What to expect from the GPU market in 2022. When will video cards be in stock

All of this indicates that NVIDIA is likely to remain the growth leader, even if GPU prices drop as players continue to play their RTX 30 series cards and increase volumes as supply improves.

CPU and GPU Availability and Pricing Update: April 2021

As the CPU and GPU shortages continue, it’s time to update the market to see what the current situation looks like and if there will be any relief for buyers in the coming weeks. The previous article on the subject was well received when we published it about a month ago. We’ve gained a lot of insight and information since then, so let’s start.

The most troubled part of the PC market, it’s been a month since our last update, and the situation remains that you can’t buy a graphics card at MSRP, which probably won’t surprise anyone. There really is no clear end to this problem, and many big companies, including TSMC and Nvidia, warn that demand will outstrip supply for much of 2021.

However, while companies are quick to notice this, I think it should be noted that these statements do not mean that the current situation of low availability and ridiculous pricing will continue throughout the year. Nvidia and AMD expect improvements in the second half of the year, which will likely mean a return to normal prices and good availability of some products. Rather, these comments relate to the product line as a whole, and it will almost certainly happen by the end of 2021 that some products will be available and others not, as demand and production constraints vary from product to product.

In most regions, little has changed in terms of actual GPU availability. At Newegg, the cheapest GPU available at around $ 120 MSRP is Nvidia’s GeForce GT 1030, which can be purchased for around $ 120. Current-generation cards are unavailable, and previous-generation cards such as the RTX 2060 are significantly overpriced. There are no real changes there.

In other parts of the world, we are seeing what we talked about recently: some GPUs are in stock and can be purchased at significantly inflated prices. It depends on the region and store. For example, in Australia’s PC Case Gear, it’s harder to find an Nvidia GPU than it was a month ago, while AMD RX 6900 XT and RX 6700 XT graphics cards are available. Many retailers prefer to distribute these products through lotteries or “Early Access” rather than just listing them. This will depend on your local store, but again, high prices and low availability remain a reality.

What’s Going On?

Many people in the industry have contacted over the past few weeks to provide more information on why exactly the situation is as it is, and it can be broken down into three main areas:

#1: AIBs Keep Raising Prices

The card manufacturers (AIB) themselves continue to raise the prices of their products or maintain high prices. Basically, while Nvidia and AMD can set a reference price (MSRP) for a specific line of GPUs – say an RTX 3070 with an MSRP of $ 500 – actual motherboard makers have their own list prices for their custom partner board versions. As demand remains very high, AIBs are not interested in the gains hitting the scalper market, so they gradually increase their suggested retail prices over time.

We won’t be listing any specific AIBs, but we’ve heard from a few sellers that some brands are more aggressive in raising MSRs than others, and often the prices you see on retailer websites aren’t crazy overpriced by sellers, but the actual official prices of these cards in this region as determined by AIB. You can check back a week later and see that prices have gone up. Well, it’s almost certainly because AIB has raised the MSRP again for the latest batch of stocks.

Often, these price increases only affect the high-end models in the family. So let’s say Asus Strix OC versus Asus Dual which gives the impression that some cards are more affordable as the lower tier cards are not subject to the same increases. For example, if you check PCCG, the Dual is up for sale at $ 1,239, while the Strix OC is at $ 1,659 – a huge price difference. But when it comes to actually delivering GPUs, AIB would only produce high-end cards, with higher margins at new, inflated prices, and wouldn’t supply any low-end models.

Of course, from the point of view of AIB, it makes sense. They want to maximize profits and want to produce only the more expensive variants that they can sell for the highest price. This is likely to persist, while demand will greatly exceed supply. In fact, some models of “vanilla” cards have basically been completely phased out as AIB signaled they would simply not produce them, causing havoc with pre-order vendors. If a lot of people have pre-ordered a card which will then be withdrawn, the seller is in conflict and therefore pre-orders for these products are not available from the vast majority of sellers – the risk is simply too high that the card may not exist or may be more expensive in when it is actually time to buy the goods.

#2: Distributors are Screwing Retailers (and You)

The second point concerns the distributor level. While distributors do not necessarily raise prices of AIB cards every time, they cause problems for retailers through a system called tying. In this case, if a retailer wishes to purchase a graphics processor from a distributor, the distributor will only make that graphics processor available when purchasing more difficult-to-carry components in other segments.

One thing we often hear about from a few retailers is that if they want to purchase one new graphics card, they may be required to purchase around 50 budget AMD A520 motherboards as a bundle. If they are unable to sell these motherboards, it is a burden on sellers and may cause them to increase the price of the GPU to compensate for the potential losses they are forced to incur by accepting other components under a bundling agreement.

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.

Intel Arc Alchemist GPUs

Perhaps the most exciting news about the GPU in 2022 is Intel’s Arc Alchemist graphics cards. Intel makes a lot of GPUs, but Arc Alchemist is designing a slot-in desktop GPU that focuses on games for the first time.

