How to buy a graphics card in 2021. How to buy a graphics card

Integrated graphics cards are graphics processors built into the processor. The GPU uses memory that is shared with the processor. Since integrated graphics are CPU dependent, they tend to use less power and generate less heat, resulting in longer battery life.

5 Things You Have to Know Before Buying a Graphics Card

Here are five key points to keep in mind before purchasing your next graphics card, otherwise you may regret your purchase.

When it comes to upgrading your PC, there are a few investments you can make that are better than a dedicated graphics card – especially when you’re playing demanding games or editing videos. Unfortunately, realistic 3D graphics and advanced video rendering do not come cheap.

But purchasing a new graphics card is not a simple process. However, if you know these five things before you start shopping, you have a much better chance of purchasing a graphics card that suits you.

Performance Is Expensive

The hard truth about graphics cards is that if you want the best performance, you’ll have to pay the highest price. And the highest performance cards are very expensive. You can easily pay up to $ 600, $ 800, or even $ 400,000 to get a world-class graphics setup.

Take the RTX 3070 for example. The Nvidia RTX 3070 has an MSRP of $ 500, but trades hands more than double. The same is happening with other Nvidia 3000 series GPUs, and things are not much better with AMD 6000 series GPUs.

Before the last generation of Nvidia and AMD GPUs (RTX 2000 and AMD 5000 series), development was not noticeable for some time, which led to marginal increases. Then, with the advent of ray tracing and other advanced GPU features, it was suddenly worth reaching for a new GPU. Their latest GPUs, the RTX 3000 and AMD 6000 series, are the cream of the cut for GPUs and games right now – if you can get them at a reasonable price.

So the original statement remains true: top-notch gaming performance is expensive, global supply shortages or not.

Buying used goods on eBay can be a safe and simple process if you do your homework. Byte Size Tech has put together a video to help you buy a high-quality graphics card on eBay:

Method 1: Newegg, EVGA, and Micro Center

Newegg Shuffle lottery website.

If you want to get your new graphics card as close to the list price as possible, there are three options: Newegg Shuffle, EVGA Queuing System, and Micro Center Store. It is possible to get a graphics card by all three methods, but your mileage will vary depending on where you are located, how much money you are willing to spend, and how urgent you are in your search for a new card.

Newegg Shuffle is probably the most popular way to get a new graphics card. Shuffle is a lottery that takes place daily on the Newegg website. Every day, Newegg selects a list of high-demand products – mostly graphics cards, but sometimes also processors and consoles – that users can choose for a chance to buy. After the lottery closes, Newegg draws the winners and gives them a short time to log in and check.

However, it is not a perfect system. On average, around 100,000 people enter each draw, so you can enter every day for months and still not be selected. After all, it’s a lottery, so there’s an element of luck. In addition, Newegg often combines cards with other components that you may not need, such as a power supply or motherboard. You cannot return a bundled item separately, so you have to sell it yourself or incur additional costs.

The EVGA queue system is more forgiving. Instead of a lottery, EVGA allows users to buy cards on a first come, first served basis as stocks become available. Unlike Newegg Shuffle and many other methods of purchasing a graphics card, EVGA sells its cards at a list price. Yes, you can buy the RTX 3080 for $ 699.

However, this is entirely dependent on when EVGA has new stocks available. Instead of a general lottery, you have to choose each individual model you want to buy and be ready to buy when your name comes up.

Finally, you can buy the card in person if you have a Micro Center close to you. Many locations have graphics cards available for days, and if they aren’t at your local store, you may arrive in the morning when they have more stock to get a card. This is probably the best way to get a new graphics card for a reasonable price, but it assumes you have the Micro Center close to you.

Method 2: Use a stock tracker

live tracking of your graphics card inventory.

If you want to get a new graphics card, you can use the inventory tracking tool. There are several inventory tracking tools available via YouTube Live Stream, Discord Servers, and Browser Extensions, but they all do the same thing: constantly check your graphics cards are available from retailers.

The fixitfixitfixit user has been broadcasting live on YouTube and Twitch for several months, and a Discord server is also connected to the broadcast. It tracks AMD and Nvidia graphics card inventory at Amazon, Newegg, Best Buy, and Antonline, as well as at several other retailers (including Office Depot and B&H Photo).

In addition, there are inventory tracking extensions such as Distill and HotStock that can check for you. Both have free and paid tiers depending on how often you want to check your sites and how many products you want to monitor. However, it is possible that sellers prohibit you from using these tools. Users are reporting closure of accounts at Newegg and Best Buy thanks to anti-bot measures at these retailers.

If you want to use this method, we recommend following your Twitter share tracking account. This way, you don’t have to constantly monitor the live stream or risk your account being blocked. Accounts like @stock_drops and @LeBlarstOfTimes send tweets when new cards are released. Keep an eye on these and similar accounts, and be sure to turn on tweet notifications. If you do, all you have to do is check when you get the notification.

