to built a CPU manufacturing fab -- and they're only used for a couple of years, when the next technological breakthrough happens and all manufacturing equipment is upgraded to deal with ever-decreasing scales.)
There's a reason that AMD doesn't own their own production plants anymore, but have others manufacture their designs on their behalf.

If I'm reading this right they refurb their assets every few years instead of fully depreciating them, which means they have to keep selling more expensive shiat to pay for the upgrades.  Cost of entry is high and there is no 2nd hand market for equipment, which keeps anyone else from jumping in to produce last gen tech at commodity pricing.


Because EVERYTHING in the supply chain affects the cost of a product. Gas prices go up? Shipping costs increase. That's shipping costs for your materials, shipping costs for all of the assorted links in the chain to get the materials to your door. Shipping costs for your packaging, shipping costs for the paper for your copier. Shipping costs for your replacement computers when someone's takes a shiat. And then you have increased costs to procure your materials initially, whether they are plastics(petroleum based), natural(wood), or mined(precious metals). Those all use vehicles that pay more for fuel in this gas crunch.

And that's just one example. Shiat fluctuates in price, period. And when the profit margin is low, the fluctuations are more often and more affordable. Once again, prices are a fraction of a fraction of what they were 15 years ago. They may be bumping up and down, but they still aren't anywhere near what they were.
 
2017-12-04 12:41:12 AM  

Excelsior: Mikey1969: I understand that  each incremental upgrade will be more expensive (a 32Gb stick would be a lot more expensive than 2x 16Mb sticks), but what's the deal with proven technologies that have already paid off their R&D costs?

One catch is that with state-of-the-art electronics, the machine cranking out those chips can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and the manufacturers would like to reap the rewards for investing and tying up massive amounts of money in this... Plus they'd like to have the funds to buy next years all-new manufacturing equipment as well.

(It can cost 1-4 BILLION dollars to built a CPU manufacturing fab -- and they're only used for a couple of years, when the next technological breakthrough happens and all manufacturing equipment is upgraded to deal with ever-decreasing scales.)
There's a reason that AMD doesn't own their own production plants anymore, but have others manufacture their designs on their behalf.


Yeah, but I was hitting on the easy stuff first. Supply lines play a YUUUGE part in the end cost. Capital expenses aren't a first semester topic, really, so I was taking it easy on the OP. 😋
 
2017-12-04 01:06:08 AM  

The Voice of Doom: P.S.
(P.P.?)

..there's also a fun conspiracy theory that Coffeelake-capacity-challenged Intel is up to its old tricks again and exerting pressure behind the scenes to keep RAM prices high in an attempt to make some people postpone hardware upgrades for now lest they decide to go with Ryzen.


This wouldn't surprise me, Intel is still notably ahead, but Ryzen is legitimately leaps and bounds in improvement, and actually competes at certain thresholds and for a first of a generation release is a foreboding entry, because if they can improve on the architecture much and take a few steps, Intel really will have a competitor. It's enough to have made Intel take notice, and make price changes, which has to terrify the board.

Of course the issue is, where could they every enough pressure, because I can't see them getting all 4 of the major RAM manufacturers, and if they can't, the others would love the opportunity to expand if the others tried to raise process out of competition. So I don't think it's likely.
 
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