RAM PRODUCTION RAMPS UP WITH DDR5

DDR5 production is now in full swing with the major manufacturers. In the last few months the production has risen about an additional 8-10%. The expectations that early DDR5 systems will enjoy good sales but many will sit likely sit on the sidelines if launch prices are too outlandish. More likely server vendors will pay for the lions share of the development costs before consumers really find better prices.

Servers will likely mop up much of the DDR5 production as well as some servers need all the RAM they can get. AMD TR40 which uses DDR4 has 4 memory channels so it uses double the memory sticks of a gaming box.

New servers with more memory channels are likely given the demands for high traffic web servers and databases etc. A while ago HPE offered a server with 8 processors and 4TB of RAM. The unit is a power pig but it was the most powerful server commercially made at the time. Now AMD Epic servers are available with 8TB of RAM.

File:Basic supply demand.png - Wikimedia Commons

Today distributed workloads relive servers of onerous workloads. Microsoft worked on the problem for years to solve the traffic on their own website. Linux has capability galore for high traffic demands.

The SSD has really helped servers substantially. Now a pool of servers can share a high performance SSD server and handle any workload imposed. The fastest Ethernet speed is 400GBASE-KR which is single mode fiber based as extreme servers cannot use copper connections. Backplane with Infiniband competes with Ethernet and between them, blade server boxes are usually well provisioned. Competition has been fierce in the server business.

The gaming community can now consider 16GB DIMMs which will afford 64GB for a standard 4 slot ATX motherboard. 32GB DIMMs are expensive but prices should be better with DDR5 providing before 64GB and even 128GB DIMMs eventually. For gaming 4x8GB is overkill so 4x16GB is even more so. Who really needs 128GB?

Gaming is more focused on the performance of graphics cards which have been hijacked on mass by bitcoin etc. For this reason, until prices soften the high prices will simply discourage people from upgrading their machines. Supply and demand being what dominates semiconductors. The demand curve was substantially impacted by bitcoin et al.

The graph shows the blue demand curve and red is the supply side. So moving the demand to the right shows the new equilibrium with a higher price. Higher prices motivate more manufacturing. In semiconductors the change in the supply curve is presently about $10 billion which makes the supply curve more choppy than the idealized example. Economists have long studied semiconductors due to the dynamics of supply and demand.

If DDR5 is much more than the same capacity as DDR4 demand will be much lower than if prices were competitive. Some server users however are likely to hold their nose and pay dearly for high capacity DIMMs. The average gaming enthusiast is well served with the DDR4 capacity range at present.