Rumors have suggested that Intel will introduce cards at CES, which is, in a way, true. Intel announced that Arc Alchemist will be appearing in more than 50 desktops and laptops “soon” at CES, but the company has not provided details of what cards are on offer, when they will come, or how much they will cost. So far, we know of a few laptops – like the Alienware X17 – with the Arc GPU, but no other details otherwise.

Rumor has it that the flagship card in the range will work close to the RTX 3070, but I’m waiting for Intel to release more. Intel has already shared some information about the XeSS scaling feature that will be included with these graphics cards. It works similar to Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), with Intel announced that Hitman 3, The Riftbreaker, and Death Stranding: Director’s Cut will support this feature at launch.

For too long, the GPU market has been mired in competition between AMD and Nvidia, so I can’t wait to see what Intel can do with Arc Alchemist. XeSS looks destructive enough, and as long as the cards perform as rumors suggest, we’ll have a third competitor in the ring. That said, we’re already in the boot window Intel announced for Arc Alchemist, and we still don’t know much about cards.

New mobile GPUs from AMD and Nvidia

Dan Baker / digital trends

Nvidia recently launched the 12GB variant of the RTX 2060 Super, and Nvidia and AMD made new desktop announcements at CES. AMD brought the RX 6500 XT for $ 199, and Nvidia showed the RTX 3050 for $ 249 and the RTX 3090 Ti. Nvidia also quietly released the 12GB variant of the RTX 3080, which was not featured at CES.

That’s it for desktop classifieds now. For the first half of the year, Nvidia and AMD focus on mobile graphics. AMD has unveiled eight new mobile GPU designs at CES, including new RX 6000S cards. These cards are the opposite of the Nvidia Max-Q offering, focusing on performance per watt rather than raw performance.

Nvidia only unveiled two new mobile GPUs, but they are good. The mobile RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti models will eventually replace non-Ti laptops and should offer significant performance gains. Nvidia says the mobile RTX 3080 Ti is more powerful than the Titan RTX desktop, which is really impressive.

I do not suspect that we will see more mobile GPUs from Nvidia or AMD, at least not from the current generation. We can see some special editions, but AMD and Nvidia after CES put together the cell phone lines.

Best Buy stages w. As the bot situation gets out of hand and cards hit eBay at very inflated prices, Nvidia stops selling RTX 3080 and 3090 Founders Edition graphics cards through its online store and is shifting sales to Best Buy in the US.

March 2020

The pandemic goes global. Shortly after the World Health Organization officially declared the COVID-19 pandemic, cities are closing, borders are closing, and millions are being released. Major retailers are swapping indoor purchases for curb pickup, and those with the money to spend choose to shop online, overloading sites like Amazon, where PC parts delivery times are rapidly slipping towards the end of April.

Everyone needs a computer. The life of Zoom begins, and for many people, sharing one family computer no longer works. Sales of Chromebooks and tablets are skyrocketing, and we are entering the year that will be the highest demand for PCs in a decade, putting additional pressure on chipmakers.

August 2020

Xe HPG, anyone? Intel announces it will compete with AMD and Nvidia by releasing its first discrete PC gaming graphics cards in 2021.

The GPU apocalypse begins. Nvidia launches the first of its next-generation graphics cards, the GeForce RTX 3000 series. The RTX 3080 Founders ‘Edition wins Editors’ Choice as the new king of 4K gaming and the next big step in GPU evolution. But even if you have $ 699 to spare, this GPU is hard to come by.

RTX 3090? Also impossible to buy. One week after the 3080 release, the RTX 3090 graphics card is struggling with similar delivery issues. Scheduled to enter the Nvidia website at 6am PST, 3090 is listed as unavailable almost immediately.

I do not suspect that we will see more mobile GPUs from Nvidia or AMD, at least not from the current generation. We can see some special editions, but AMD and Nvidia after CES put together the cell phone lines.

Solution 2: Buy A Prebuilt PC

It may physically hurt for PC building enthusiasts (like us), but precompilation can be one of the best options these days. Companies like iBuyPower or CyberpowerPC buy their GPUs in bulk from vendors, so they are less affected by the GPU shortage and associated price increases, although it is still to be expected that some will emerge. This is a reversal of the norm – were it not for the lack of a GPU, buying a finished computer would be a little more expensive than building it yourself from the same / equivalent components.

If you are going to buy a prefabricated online gaming PC, we advise you to stick to specialized retailers such as iBuyPower or CyberpowerPC or possibly Origin. They offer the best performance for your money. Alienware and the like may look great, but tend to be overpriced for the components they ship with iBuyPower and Cyberpower should offer the best PC precompilations you can get on the market, both in terms of build quality and price.

