Graphics card availability likely won t improve until late 2022 — here s why. When will graphics card prices drop

However, I am not sure if we will see a new version of DLSS next year. Nvidia quietly released DLSS 2.3 not too long ago, and it seems these iterative updates will be on par over the next year. Nvidia has a definite advantage in the DLSS field based on our testing, and I imagine Nvidia will keep riding this wave for as long as possible.

Why Are Graphics Cards So Expensive Right Now?

You’ve probably noticed now how expensive graphics cards are. But why? Here are the reasons for the high prices.

It’s hard to get hold of a new graphics card at the moment. Whether you are looking for a new generation or legacy card, all cards on the market today are overpriced and with limited availability.

In short: the current demand for graphics cards far exceeds the total available supply. How did this happen? Why is supply not keeping up with demand?

In this article, we’ll look at the reasons why graphics cards are so expensive these days. Many of these factors are obvious. On the other hand, others may surprise you.

The Global Chip Shortage

Why are GPUs so expensive? Economics, my dear Watson. Supply, demand, and resource allocation determine how available or expensive a good or service is, especially with what the general public sees and has access to.

We are currently facing a global chip shortage that could go on indefinitely. We use semiconductor chips in everything from computers to airplanes; producers all over the world have had to cut or limit production due to scarcity.

This applies not only to graphics cards, but also to other sectors, including laptops, phones, and video game consoles.

Whether it’s for work or entertainment, many people are looking for electronic devices such as computers, smartphones or tablets. This drastically increased the demand for graphics cards, which is why graphics cards are so expensive these days.

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In short: that’s why graphics cards are so expensive these days. There are fewer GPUs floating around than people who have the resources, the need and the cash to buy them, and that is partly COVID’s fault.

No GPU for You!

While availability may be decent, gamers won’t be able to purchase inexpensive GPUs at retail anytime soon for two reasons. # 1: Nvidia is not making any significant efforts to bring the cheaper RTX 3050 to retail. We can see AMD launch the RX 6600 without the XT, but that isn’t likely to help either. While the 3050 has been available in laptops for some time now, we haven’t received anything from our contacts to suggest that the card is coming to desktop buyers anytime soon. Reason # 2: is the main reason, and that is cryptocurrency mining.

Of course, it is now clear that GPU prices are directly related to the profitability of mining. This is not supply related, not related to a pandemic or anything like that – GPUs are priced according to how much money can be made from them. It’s a guide AIB and distributors use when setting prices, and prices clearly fluctuate as the profitability of mining changes.

Cryptocurrency fans will likely rush to the comments to point the blame elsewhere, but prices have not changed in the face of demand for games – which has remained high for a year. The main reason you can’t buy GPUs at a decent price is that it is profitable to mine crypto on them, and miners are willing to pay higher prices indefinitely for a money printer. If mining were not profitable on modern GPUs, you probably would now have a new GPU in your hands at the suggested retail price, as this generation’s record supply by this point will be enough to meet the demand for games.

The Crypto Rollercoaster

So, what has happened in the mining country in the past month? The prices of the most popular mining coin, Ethereum, have been relatively flat from month to month, a few weeks ago there was a period where prices rose, cooled down, and there has been a decline in the past few days. But it’s a volatile market as usual, so overall it was flat.

Meanwhile, during this period, Ethereum’s difficulty has increased by about 15%, meaning there is a decent amount of additional mining gear in the pool compared to a month ago. This would be a reaction to rising cryptocurrency prices over the past two months, but it has stabilized slightly over the past week. This means that miners were interested in buying GPUs for mining, which contributed to higher prices, although the impact is that as the difficulty increases, mining rewards decrease. So increasing difficulty is both a good and a bad sign for players.

Overall, this has led to a decline in mining profitability, which is currently down by around 25% month-on-month, though it depends on the specific GPU. Cards where Ethereum is not the most viable choice of coins to mine – such as Nvidia LHR GPUs – have seen more serious drops. However, most of these drops happened last week after the cryptocurrency price peak, and as there is always a lag before it is reflected in GPU prices, we are only now starting to see these effects.

Although we may not have heard of them for months, AMD and Nvidia are working on next-generation graphics cards. For Nvidia, this is the RTX 40 series. The release in the fall of 2022 would have held up in line with Nvidia’s usual publishing cadence, with many leaks pointing to a release around this time.

A roller coaster of prices

Normally I would expect GPU prices to drop as generations start showing their age. But the GPU market isn’t normal right now, and I can’t tell you which direction GPU prices will go. Prices fell in mid-2021, showing promising signs that the GPU shortage is finally slowing down. Now that we are in the beginning of 2022, prices are rising again.

