Very high GDDR6 costs blamed for such high GPU prices

Render of an AMD Radeon PCB showing the GPU and adjacent VRAM chips

AMD recently launched the Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card for 1080p gamers. We were told by a source that Team Red was looking to price the new GPU at $349. And although the other details shared by him like performance numbers and boost clock speeds were spot-on, the official MSRP of $379 turned out higher - although the information was, at that point, over a month old -. This MSRP of $379 is what many are considering very high for what the 6600 XT claims to offer.

Of course, while some of this was expected due to the ongoing global chip shortage, there was a glimmer of hope since it seemed for a while that GPU prices were getting better. And the chip shortage problem isn't limited to just the processing units (CPU or GPU) as it's affecting memory parts too.

In fact, the high MSRP of the RX 6600 XT may be explained by the current prices of the GDDR6 SGRAM. GDDR6 is used as the memory buffer in the majority of current-gen AMD Radeon and Nvidia GeForce graphics cards. And according to an online marketplace called Digi-Key, GDDR6 chips from Micron are now selling for around US$13-16 per GB (spotted by Twitter user @ultrawide219).

AMD in fact did state the same reason to the press in order to justify this high MSRP of the RX 6600 XT. The company claimed that prices for GPU memory have doubled which may indeed be true if what we see on Digi-Key is any indication. (via Gamers Nexus YouTube channel)

And even if we take into consideration that manufacturers like AMD are getting discounts due to their possible bulk orders, say half of the retail listed price at just ~US$6.5 per GB, this would still equate to a very high US$52 for the 8GB GDDR6 VRAM on the $379 RX 6600 XT. And this isn't taking into account the costs associated with integrating the VRAM chips onto the card itself.

And it's also possible that AMD and Nvidia will be using memory from other makers like SK hynix or Samsung, however the prices on them won't be too different than the prices on the Micron units.

Source: Digi-Key

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