The pricing of current generation graphics cards has become a meme at this point. Ongoing supply chain issues show no signs of easing (opens in new tab). Combine this with elevated demand and here we are. Sadly, it seems things could be about to get worse, at least if you’re in the market for an AMD card. Reports coming from the Board Channels Forum (opens in new tab) (registration required) via Videocardz (opens in new tab) state that AMD is increasing the prices of its GPUs by 10%. Wonderful. Not.
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The report claims that pricing is set to increase by $20 to $40 depending on the chip in question. That mightn’t seem like a lot when even RX 6600 cards are selling for upwards of $500, but the chain starts with AMD. A 10% rise in GPU prices gets passed onto the card manufacturers, who pass it onto distributors, who pass it onto retailers who then pass onto us poor gamers. Somewhere along the way, someone is likely to decide that they can charge 15% more instead of 10% and eventually these costs will be borne by the consumer. When will it end? Will an RX 6400 (opens in new tab) sell for $500? It's no wonder the consoles are out of stock everywhere. At least they’re affordable.
The report states that rising TSMC wafer costs are the reason for the price rise. AMD CPUs and GPUs are manufactured on the same 7nm node, yet only GPU pricing is affected. Will AMD CPUs follow? Curiously AMD CPUs are trending downwards to better combat Intel’s 12th Gen processors. Is AMD reshuffling its 7nm allocation towards CPU production?
Even though RX 6000 cards are not the greatest hash per watt mining options, one can only hope that Ethereum’s move to Proof of Stake in 2022 stops miners from buying cards by the pallet load. Demand should start to drop off before then as it becomes more difficult to recoup the cost of new card purchases. Let’s see how it goes. A Black Friday deal (opens in new tab) this year could be the last best chance to grab a ‘relatively’ reasonably priced GPU for a while. Pessimistically though, GPU bargains aren't going to set the world on fire this year.