Micro Center is almost the last major retailer of desktop hardware in the United States and remains relevant in helping deal with the GPU shortage. The way they do this is to lower GPU prices for those who buy a full PC from the Microcenter store. If you are buying a brand new computer and not just upgrading your existing computer, this is probably the safest way to save the biggest money. MicroCenter’s rebates in these situations tend to be about as close to the suggested retail price as possible. Just remember to call in advance and make sure that the microcenter you choose actually has the equipment you need in stock and is ready to discount it.For UK buyers, SCAN is a good counterpart to the full PC versions.

In addition to these PC gaming specialists, you can of course also buy ready-made gaming PCs straight from Amazon and Best Buy.

Occasionally, scalpers can get supplies in questionable ways. However, in many parts of the world, scalping in any form is still a legal practice. There are no federal scalping laws in the US, although several states have enacted laws that discourage scalping.

Graphics card prices show signs of pulling back

Tom’s Hardware’s GPU Price Index, which tracks graphics card prices based on eBay data, indicates that the price increase may have ended. For example, the price of the flagship NVIDIA RTX 3090 card fell 4.4% in the first half of June compared to the same period in May.

It is worth noting that the price of the RTX 3090 has dropped even though nVIDIA has not limited the hash speed of the card, which makes it more desirable for miners as it is able to mine cryptocurrency at a higher speed. In fact, the RTX 3090 delivers more than double the mining profit compared to the previous generation RTX 2080 Ti.

Meanwhile, the RTX 3080, 3070, 3060 Ti, and 3060 all have limited hashing rates (and are less attractive to mining) and have seen much larger price drops. The price of the RTX 3080 fell by 11.5%, the RTX 3070 by 8.5% and the 3060 Ti by 12.6% in the first half of June from the previous month.

AMD’s deals also saw price drops, even though the chipmaker has not restricted the ability to mine its cards. The prices of the Radeon RX 6800 XT, RX 6800 and RX 6700 XT fell by 6%, 8.1% and 5.6% month-on-month, respectively.

The downside is that the prices are still quite high compared to the levels suggested by the manufacturer. The RTX 3080 has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $ 699, but its market price was nearly 350,000, according to Tom’s Hardware data. The cheaper RTX 3060 Ti retails for nearly $ 400,240 while its suggested retail price is $ 399.

So there’s still a long way to go before graphics cards become affordable – but the recent price correction could gather pace.

More price correction could be in the cards

Graphics card prices have dropped for two reasons. First, market leader NVIDIA is trying to provide more supply of graphics cards to miners so they don’t kick players out of the market. The graphics card specialist developed specialized cryptocurrency mining processors (CMPs) to meet miners’ demand, and these chips turned out to be a hit.

NVIDIA sold $ 155 million worth of CMP processors in the first quarter. It expects to sell these tokens worth $ 400 million this quarter. Moreover, rumors suggest that the chip manufacturer is reportedly working on a more powerful CMP processor, capable of outperforming the RTX 3090, with a hash rate that could be up to a third higher than the flagship GPU. According to TechNavio, such an offer could boost NVIDIA’s top growth as the cryptocurrency mining hardware market is expected to increase revenues by 3,500.80 billion over the next four years.

The second reason graphics card prices may drop is because mining demand is slowing, freeing up more supply for players. Demand for cryptocurrency mining graphics cards in China – the world’s largest mining country – may decline due to government repression, according to external reports.

Jon Peddie Research reports that cryptocurrency miners bought 700,000 graphics cards in the first quarter, accounting for a quarter of all GPUs sold. So weak mining demand should ideally improve supply and help lower GPU prices. This is what is said to be happening in China – according to Tom’s Hardware, the cut in mining has reportedly led to a reduction in graphics card prices by up to 45%. China’s reign in the global mining market could lead to a further correction in GPU prices, especially considering that lower mining returns could force many miners to offload their cards in the used card market.

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.

Scalpers Selling Hardware for Profit

Cryptocurrency miners aren’t the only ones replacing the graphics card market; scalpers entered the scene in hopes of monetary gain, although they use different tactics to achieve their goals.

Scalpers resell goods at a fast (and usually large) profit. Graphics cards are a popular commodity these days, ideal for resale at high prices to desperate consumers.

Occasionally, scalpers can get supplies in questionable ways. However, in many parts of the world, scalping in any form is still a legal practice. There are no federal scalping laws in the US, although several states have enacted laws that discourage scalping.

During the holiday season of 2021, U.S politicians announced a new bill – the Stopping Grinch Bots Act – aimed at preventing scalpers from using bots to secure goods online. At the time of writing, this law was only a proposal and has yet to be implemented.

Better Specs and Performance

Next-generation cards use advanced materials and top-class designs. Overall, they are of a higher quality and more difficult to manufacture than those of the previous generation. Why are GPUs so expensive these days? Higher production costs, plain and simple.