The cost of the components is in the air and graphics cards are still subject to the 25% tariff. Nvidia and other companies have asked the US government for an exemption from these tariffs, but this exemption was not granted at the time of publication. There are also rumors that AMD may introduce a 10% price increase on its RX 6000 graphics cards.

Needless to say, GPU pricing is a mess and will likely remain a mess for much of 2022. I suspect that at the beginning of the year we will see a drop in prices, an increase around summer and another fall (hopefully still falling). This is just speculation. There’s no way to predict which direction prices are going, given how the GPU market has been going for over a year.

Prices will drop at some point, but may not reach the same levels as before. The coronavirus pandemic has significantly increased demand for computers and graphics cards, and that demand has not gone away – even with many people returning to the office. While there are signs that AMD and Intel will be selling under $ 200 GPUs in the future, we don’t have these options. Graphics cards may never be as cheap as they used to be.

Increased supply

Niels Broekhuijsen / Digital Trends

As with valuation, I don’t have a GPU crystal ball that indicates the direction the market is going. However, there are signs that the supply will increase in 2022. Nvidia recently said it expects the GPU shortage to limit itself by mid-2022. Intel’s CEO said something similar, stating that the chip shortage would improve in 2022, hoping to create a stable supply chain by 2023.

This does not necessarily mean a price drop. Supply and demand are important, but the cost of components and tariffs can still make graphics cards more expensive than they should be. Looking ahead to next year, I expect it will be easier to find graphics cards in online stores, but prices will remain high.

I can already see the signs of this. While graphics cards are hard to find, major retailers now have cards in stock. These are mostly barrel bottom options – the Radeon RX 6900 XT, which is a great graphics card, is likely in stock for its price – but there are cards available. This situation should improve next year.

These cards may still fall – they are still well above prices from early 2017. However, the steady downward trend suggests that the crazy price increases of late 2017 and early 2018 have passed.

Nvidia and AMD GPU Prices Dropped

Nvidia, AMD GPU prices drop due to cryptocurrency crash | Is now the right time to buy?

(Photo: Christian Wiediger from Unsplash)
Nvidia and AMD GPU prices are falling amid a declining cryptocurrency market.

For those who have been looking for the right time to purchase a graphics card, this might be a suitable opportunity to get hold of one. In Europe, 3DCenter noted that the prices of these GPUs are currently falling.

According to a German source, the value of this component could be “directly proportional to what is happening now in the cryptocurrency market.” In short, we can expect the prices of these GeForce and Radeon cards to drop steadily as ETH hit an all-time low in the past six months.

For example, the Nvidia RTX 3080 was $ 400,773 a few months ago. The MSRP for this product may be out of control, especially for those on a tight budget.

Things worsened as its price rose sharply from November to December 2021. However, a January report found it dropped below 400,600 on average, an 11% drop.

In addition to the RTX 3080, other GPUs such as the AMD Radeon RX 6000 and RTX 3000 fell to 5 to 10%. However, things were different with the RX 6900 XT, which was a solitary graphics card that experienced a price spike.

Coming back to Tom’s Hardware, the tech service noted earlier that scalpers seized the opportunity to sell a graphics card on eBay and elsewhere due to the high volume of sales.

One possible reason why GPU prices are falling everywhere is consumer choice. Somehow, some of them prefer to avoid hitting the platform scalper prices.

If you are thinking of buying now, it is advisable that you do so. Take the opportunity to catch one as it becomes available in your area.

Crypto Crash Equals GPU Price Drop?

In another report by The Verge, the decline in GPU prices could be linked to a major cryptocurrency crash. As miners rely on GPUs, they could no longer hoard them and sell them twice the real price.

At the moment, there are no indications that supply has already kept pace with demand as finding GPUs continues to be a challenge for users. AMD and Nvidia predicted the delivery of cards in the second half of this year.

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Why Is There A GPU shortage? When Will The GPU Shortage End?

Cryptocurrency Miners

Not to mention the obvious, the shortage of graphics cards is due to the demand exceeding the supply, and one of the main reasons why demand is so high is cryptocurrency mining .

Hungry miners buy mid-to-high-end GPUs as soon as they become available, quickly emptying supplies and increasing prices by up to 2x MSRP. Mining can often be torture for the GPU, running at full capacity 24/7, which often causes those GPUs to burn out much faster than on a normal gaming PC. Mining for cryptocurrencies has been going on for several years, but in 2020, the demand from guardians reached critical levels, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as people saw alternative sources of income and were attracted by the rising price of Bitcoin.

