AMD has explained why its newly launched budget offering, the Radeon RX 6500 XT comes with just 4GB of memory while NVIDIA equipped the GeForce RTX 3050 with 8GB. Speaking to HotHardware after the company’s CES 2022 keynote, Frank Azor shed some light on Team Red’s approach to the budget PC gaming segment. According to Azor, the decision to go with 4GB of memory was taken on the basis of two factors.
Firstly, the prices of GDDR6 memory are at an all-time high, and pairing the Navi 24 die with 8GB memory would make it hard to price it around the $199 mark (plus the 6nm process as well). NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3050 which comes with 8GB of GDDR6 RAM is priced at $249, $50 more than the 6500 XT.
AMD isn’t discounting the possibility of an 8GB variant of the Radeon RX 6500 XT either, although going by the present state of the market, it won’t happen anytime soon.
The second and more important reason involves cryptominers. Pairing a budget graphics card with just 4GB of memory makes it rarely redundant for miners as Ether requires 6GB for running its mining algorithm. In the past, NVIDIA’s software and firmware level measures to limit mining have mostly failed, giving AMD’s approach some credibility.
To top it off, Frank Azor claimed that there will be a huge stock of 6500 XTs available at the time of launch, making it an accessible and affordable solution for the mainstream gamer. Considering what happened the last time Azor said something along those lines, I wouldn’t hold my breath.