A seller who receives at least ten positive reviews from eBay receives a yellow star next to his profile in the product list. When the seller receives more favorable reviews, the stars change color. The following colors are available:

The Types Of Games That You Play

battlefield 5

The types of games you want to play are a key factor in deciding what you need to look for in order to buy the right graphics card. If you are playing games that require a lot of GPU power, you will need to invest in a solid graphics card.

PUBG, Far Cry 5, Project Cars 2, Metro Exodus, Battlefield 5, and Grand Theft Auto V are some of the most popular GPU-intensive games. If you’re not interested in playing high-GPU computer games, you’ll be able to save a lot of money by opting for an affordable entry-level graphics card instead.

Your Display’s Resolution

monitor resolution

It’s also important to know what resolution you’ll be playing your games at. The higher the resolution of the monitor, the more powerful the GPU will be to take full advantage of it.

PC games become more demanding at higher resolutions. If you have a 4K monitor, for example, you’ll need a high-end graphics card to enjoy 4K images.

In addition to resolution, you should also consider the refresh rate of your monitor when choosing a graphics card. The refresh rate refers to the number of times the monitor can update new images per second. For example, a refresh rate of 60 Hz means the monitor updates the image 60 times per second.

Play the Lottery: Hope to Get Lucky With the Newegg Shuffle

Newegg set out to fix his graphics card problem by taking a page from the sneaker industry guide: Lotteries. You may think this means you can take part in the win of your new graphics card, but it’s not that simple. Instead, you have the chance to buy a new GPU, similar to the way sneakerheads were hoping to get the latest retail drops, rather than having to pay resale prices.

This method is determined by luck, but to some extent there are others on this list as well. Newegg is just clearer. Unfortunately, in recent Newegg Shuffles there was a shortage of graphics cards. Now it’s just lucky: you have to hope you’re lucky to participate in the Newegg Shuffle offering graphics cards, and then you have to hope you’re lucky to win. May the chances always be on your side.

Buy a Pre-Built PC, and Sell the Other Parts

Even system builders are struggling to stock up on new graphics processors for their computers, but most have a more reliable search line for some than the average consumer. Much of this hardware will be put in a pre-built system from which you can (at least theoretically) pull out the graphics card before selling other parts to recoup the costs.

The problem is that finding buyers for components taken from a ready-made system is not as easy as it seems, even in the global shortage of chips, especially when one of these components is not the most desirable. Many off-the-shelf systems contain outdated hardware or at least mid-tier components that don’t compete with the latest and greatest offerings, so potential buyers may prefer to wait for new hardware to arrive in stock rather than settle for parts you don’t even want.

Also note that depending on your system and installed processor, your computer may not function without a graphics card installed. Some desktop processors have an integrated graphics processor (IGP) that can be used to run the display and operate the system, even if the graphics card has been removed. But other systems (especially those based on most AMD Ryzen processors) can rely on the graphics card for even the most basic graphics output. Some Intel CPUs also have IGP turned off; in most cases these chips’ model names end with an “F” (eg “Core i7-11700KF”) and they require a graphics card to be installed in the computer to send the signal to the monitor.This is especially common with off-the-shelf desktops from major manufacturers where the use of an “F” chip saves the system builder a few dollars.

Off-the-shelf systems are also often expensive, especially when equipped with modern graphics cards. Even if you find buyers for some of the hardware you have successfully rejected from the graphics card you actually wanted to buy, you are likely to spend significantly more than you would if you waited for that card to be in stock and bought at or near the suggested retail price. Don’t buy a pre-made system for this purpose unless you want to make that transaction or need enough other bits.

Some retail stores have tried to limit scalping behavior by enforcing inventory limits of one item per person. If you can, you may even want to check out a physical retail store instead, as they are less likely to have stocks and be affected by scalping.

The benefits of buying a graphics card on eBay

The main advantage of buying a graphics card on eBay is the money back guarantee. EBay promises total compensation for all transactions, which means it can refund your money if the transaction fails for reasons beyond your control.

However, buying a graphics card from a well-known dealer has additional advantages.

You can ask the seller as many questions as needed

randomly selected questions on board

eBay allows buyers to easily interact with sellers. This way, when looking for a graphics card, you can ask as many questions as needed to ensure that you are satisfied with your order.

You should be aware that not all sellers answer questions prior to purchasing an item, making you think twice before buying from them.

a Contact Seller link will appear under Seller Information in the Auction if the seller accepts the questions. To contact the seller on eBay, you can do the following:

  1. Select Contact Seller.
  2. In the Find answers tab, select the topic that best suits your query. If no categories match, select Other.
  3. Enter your question to the seller in the appropriate place.
  4. Check the box that says to send a copy to my email address.
  5. Select Send Message.

There are additional savings on auctioned items

auction equipment and piggy bank

You will save time and resources by looking at eBay auctions that are about to expire with a small number of bids that will almost certainly provide you with the cheapest graphics cards available.

