Why are GPUs so expensive?


CPUs are way cheaper than GPUs, but CPUs have a much harder task. CPUs work a lot harder, have more difficult tasks, are what runs your PC and yet they cost significantly less. Why is this?


  • Vaganza
    Vaganza ✭✭✭✭
    First Anniversary 5 Likes 5 Insightfuls 5 LOLs

    Not sure I agree that CPUs work harder, they work in a more generic way.

  • magarity
    magarity ✭✭✭✭
    First Anniversary 5 Up Votes First Comment First Answer
    edited November 2023
    A top of the line CPU, the Intel 13900k, has 26 billion transistors.

    A top of the line GPU, the nVidia 4090, has 76 billion transistors.

    An 8 inch silicon wafer can take up to about 2.6 trillion transistors, depending on the exact layout of the chips being etched. So one wafer of manufacture effort can only have 1/3 the yield if used for GPUs vs CPUs.

    Plus the graphics card has gigabytes of VRAM included (which is its own set of silicon wafer manufacturing), complex power management circuitry, and a big cooling system. The CPU is sold without all that.
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