DDR2 Pricing Update

DDR2 Is Soon To Be A Common Enthusiast Part, But What About Cost!

The next generation motherboards that will be using DDR2 are not too far away, and we were shocked to find that companies like Corsair and Crucial already have DDR2 sitting on store shelves for sale! The reason this shocked us is the fact that no boards are even available to consumers that will support it! Since these DDR2 modules are on the market before final revisions of the motherboards are completed the all have been programmed to run at JEDEC standard 4-4-4-12 timing values. All the companies admitted that the modules have been tested on the reference Intel motherboard/BIOS, but not many of the 3rd party boards. If a BIOS or chipset change happens in the upcoming weeks these modules might need to have a reprogrammed SPD! With big name memory companies like Corsair and Crucial already shipping memory it’s fairly certain to assume that they are aware of the new platforms and believe that no major changes are going to happen before Intel launches the chipsets. Now that a few companies have DDR2 on their sites and on store shelves we can take a look at pricing!

DDR2 PC-3200 (400MHz) Pricing:

  Crucial DDR2 Crucial DDR1 % Increase
Price From:

(Direct)

(Direct)

256mb Unbuffered

$144.99

$57.99

150%

512mb Registered

$349.99

$159.99

119%

Crucial is so far the only company to offer DDR2 at 400MHz for sale on the open market. We are seeing a huge increase in cost when looking at DDR1 versus DDR2 in the 400Mhz product line!

DDR2 PC-4200 (533MHz) Pricing:

  Crucial Kingston Corsair Kingston DDR1 533MHz Avg. % Increase
Price From:

(Direct)

(MSRP)

(Retailer)

(Retailer)

256mb

$154.99

$159.00

$111

41.4%

512mb

$299.99

$335.00

$229.00

$207

39.1%

1Gb

$809.99

$662.00

$600.00

Matched 2 x 512mb Kit

$670.00

$578.00

$395

58.0%

The average increase is much more inline here than with the DDR2 PC-3200 modules that we just saw a second ago. Also keep in mind that

a single 512MB module of DDR2 PC-4200 memory averaged

around $900 in early March the numbers we are seeing today are good thing! We used Kingston’s HyperX PC-4300 line of memory as a control group for our pricing table. It was used since it’s a popular DDR1 brand and also happens to be running at the same frequency (533MHz). It currently looks like DDR2 memory is priced about 46% above DDR1 from what we have seen so far. Corsair and Kingston were careful to point out that DDR2 pricing is going down everyday, so by the time you are reading this the prices are possibly lower than what we reported today.

By the time the DDR2 platforms are released we have been told to expect DDR2 PC-4200 to carry close to a 30% premium in price over DDR1 memory. If that is the case then we can expect a 1GB kit (two 512mb modules) of DDR2 PC-4200 memory to be priced at roughly US $514 at the time of the launch.

 

Can I Use DDR1 On My DDR2 Board To Save Money?

Even though the two parts have different names people still ask if DDR2 can be used on DDR1 boards. The above image shows the main reason you can’t force a DDR2 module in a DDR1 memory slot and vice versa! The pins DO NOT line up (DDR2 is on the bottom in the image). This is because DDR2 has 240-pins while DDR1 has only 184-pins. DDR2 also features a lower operating voltage of only 1.8 volts. Unlike current DDR which widely uses TSOP form factors, DDR2 is packaged using only Ball Grid Array (BGA), resulting in smaller packaging and better electrical performance. On-die termination gives DDR2 chips the ability to perform signal termination internally instead of on the motherboard . On-die termination helps systems run more efficiently, potentially lowering overall system cost. So the short and simple answer is no DDR1 & DDR2 are in no way interchangeable.

Start saving your money up! DDR2 platforms are coming to a store near you fast!

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