High graphics cards prices have been a curse for anyone out shopping for one ever since the COVID-19 pandemic struck back in 2020.
Also, cryptocurrency mining had been pushing prices up, as miners strived to get hold of the latest graphics cards from AMD or Nvidia in order to power their mining operations.
Things have been getting better in 2022, though, as GPU prices have been steadily falling, making getting a new graphics card a lot less demanding on gamers’ wallets…
Actually, some well-known graphics cards such as Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 have seen their prices plummet, as it happened with a specific model of that card at Australian retailers last week.
As covered on wccftech.com, the ASUS GeForce RTX 3080 TUF Gaming OC card price fell from $2299 to $1499 Australian dollars overnight, a whopping 35 % drop from one day to the next, as Hardware Unboxed announced in a tweet.
This might have left some cursing themselves if they had bought one at the higher price, but the truth is that the price of GPUs is expected to continue falling this year.
Also, and more recently, AMD’s entry-level RX 6500 XT card dropped below its manufacturer suggested retail price or MSRP, and could be had for €169 euros (about $185 US dollars) as was reported on TechRadar. This means the RX 6500 XT was going for a price 35 % below its European MSRP, a clear sign signs are getting better in the graphics card market for consumers.
This is despite the fact that semiconductors (a key component in the manufacture of PC components) are still not as plentiful due to the pandemic, and that supply of neon (which is used to make chips) is below normal due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, as the country produces approximately half of the world’s supply, even if the latter is not yet a major issue as chipmakers have plenty of stock of neon gas (for the time being at least).
But the fact that the Ethereum cryptocurrency (Bitcoin’s main rival) will receive a major upgrade later this year is also impacting prices. This is because GPU mining will become half as profitable after the Ethereum merge as Wccftech points out, meaning miners might be looking to the second-hand market to dump excess GPUs.
GeForce RTX 3090 reaches prices less than €2000 at retailers in 🇩🇪🇦🇹 for the first time since last August
Some historical (best) prices:
€3199 – May 16, 2021
€1999 – Aug 29
€2799 – Nov 21
€2699 – Dec 12
€2499 – Jan 2, 2022
€2320 – Feb 13
€2185 – Mar 6
€1990 – Mar 17 pic.twitter.com/vymNFbzUcn
— 3DCenter.org (@3DCenter_org) March 17, 2022
All this means that it may be a good idea to wait at least until the summer in order to buy that new graphics card as prices have been steadily falling since last year, and the trend looks likely to continue. A tweet by 3Dcenter.org (see above) shows how dramatic the price drop has been, using Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3090 card as an example.
There’s also the fact that Nvidia will likely be releasing its RTX series 40 cards later this year (probably in September), which will bring major performance increases to the table. Actually, the mid-range GeForce RTX 4070 is rumored to be faster than the RTX 3090, another reason to postpone that graphics card upgrade.
And taking into account that Intel will be entering the discrete GPU market in the second quarter of the year, there will be an even greater supply of graphics cards, something which should send prices lower. Intel cards might not have the edge when it comes to performance, but they should still be competitively priced and might satisfy the needs of more casual gamers.
Of course, there’s also AMD which should be bringing its new batch of graphics cards (based on the RDNA 3 architecture) to market this year. Rumors point to these being more power efficient and even faster than Nvidia’s RTX 40 series, another reason to take the wait and see approach.
Nonetheless, it’s still a good thing that graphics cards are cheaper now, which is certainly good news for those wanting to bag a GPU right now, even if things are certainly looking to get more interesting in the graphics card arena as we move further into 2022.
GeForce series 30 graphics card (Nvidia Corporation)