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DRAMeXchange: Graphics DRAM Prices Will Rise in Q1 2020

(Image credit: Samsung)

DRAMeXchange says DRAM prices will rise in 2020 by about five percent in the first quarter of 2020, as reported by Digitimes.

The reason is that over the course of 2019, many graphics cards and GPU products transitioned to GDDR6 from older GDDR5, which is a trend that will certainly continue into 2020. AMD's Navi-based graphics cards are all already based on GDDR6, and most of Nvidia's Turing cards are, too, with just a few exceptions at the entry and mid-tier GPUs.

The new consoles from Microsoft and Sony are also expected to have an impact on GDDR6 supplies as they're both expected to launch later in the year with the latest GPU memory and storage standards. While they won't launch in Q1, DRAM suppliers are expected to stockpile GDDR6 ICs for when production of the new consoles kicks off. 

Of course, it's worth noting that these are prices for DRAM contracts between manufacturers, but they typically do translate to more expensive consumer goods. That being said, graphics DRAM is but a fraction of the cost of the products they're integrated into, so the effects of DRAM prices alone won't have too big of an impact on hardware prices -- it's also possible that when production for the new consoles kicks off, prices for hardware other than just DRAM will rise too.

With the current all-time low memory pricing, this news comes as no surprise.

  • InvalidError
    All DRAM is fundamentally the same, which is why DRAM manufacturers can shift production between any DRAM products and even NAND on relatively short order depending on whichever has the better sales outlook for the foreseeable future. If DRAM manufacturers are shifting production from DDR4 to GDDR6 in anticipation of next-gen consoles and new GPUs sales, then there is less DDR4 to go around and prices on that will go up too. Very convenient timing for DRAM manufacturers looking for excuses to reduce DDR4 output and drive prices up.
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