Since the pandemic struck the world last year, it’s become increasingly difficult to get hold of certain PC components, as well as the latest video game consoles (and other stuff too…).
Regarding PC components, people who are into PC gaming have found that getting hold of the latest and greatest video cards from both AMD and Nvidia has been something of a nightmare.
This is because availability has been scarce, while prices have been quite a bit higher than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP for short) too.
The closure of Chinese factories due to the pandemic and the fact that Bitcoin’s price reached new highs last year and in 2021 have been blamed for making life difficult for those wanting to get hold of a PC graphics card, and it seems the situation won’t be improving any time soon if a recent report is to be believed.
According to German outfit 3DCenter.org (via PC Gamer), buyers might end up having to pay twice the MSRP for both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards by early October if the current trend of dropping availability and increasing prices continues (note that this is based on German sales of GPUs).
“Based on the trend, if this continues, then we can end up with 2x markup over MSRP by the beginning of Q4 2021”, says 3DCenter’s report.
Current prices for top cards like the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT, Nvidia’s GeForce RX 3070 Ti and Nvidia’s GeForce RX 3080 Ti are now more than 70 % more dear than what the manufacturer recommends , and as was stated earlier it seems things are now going to get worse…
This is the case in Germany, which surely reflects a worldwide market trend as PC Gamer highlights.
Graphics Card Prices in 🇩🇪🇦🇹 Sep 19, 2021
👉 Wrong direction on availability and prices.
👉 RDNA2 +74% over MSRP, Ampere +70% over MSRP (avg of best offers, w/o 6600XT, 3070Ti, 3080Ti).
— 3DCenter.org (@3DCenter_org) September 20, 2021
This is despite the fact that prices for both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards had dropped between June and July (up to 45 % in the case of Nvidia cards), while availability had increased threefold as PC Gamer points out.
There must be light at the end of the tunnel, though, even if according to Nvidia boss Jensen Huang we will still “see a supply contained environment for the vast majority of next year” which is definitely not what those looking to get hold of a Nvidia graphics card for their gaming PC wanted to hear this summer…
Of course, another possibility is to resort to streaming services like Google Stadia or GeForce Now, which don’t require users to have powerful gaming hardware in order to enjoy the latest video game releases.
Or maybe PC gamers might want to skip Nvidia’s and AMD’s current generation of graphics cards and wait until the next.
The thing is, Nvidia is rumored to be relying on TSMC (which stands for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) for its upcoming GeForce RTX 40 series, which will succeed the current GeForce RTX 30 series, likely sometime in 2022. But given that TSMC has increased the price of it’s manufacturing processes, GeForce RTX 40 cards are likely to come at a premium even if the supply situation improves.
What’s clear, though, is that buying or upgrading a PC for gaming will be harder for a while yet due to the scant availability and marked up prices of PC graphics cards. Nonetheless, here’s hoping that once the situation returns to normal (and prices get closer to the MSRP) everyone is able to get hold of the best graphics cards from both AMD and Nvidia, even if this might not be until early 2023 at best.
GeForce series 30 graphics card (Nvidia Corporation)