If you’ve been planning to build a new PC or upgrade the one you already have, then the past several months have been both the best and the worst of times. Buying a new CPU is an exciting proposition, with both Intel and AMD offering some attractive options. Buying a new GPU is a different story, though — there are great options there as well, but actually getting your hands on one has been a challenge. AMD hopes to make things easier, however, by ramping up production.
The GPU problem, which involves not only constrained supply but also exorbitant pricing, stems from the cryptocurrency craze and the fact that today’s GPUs are the best engines for efficiently mining cryptocurrency. As Polygon reports, AMD wants to ramp up production of its leading GPUs to make it easier to buy one and, hopefully, more affordable as well.
According to AMD CEO and President Dr. Lisa Su, “The graphics channel is very low, and we’re certainly working to replenish that channel environment.” Su recognizes the impact of cryptocurrency mining on the availability of the company’s products while asserting that a good portion of its growth in GPU sales has derived from other buyers.
The challenge appears to be that while AMD can ramp up production of its own chips, it’s constrained by the availability of another very important component: graphics memory. AMD uses both GDDR5 and HBM2 memory in its graphics cards, and both types suffer from shortages. Su recognizes the impact that has as well, saying, “We continue to work through that with our memory partners.”
Nvidia has also taken efforts to resolve the GPU shortage. Its approach has been a bit different, with the company asking its retailers to take steps to make its GPUs more available to the general market. In a statement posted on Computerbase.de, Nvidia said, “All activities related to our GeForce product line are targeted at our main audience. To ensure that GeForce gamers continue to have good GeForce graphics card availability in the current situation, we recommend that our trading partners make the appropriate arrangements to meet gamers’ needs as usual.”
It’s been a good few months for AMD, with its new Ryzen CPUs based on the Zen architecture receiving a warm reception in the market due to their great price-performance ratios. And AMD’s new Vega GPUs are also grabbing some attention for their own performance gains. Now, AMD just hopes it get more of them produced so that gamers and other PC buyers can actually buy them.
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