Surging GDDR memory costs could drive up graphics card prices

Cryptocurrency miners have turned the graphics card market on its head, but if you thought it was dizzying to try and score a great deal on a GPU now, it could be even more difficult later. That's because the memory prices used in graphics are on the rise.

Digitimes says memory prices for graphics cards jumped more than 30 percent in August. That translates into a $2 jump in the average price, which went from $6.50 in July to $8.50 in August, so we are not talking about astronomical increases here. Still, it adds up. For example, a GeForce GTX 1050 is equipped with four memory chips, a GeForce GTX 1060 has six memory chips, and higher end cards like the GeForce GTX 1070 use eight chips.

Those costs are likely to be passed on to customers and could be used as an excuse to jack up the price of certain models of graphics cards even further.

This is happening because two of the leading memory makers that produce chips for graphics cards—Samsung and SK Hynix—have both allocated part of their memory production to servers and mobile handsets.

Upstream supply chain players expect the shortage to continue through at least September, with more price hikes in sight.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).