The main disadvantage is that you are competing with other users for a single graphics card. The following strategies can help you win the auction:

  • Bid closer to the end of the auction.
  • Create reminders for the graphics card you’re considering buying.
  • Please contact the seller. From time to time, the seller will give you an offer where you can automatically buy an item.
  • Consider bidding for an unequal amount. Since most people bid equally, raising your bid a few cents can make a huge difference.
  • Use the software to find the least noticed graphics cards. Lastminute Auction finds eBay auctions scheduled to close within the next hour that you can use to your advantage. Likewise, Baycrazy’s Zero Bids tool identifies auctions that are about to expire without any bidders.

Their options are larger than most department stores

eBay has approximately 1.3 billion auctions, and 16.4% of such auctions fall under the Graphics Card Electronics category, indicating that the selection is huge and arguably better than those available at your local electronics store.

Besides, eBay shopping is especially beneficial for those who cannot locally locate the GPU specs they need.

Graphics card buyer’s guide

There are two major manufacturers to consider when buying graphics cards: AMD and NVIDIA. Both companies produce high-performance graphics cards at different cost levels.

However, Intel is also working on a dedicated graphics card. So, if you are a fan of the company, you can wait for their premiere.

Regardless of the brand, there are several factors to consider when making a purchase, including:

  • Your processor’s capabilities.
  • The amount of memory your card needs.
  • Regardless of whether the graphics card is designed for a laptop or a desktop computer.

All these factors affect whether the graphics card fits directly into the computer and receives enough power. Below is a quick guide to help you make your choice.

Purchase a discrete graphics card instead of an integrated card

Integrated graphics cards are graphics processors built into the processor. The GPU uses memory that is shared with the processor. Since integrated graphics are CPU dependent, they tend to use less power and generate less heat, resulting in longer battery life.

These tabs are suitable for simple tasks such as streaming. However, integrated graphics are not suitable for graphics-intensive activities.

Consider purchasing a discrete graphics card if you want to use your computer for the following purposes:

  • Photography.
  • Editing movies.
  • High definition games.
  • 3D modeling.

It’s worth noting that a standalone graphics card requires a sufficiently powerful processor and cooling device. Additionally, these cards require extra electricity which means you may need to upgrade your power supply.

I will cover this topic in more depth as to whether or not a graphics card is required for your specific situation and needs if you want to learn more.

Consider the resolution that will be needed

Graphics card resolution refers to the number of pixels at which it will control the display. The three most commonly used resolutions today are:

  • 1080p. This image has a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels.
  • 1440 pence. This image has a resolution of 2560 by 1440 pixels.
  • 4K. This image has a resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels.

Overall, you’ll want to pick a card that matches your computer’s native resolution.

You should strive for the most appropriate memory capacity

While the card is rendering the graphics, it performs a tremendous amount of computation every second. Since the GPU is responsible for creating these outputs, it needs video RAM.

Generally speaking, the more memory a GPU has, the more details it handles. So a graphics processor with 2 GB of RAM is more than adequate for everyday use, while gamers should aim for at least 4 GB.

Ultimately, the amount of memory required for a graphics card depends primarily on the resolution you choose.

But purchasing a new graphics card is not a simple process. However, if you know these five things before you start shopping, you have a much better chance of purchasing a graphics card that suits you.

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 has generally increased, not least for personal computers, due to the widespread 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 purchase 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

When you leave eBay, you lose your right to a refund. In addition, scammers try to drive eBay traffic by preventing customers from taking advantage of the money-back guarantee.

The Scalper Problem

Market scalpers are another important factor contributing to this problem. Scalpers buy items close to the retail price and then resell them at huge margins on websites like eBay. Every time manufacturers replenish new cards in the retail market, many are immediately redeemed by scalpers and resold at multiple of their original price. Many modern scalpers have bots that track new GPU inventories and can make a purchase before a human opens the product page.

Some retail stores have tried to limit scalping behavior by enforcing inventory limits of one item per person. If you can, you may even want to check out a physical retail store instead, as they are less likely to have stocks and be affected by scalping.

What’s Next for GPUs?

According to The Verge, Nvidia has stated that GPU shortages are likely to continue throughout 2021. As of May 2021, Nvidia and AMD have only recently returned to pre-pandemic levels, and even then, demand is at its highest level.

If you want to build a PC soon, it makes sense to do a used market research rather than buying a new one. You can also use the slower, integrated GPU that comes with the chipset, such as the Intel UHD or AMD Radeon Vega, until you can purchase a dedicated GPU at the normal price. Lastly, if you have an older model, you can hold back on getting a high-end upgrade until prices normalize.

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Vanna Vincente
Vann Vicente has been a technology writer for four years, focusing on translators targeting the average consumer. He also works as a digital marketer for a regional e-commerce site. He has invested in internet culture, social media and the way people interact with the web.
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