Disruptions to Manufacturing

However, the demand from miners is not the only reason. The coronavirus disrupted the manufacturing process in general, and thus the supply of silicon chips, and events such as the winter storm that struck Texas in February 2021 causing factory closures as well as US sanctions against China did not help. This has affected the supply of many electronic products in addition to graphics cards, including cell phones and televisions, and has even affected car production. However, many of these supply problems, especially in China, were resolved by the end of 2020, so what’s the rest?

Demand During The Pandemic

A huge, often underrated, reason for the silicon and GPU shortage was the dramatic increase in the number of active computer users and gamers in 2020. The huge portion of the world’s population stuck at home during the COVID lockdown has led to an increase in demand for computer hardware from those looking to upgrade their existing platforms or build new machines for both work and play. The demand for silicon chips for all devices in general has increased, not only for PCs, due to the wide demand for more electronic devices to enable people to work from home and to overcome the various telecommunications challenges caused by the pandemic in general.

When Will The GPU Shortage End?

Overall, the GPU shortage in 2021 looks no better than in 2020 for most of the year. Nvidia has indicated that they believe the shortages could persist into at least the fourth quarter of 2021, if not 2022, and this is a similar story for AMD customers.

Solution 1: Buy Used, Last-Gen GPUs

One possible solution is to buy a used GPU of comparable power to what you are looking for, either from the previous generation of the same manufacturer or from a competitor. This works best in the mid-range, where higher-end GPUs will be thicker counterparts.

The alternative GPUs in the market you are using, listed below, should provide a rough equivalent (give or take ~ 10 percent more or less) to these GPUs on your system. Try to buy as late as possible to avoid GPU end-of-life and to get better support for the latest games.

It should be noted that even these cards will be more expensive than usual as people use inflated prices to earn more selling in the secondary market. Even so, it’s definitely worth a look at ebay or Craigslist to see if you can find some good deals. EBay will have higher prices but will have better buyer protection. There is also a Hardware Replacement Subreddit.

Here are some useful replacements for Nvidia and AMD GPUs:

  • Replacement for Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060: RTX 2070, RTX 2060 Super, GTX 1660 Ti / RX 5700
  • Replacement for Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti / AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT: RTX 2080, RTX 2080 Super, GTX 1080 Ti / RX 5700 XT
  • Replacement for Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 / AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT, RX 6800: RTX 2080 Ti
  • Replacement for Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 / AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT: Nvidia Titan RTX
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 / AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT replacement

In many ways, you really get what you pay for. Just another factor to consider when determining your options the next time you’re ready to upgrade.

reader comments

About a year ago, the prices of graphics cards started to go crazy. Then, in early 2018, things got even crazier. The price of the Radeon RX 570 – the mid-range graphics card popular for cryptocurrency mining – soared from less than $ 200 in April 2017 to over $ 450 in February 2018. Over the same period, the high-end RX 580 graphics card grew from around $ 230 in April 2017 to to $ 540 in February 2018.

But since then, the prices of graphics cards have been steadily falling, according to data compiled by PC Part Picker. The RX 570 dropped to around $ 350 in late April. And now you can buy it for just over $ 300. The RX 580 now costs around $ 330.

Further Reading

When I visited my local Best Buy in January, the store asked for $ 529.99 for a Radeon 580 with 8GB of memory – and the store didn’t even have them in stock at that price. In late April, the same card was available on Best Buy for $ 419.99. Now the same card costs $ 339.99.

These cards may still fall – they are still well above prices from early 2017. However, the steady downward trend suggests that the crazy price increases of late 2017 and early 2018 have passed.

A similar pattern can be seen with Nvidia’s GeForce line of graphics cards, according to data from PC Part Picker. Nvidia’s top-quality GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card hit a price of over $ 800 in February. It has since dropped to around $ 600 – about the same amount it sold in early 2017. Likewise, the GeForce GTX 1070 has dropped from about $ 700 to about $ 500 in the last five months – just over $ 450 or more when these cards were drawn before the cryptocurrency boom began in mid-2017.

Not surprisingly, this happened at the same time as ether, the currency of the Ethereum network, has a steady downward trajectory.

Ether is only the second most valuable cryptocurrency, worth much less than bitcoin. However, bitcoin mining is not economical for graphics cards as the bitcoin mining market has long been taken over by energy efficient ASICs. So for the past year, the value of graphics cards has been largely due to the value of Ether.

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