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GDDR6 shortage causing Nvidia and AMD problems

AMD Radeon RX 6800 Series

The hunt for the unicorn of new PC parts in 2020 is a real nightmare. Things are only getting worse as time goes on, and many first-time wannabe PC gamers can’t get basic components. And as has been the case before, it seems like certain high-quality components are the culprit. This case with AMD and NVIDIA GPUs seems to be blamed on the shortage of high-end GDDR6 memory modules.

The increased capacity of the new GPUs requires more memory than ever before, and thanks to myriad problems, supply just cannot keep up. Nvidia has gone on record multiple times stating that they expect this to continue in 2021 as well. AMD on the other hand has not offered much in-depth explanation as to what the heck is going on with RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 stocks.

Nvidia's RTX 3060 Ti

Image Credit: Nvidia

As for when the crisis could abate, that’s hard to say. Aurélien Lagny of Cowcotland thinks it could take weeks or months before AMD sees any kind of serious improvement. The advice we offered before about waiting until after April, possibly into Q2 2021, to build a new PC may well still hold up until then.

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“It will take weeks for the situation to return to normal,” Lagby said.  “Which means that the availability of all models will not improve until February, even blocking the release of some models (such as the 6900XT Custom).”

One advantage that NVIDIA has is that both AMD and NVIDIA are not technically competing for silicon in the same way. The usable resources for raw materials have to be split among a much larger product stack for AMD thanks to its CPU and APU production. And with the new XSX and PS5 on the line, the company is pouring a ton of effort into them to meet demand, which could be causing other issues. So if I had to bet on who comes out first in the race to more units, it’s probably going to be team green.

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