Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 facing price hike — but future GPUs could be easier to buy

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
(Image credit: Nvidia)

As if graphics cards like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 weren’t dealing with enough problems, from stock shortages to a suspect second-hand market, now retail units could get even more expensive.

As reported by TechRadar, Samsung has announced that it’s raising the price of its semiconductor wafers, which are a crucial component in Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs. It’s possible that these graphics cards, which are already suffering inflation due to shortages, could get an MSRP increase to cover the added production cost.

This isn’t the only potential course of action — Nvidia, which posted record Q1 revenues earlier this year, could simply absorb the extra cost — but the prospect of even more expensive graphics cards is never going to be a pleasant one. Especially when eager buyers have desperately been Googling where to buy the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 from reputable sellers; such is the demand for these cards that even unannounced restocks can vanish in seconds.

That said, there may be some good news in Samsung’s announcement. The reason for the semiconductor price bump is apparently to fund a new fabrication facility in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. In theory this should boost production and help avoid a repeat of the parts shortage that, in turn, has meant Nvidia (and a lot of other companies that rely on Samsung semiconductor tech) has struggled to meet demand for its latest hardware.

By the time the fabrication plant is completed, of course, it will be far too late to save the GeForce RTX 30-series; a new generation of cards, set to be based on the Nvidia AD102 GPU, is expected to launch as soon as 2022. But it’s good to see manufacturers taking steps to ensure its output can match modern demand.

And if you can’t wait that long? For the time being, your best bet is to keep an eye on GPU restocks. Or, if you want a complete system, you could try checking out the best gaming PCs.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.