Thursday, March 20, 2014

[Rant] Current RAM prices might make my mini-ITX dream just a dream


In a previous post I wrote how I relieved some good news from a forum member saying that the Silver Arrow Extreme cooler will fit in the Fractal Design Node 304. It just made the mini-ITX build somewhat closer to reality than just a dream. The next question I had was whether the PSU would fit in the case with the crazy number of cables sticking out of its arse. Nothing was confirmed although more people recommended that I bought a new smaller (140mm depth), modular PSU and sell the TX850 or keep it as a backup PSU.

I haven't decided what to do about the PSU issue yet, but a new problem just came up. I have Corsair Vengeance RAM (exactly the same as the ones shown on the picture above) in my current rig. They have very tall heat sinks which don't do anything to improve the performance. They are just there for the aesthetics. If those heat sinks come in the way of the cooler, I was thinking of removing the heat sinks and install them "naked".

Great plan, right? Yes, but I forgot one important thing. I have 4 sticks of 4GB each. 4 sticks!! Mini-ITX boards only have 2 DIMM slots. So I cannot use all 16GB of them in a mini-ITX rig. Ideally I would want 8GBx2 kit. I'm not going to halve the amount of RAM just to change the form factor. Which means I have to sell these RAM and buy new ones. Oh oh!

So I checked the current prices of RAM. 8GBX2 kits from popular brands such as Corsair, Crucial, Kingston, G.Skill etc. are all ¥20,000 or more. Yikes! One kit from ADATA is available for little under ¥20,000. All of these sticks have seen a 33-50% price hike in the last few months. The Crucial Ballistix Tactical LP sticks that I was original planning to buy were only ¥13,970 about 5 months ago. I should have bought them back then and sold my current RAM now as the resale value has gone up a tad as well. (But if I had the foresight, buying and selling RAM would be the last thing that would come to my mind.)

So as the things current stand, I cannot buy new RAM. Which means I will have to stick to ATX form factor for a long time. That sucks!


Haswell-E will bring DDR4 to the market, but you won’t see mini-ITX boards supports Haswell-E. Use of 4 channel is one of Haswell-E’s features. And there isn’t any news mentioning DDR4 support for Broadwell.

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