In short: Graphics card prices are falling again, mainly due to improved retail stocks and reduced demand from cryptocurrency miners. The situation is still far from ideal, but the signs are enough for gamers to be cautiously optimistic.
Last month, an increase in the difficulty of mining Ethereum, combined with a drop in the value of the cryptocurrency, led to a decrease in GPU prices for the first time in several months. The decline has continued over the past few weeks, but it’s too early to celebrate a return to reasonable prices for consumer graphics cards.
According to the latest report from the German edition of 3DCenter, we are clearly in a better position than we were in January. At least in Central Europe, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 series costs an average of 57% above the suggested retail price, a significant improvement from the 77% markup seen last month. The AMD Radeon RX 6000 series retail price is now an average of 45% above the recommended retail price, which is even better.
Mid-range and high-end graphics cards are still ridiculously expensive, with the 10GB RTX 3080 and RX 6800 being the worst offenders, with price tags 72% and 73% above the suggested retail price, respectively. Lower models like the RX 6600 XT and RX 6500 XT are more reasonably priced, with the latest model priced at 17 percent more than MSRP.
The RTX 3080 Ti now looks very attractive with a markup of “only” 32 percent over Nvidia’s suggested retail price of €1,199. The same can be said for the AMD RX 6900 XT, which can be found for about 1400 euros, which is 33% more than the ideal price.
It is important to note that affordability has steadily improved over the past few months, especially in budget segments. Retailers currently have hundreds of graphics cards in stock, which is a stark contrast to the shipping conditions we’ve seen throughout 2021.
Nvidia may try to do cheaper than RTX 3050 based on a smaller die and less video memory, which could further improve things. AIB partners such as Gigabyte, Asus, MSI, and ASRock are expecting increased GPU shipments in the coming months, and industry watchers believe the supply chain is gradually recovering from material and component shortages. The main hurdles at the moment are GPU mining and scalping, which are notoriously difficult to solve.