It seems only yesterday that AMD revealed the Raedon Fury Series, the only memory cards in the world to contain high bandwidth memory (HBM1). Since then, the tech world has moved on and it is time for the HBM2 cards to finally enter the market at some point this year. Even better and more powerful alternatives for computer professionals and gamers are underway, which makes this year full of exciting possibilities.
However, what is often ignored is the market size for these gadgets. They are intended just for highly enthusiastic and affluent fans of technology, and come at very high prices, meaning that most gamers and professionals this year will stick to something such a the NVIDIA GeForce or the Raedon R9 380 – these come at half the price while still being powerful enough for a user to experience the new FinFET fabrication technology.
Micron’s latest GDDR5X memory is designed to replace the high bandwidth GDDR5, only at a very reasonable price. While in theory, the bandwidth of these memory units can be as high as 16 GB/s, their developers have confirmed that in practice, only 13 GB/s has been attained. While memory giants of this nature require lots of power, the power requirement of these nodes, thanks to FinFET, will only be around 1.35 V which while being impressive, will still not imply a noticeably huge change in the overall power consumption of a card.
The units are cheaper because of the same environment they can share with the GDDR5: memory units are modified to be cheaper in production while at the same time, wasting no money in building a new ecosystem for the production, a common practice in the tech world.