GDDR6 memory prices to increase 8-13% by Q3 2021: hurts GPUs, consoles

GDDR memory prices will hurt Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 consoles, as well as NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards.

1 minute & 16 seconds read time

GDDR memory prices are about to get more expensive, with TrendForce expecting an 8-13% increase in GDDR memory prices later this year -- which will hurt GPU and console prices even more.

GDDR6 memory prices to increase 8-13% by Q3 2021: hurts GPUs, consoles 01

Graphics DRAM (GDDR) prices increasing will hurt GDDR6 and GDDR6X-based products, with GDDR6 inside of all of AMD's new RDNA 2-based products: the Radeon RX 6000 series (Radeon RX 6700 through to the Radeon RX 6900 XT all use GDDR6 memory) as well as the next-gen consoles in Microsoft's Xbox Series X/S and Sony PlayStation 5 consoles.

On the PC side of things, NVIDIA uses the ultra-fast GDDR6X memory in half of its new Ampere-based GeForce RTX 30 series GPUs: the newly-released GeForce RTX 3070 Ti and GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics cards both use GDDR6X memory -- so too do the GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3090 graphics cards.

TrendForce sees four key factors behind the price of graphics DRAM increasing:

  1. Demand in the PC market remains high, particularly for gaming products
  2. DRAM suppliers' production capacities allocated to most clients are constrained by the fact that NVIDIA bundles its GPUs with graphics DRAM, meaning DRAM suppliers have prioritized capacity allocation to NVIDIA as opposed to smaller clients
  3. both the Xbox Series X and PS5 are equipped with GDDR6 16Gb chips, which is different from GDDR6 8Gb chips. As the two chips are non-interchangeable, once DRAM suppliers commit their production capacities for one, they can no longer produce the other using the same batch of wafers
  4. since there has been a resurgence of server DRAM orders, DRAM suppliers are still prioritizing the production of these products as they are a mainstream market product. As various products each compete over limited DRAM production capacities, graphics DRAM contract prices are expected to undergo an increase going forward. In particular, medium- and small-size OEMs/ODMs may likely face double-digit percentages increases

Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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