As the consumer electronics industry continues to be shaken by the chip shortage, a new graphics card remains a faraway dream for most gamers and do-it-yourself PC builders.
This leaves one big question, when will GPU prices drop in 2022?
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The last year has been challenging for PC enthusiasts, with graphics cards nearly impossible to obtain. Additionally, the supply shortage has skyrocketed pricing, making it even more difficult for end-users to purchase GPUs for their systems.
Scalpers And Crypto-Miners
The shortage of GPUs is directly related to the ongoing chip shortage and the cryptocurrency surge, which have created an ideal storm for sellers. Not only is rampant scalping and price gouging, prohibiting end customers from purchasing their preferred graphics cards, but the situation has gotten so severe that even scalpers are having difficulty obtaining GPUs.
Due to the chip shortage, high-end cards such as the RX 6900 XT and the RTX 3090 have skyrocketed in price. Although the latter has a stunning MSRP of $1,499, it is impossible to even buy one at that price. Especially as scalpers are charging well over $2,000 per unit. It makes more sense to purchase pre-built rigs at these inflated rates than individual components.
When Will Graphics Card Prices Drop?
While graphics cards remain a scarce item, NVIDIA gave some hope for the future. In January, Colette Kress, Nvidia’s Chief Financial Officer, stated at the 24th Annual Needham Growth Conference that the firm anticipates its graphics card supply to recover by the second half of 2022.
This, however, means at least several more months of status quo pricing and availability. Regarding pricing, both Nvidia and AMD have stated their desire for lower prices, but neither has taken any action. AMD has lately come under fire for pricing the RX 6500 XT GPU at $200, although it fails to compete with GPUs such as the RX 570, released in 2017 for $169.
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Supply And Demand
One factor that has exacerbated the problem is the Bitcoin explosion, which has caused miners to consume practically all available GPU stock:
Nvidia did deploy an Ethereum hash limitation in an attempt to curb the crypto gold rush, reducing the mining performance of its 3000-series graphics cards by up to 50%. Additionally, the company produced many CMP-series cards intended for cryptocurrency miners, including the flagship CMP 170HX.
Despite this, graphics card costs are unlikely to fall until supplies increase, which might happen during the second half of 2022 according to NVIDIA.
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Sales of Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series cards, such as the RTX 3090, began the month at 185 percent of their retail price and have since fallen to 177 percent. AMD GPUs followed a similar pattern, with prices falling to 178 percent and 167 percent of the MSRP, respectively:
This means that GPUs such as the AMD Radeon RX 6800XT can be purchased between $1462 and $1782, which is still a significant increase from the MSRP, but it is getting closer. Hopefully, this tendency will continue and expand around the globe.
Regardless of what NVIDIA says or what we see happening to the scalpers market, because crypto-mining causes a lot of strain on GPUs, the likely scenario is that demand will remain high:
Therefore, the scalping price might go down as supply goes up, yet, because the crypto-mining demand will be cyclical, scalpers will remain and retail prices will stay at a premium price-point:
The only real solution to the GPU problem in 2022 is:
- If Bitcoin crashes and becomes worthless (unlikely)
- Or if governments stop crypto-mining because of environmental issues (even more unlikely).
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