Producers can only produce what they can, so faced with increased production costs, producers need to creatively maximize production without compromising the quality or quantity of their product.

Next-gen cards from NVIDIA and AMD are pushing the boundaries of computer graphics to a large extent. These cards are making a huge leap in GPU history as they are designed for high-quality graphics at historically high resolutions such as 4K.

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.

Nvidia’s Huge Performance Boost. On Virtual Computex, Nvidia announces that the RTX 3080 Ti will arrive on June 3 for $ 150 119, and the RTX 3070 Ti will debut on June 10 for $ 599.

When will things get better?

The most important question to answer first is that accessibility won’t improve this year. CLX was sure of this, saying “The holiday season will be another difficult time for availability, especially as we see demand rising. People tend to make larger purchases while on vacation, such as gaming PCs and consoles. As a result, the GPU market is likely to experience more shortages that will continue to affect the industry until 2022. ” The cold weather will also force more people to go home to do things like gaming, and many of them will be inclined to buy new graphics cards to improve their experience.

As long as consumer demand remains high, we can also expect an increasing number of component shortages until companies can significantly improve their supply chains. According to Nvidia, Intel, AMD and TSMC, this is not expected until the end of 2022 or possibly even 2023. For an additional look at the situation, we asked CLX about the shortcomings.

“For sure, the situation will remain tense and I do not expect supply to return to pre-COVID levels in the near future. We expect the situation to improve, but demand remains very high and companies are catching up. It’s important to understand that everyone who manufactures components is also focused on building up reserves for the future. For the past year and a half, everyone has gone through huge reserves and has not been able to return to a comfortable place. It will take some time, ”said CLX.

According to TSMC, some companies are artificially making things worse by overstocking on chips and other components, leaving limited inventory to other manufacturers. Industry analyst Daniel Nenni believes that this will eventually force companies to discharge excess supplies, and if the overall market capacity increases too quickly before companies are able to take advantage of the excess supply, stockpiling practices can cause oversupply situations and a market collapse.

While we cannot say with certainty what is happening to the entire market, there seems to be imbalances in the supply chains creating confusion over what needs to be prioritized to fix global chip shortages. Nenni believes that the current pressure to build more semiconductor factories in the United States and Europe is excessive. Manufacturers like TSMC are producing chips in record numbers according to earnings reports, and Nenni further says the graphics card shortages are more closely linked to supply chain weaknesses that Covid exposed.

EVGA RTX 3080 ftw3 geforce nvidia

Indeed, until the complications caused by Covid are alleviated, we can expect more of the same problems in supply chains until suppliers are able to implement long-term solutions. And if they are over-deployed, there will be a greater risk of inevitable failure. While oversupply and low prices would be great for consumers, companies certainly try to avoid it by not leaving all current demand unanswered. This is a difficult situation to resolve, but it is clear that global demand for computer hardware will remain high for the foreseeable future. Companies like Antonline and CLX continue to record incredibly high computer sales, and rising cryptocurrency prices are also fueling the shortage of graphics cards.

The rundown and the recommendation

For all the reasons mentioned above, and more that we haven’t even mentioned, we figured it would just take the market some time to adjust to the current shortage of graphics cards. Supply simply won’t be able to keep up with demand unless something drastic happens, such as a cryptocurrency crash, a significant drop in Covid cases, or a crash caused by oversupply. Unfortunately, neither of these things seem inevitable at the time of this writing, and if there is an oversupply crash poised, it is still possible, perhaps in late 2022 or 2023.

So what should you do if you want a new graphics card now? Well, the answer is quite obvious. If money is the main limitation and you can only afford the suggested retail prices, you may just have to wait this generation out unless you want to spend the time tracking down your graphics card.

From what we understand, a visit to a brick-and-mortar store like Micro Center that receives regular shipments is probably your best bet if you are tied to cash. However, even then, you may not find the card you want, and you will likely have to pay a small premium for labeled AIB models such as ASUS, MSI, etc.

The premiere of the AMD RX 6700 Xt

The AIB models for the 6700 XT are among the worst offenders when it comes to margins.

If you are more flexible on your budget, you can try the same and just raise extra cash for a high-end model or buy a package online. There is also the option to purchase a ready-made or custom PC / laptop where you can find better availability and get the graphics card you want.

Finally, you can just pay the scalper prices and get exactly what you want. But you should only do this if you don’t mind being able to return prices and availability back to normal in a year’s time. In addition, a new generation of more powerful graphics cards from AMD, Nvidia and Intel will probably appear by then. One year, however, is a long wait and there is no guarantee as to that time due to the lack of a graphics card. At least at this stage, you can make an informed decision.

We would like to thank Cat Camerford of Antonline and Jorge Percival of CLX for taking the time to answer the topic of GPU availability.

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