Electronics

GPUs Will Cost Even More in 2022 and Nothing on the Horizon Is Coming to the Rescue

By Bill Toulas / August 27, 2021

TSMC, the Taiwanese chip-making giant, has decided to raise its prices by 10-20% across the board to maintain its gross margin to 50%, as the shortages are intensifying while the demand is still in the sky. Moreover, freight rates have increased, shipping has become more cumbersome and costly, and market regulations have gotten more strict as the world responds to scarcity in various resources and finished products.

This decision creates a domino effect that will raise prices on products like the upcoming iPhone 13 and is also expected to make the situation worse on already miry fields like the GPU market. This year has been a nightmare for gamers who were hoping to upgrade their rig, as graphics cards availability is non-existent, and whatever can be found on shops for a brief moment is sold multiple times above the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price).

AMD relies upon TSMC to build its Radeon chip, so this rise in the price is bound to be reflected in 2022 models. Nvidia, which uses Samsung’s foundries, won’t be affected directly. Still, as the market is one dynamic entity that is moved by the forces that come at play, Samsung may very easily follow with a price hike of its own. After all, there’s not much incentive for Nvidia and AMD to do anything towards lowering the prices of their graphics cards, as they’re selling all they can produce anyway.

In this desperate situation, many looked at temporary solutions like embedded graphics on CPUs until GPU prices came back to reality. However, not much hope is coming from that direction either. As the Intel Architecture Day 2021 presentation suggests about Intel’s upcoming range of processors, the ‘Alder Lake,’ there won’t be many models offering an integrated GPU, and those on the desktop will be limited to 32 execution units, whereas mobile chips will get 96. As for the Intel Xe (‘Alchemist’), the company’s first discrete GPU, this isn’t expected to launch before Q2 2022, possibly even later.

On the AMD camp, leaked documents confirmed that AM5 processors would come with integrated GPUs based on the Zen 4 and RDNA 2 architectures, but the prices and availability of these remain a big question. The release date for these is set to somewhere around Q3 2022, so all in all, gamers and graphics enthusiasts are pretty much stuck with whatever they’re running for another year.



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