Update: Having said all the below, you still might want to wait before upgrading your graphics card — here’s why.
Over the last two years, upgrading your PC gaming setup has been a thankless, and very expensive, task. While Nvidia launched several desirable graphics cards in its GeForce 30-series, finding where to buy an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 or a GPU of similar specs was borderline impossible.
Between restocks selling out in a flash, and scalpers hoovering up what little fresh stock was out there to sell at obscene markups, many PC gamers understandably gave up on the hunt long ago. However, it may finally be time to buy a new Nvidia or AMD graphics card, as prices are tumbling and restocks are appearing more frequently and lasting longer.
A fresh report by our colleagues over at Tom’s Hardware has found that month to month, pricing for every single GPU in the Nvidia RTX and Radeon RX series is down. In fact, many have dropped by more than 10%. Tom’s Hardware also found that several retailers are carrying inventory that has been available for multiple days without selling out. Remarkably, they’ve even spotted a few GPU discounts, which was practically unheard of in 2020 and 2021.
The Verge has also performed a similar investigation and has shared equally promising data. While some of the most popular Nivida and AMD GPUs are still fetching a $200 to $300 markup, many — such as the Nivida RTX 3080 Ti and AMD RX 6900 XT — are actually now selling for less than their original asking price on resale sites such as eBay. Take that, scalpers!
Even better, The Verge notes that overinflated graphic cards just aren’t selling like they used to. It seems that consumers no longer have any appetite for paying double or triple the standard retail price for even the most coveted graphics cards. High-priced listings not selling leads to an overall decline in the market, and naturally dissuades scalpers from getting involved. This means increased availability and more reasonable prices for the average consumer.
We’re not totally out of the woods yet, as some cards do continue to sell at a markup of a couple of hundred dollars, but this is a far cry from the situation around a year ago, when scoring an Nvidia RTX 3080 at even $200 more than MSRP was considered a massive achievement. We expect the situation to get better from here, as Nivida and AMD’s partners continue to receive more stock and the market continues to move towards a significantly more stable place.
Another factor that could be impacting current GPU prices is that future architecture is reportedly on the horizon. Nvidia Lovelace and AMD’s RDNA 3 cards could be unveiled soon, and when that happens card makers won’t want to be sitting on a mountain of current-gen cards. This could result in more aggressive pricing in the graphics card market, as manufacturers aim to shift stock.
It would be premature to suggest that the global chip shortage is now over. Scoring Nvidia and AMD GPUs at regular retail prices and finding a PS5 restock remains a tricky business. However, it’s now a bit easier to upgrade to next-gen gaming without overpaying, and that’s worth celebrating.
If you’ve been putting off buying a new graphics card or scoring one of our picks for the best gaming PCs pre-loaded with a powerful GPU, then now might be the time to reconsider. You may finally be able to take your gaming up a level without having to overpay for the privilege.