DRAM prices continued their trek northward through the month of August, reportedly reaching profitable levels after sinking to multiyear lows in early 2009. According to research firm Gartner, prices for 1Gb DDR3 chips leaped 18.9% to $1.58 per chip during August. Likewise, DDR2 prices rose 13.7% to $1.45 during the month.

The cost of DRAM has steadily risen over the last several months. DDR3 prices have surged so rapidly that PC vendors have defaulted to DDR2 – which in turn has raised the cost of those chips. The price of 512Mb DDR2 was up 4.2% to $.75 per chip this afternoon, according to DRAMeXchange. At the same time, 1Gb DDR2 was up 2.4% to $1.60.

The increase in cost is somewhat expected, as most areas are in the midst of the back-to-school season – a time when new PCs are highly sought after. Retailers usually scramble to keep shelves stocked for the school-buying season until October, when things ease up in preparation for the holiday season. This year, the October 22 launch of Microsoft's Windows 7 may throw a wrench in that tendency, though.

PC makers among other bodies in IT are looking to the release of Windows 7 for a much-needed boost in sales. Redmond's latest operating system aside, the industry as a whole is optimistic about the second half of 2009, as well as next year. Intel has increased its third quarter revenue projection from $8.1 billion and $8.9 billion, to between $8.8 billion and $9.2 billion, due to higher demands for processors and chipsets.