19 December 2015

Please, sir, I want some more

Good news. DDR4 memory is cheaper than ever. For some definition of ever. Nevertheless, this piece on AnandTech claims prices are dropping. A lot. Well, yes.

Back in June, PC World reported about $2K for 128gb. Today, Amazon has 128 gb for under $1K.

You need a new-ish i7 (near as I can determine, none of the 6th gen i5 will do), and an 8 slot motherboard. Nevertheless, for an increasing number of quant/stat/data problems the complaint about R being memory resident is irrelevant. Yum. A few bucks for hardware, and you'll be super productive in generating the next economic collapse. You'll take your profits before the retail lemmings walk off the cliff, of course.

The Tyranny of Average Cost™ strikes again (from the AT article):
While there are only three major makers of DRAM left on the planet, they continue to fight for market share and profits. In a bid to cut-down costs, manufacturers of memory have to adopt thinner process technologies, which decreases sizes of memory cells and thus increases bit output per wafer. As a result, global supply of DRAM upsurges and affects prices.

Or, as all of my econ professors said at one time or another (but not in any MBA course, of course): "sunk costs are irrelevant to decision making". Once you've bought the plant/machinery, the only thing that matters is marginal cost of production. You've got to cover the amortization (if you're lucky) and direct costs.

Time to engage in Thought Experiment. What might lots more cheap bits in lots less silicon and at lowering voltage mean? Alas, the answer is likely that client-centric computing will get more time on life support. It's clear from reporting that memory makers are banking on phones/tablets/portables as the place to sop up all those cheap bits. Sniff.

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