According to a new report published by Taiwanese computer industry journal DigiTimes, the price of memory chips for graphics cards has risen over 30 per cent this month. We have already seen the effects of the cryptocurrency miner demand on mainstream graphics cards, pushing prices higher than launch RRPs - if any stock of such cards becomes available.
Whatever the other reasons behind the current rise, likely to be demand related, things don't look like they will improve in the near future. DigiTimes says that "RAM industry leaders Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix have allocated part of their VGA RAM production capacities to producing memory for servers and handsets," adding fuel to current the RAM price rally.
Most tech followers will be aware that Apple and Samsung have some big smartphone launches due shortly. These new devices will sell in their millions and pack more RAM than ever before. Looking at server RAM production - Samsung's server RAM used to account for 12 per cent of its output, now that has risen to 27 per cent.
Upstream supply chain sources reckon September will see prices push higher still, with shortages impacting graphics board makers and gaming laptop makers (and their customers) particularly badly.
We may see at least a pause in the ascent of video card memory component prices at the end of this year / early 2018. Around this time Samsung is rumoured to be expanding its VGA RAM production capacity. Currently, "Samsung supplies around 55 per cent of worldwide VGA RAM shipments, followed by SK Hynix at 35 per cent, and Micron Technology at 10 per cent," reports DigiTimes.