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Vendors capitalise on market uncertainty

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Yet another PC builder is adding surcharges to prices in response to memory price hikes, as 64Mb DRAM today hit record levels. Time Computer Systems said price rises will start next week for its PC range. Time is copying moves by rivals such as Carrera, Mesh and Panrix, who slapped surcharges of around £60 on higher end PCs earlier this week. Time said demand was outstripping supply for DRAM memory, and warned: "This may be the first time many PC consumers notice the price of computers increasing." The announcement came as world 64Mb DRAM prices today reached their highest ever levels. According to Asiabiztech.com, these chips were today selling at $12.75 per unit. This compares to prices around the $5 mark in July. Joe D’Elia, senior microprocessor analyst at Dataquest, said: "We are now seeing the difference between a buyer’s and a seller’s market. "Everyone has kept stocks to an absolute minimum." He also pointed out the huge difference between contract pricing -- which stands at around $7 -- and spot pricing for 64Mb DRAM. To explain the sudden memory price rises, D’Elia added: "There is a lot of uncertainty in the market at the moment – surrounding technology such as Rambus. The manufacturers are capitalising on that." According to Time, 128Mb modules were priced today at $260. This is almost double 1 September’s price of $140.®

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