Graphics card prices have been on a downward trend for weeks after being extremely high for a long time. We take a look at the current price situation, compare it with the previous weeks and look for reasons for the price development, which has taken on crazy moves since autumn 2020. We also evaluate graphics cards according to their current price-performance ratio and thus give current purchase recommendations.
Graphics cards: market analysis, price-performance ratio and preview
The last time we did this was three weeks ago. In addition, we will then dedicate ourselves to some information about what awaits us in the future with graphics cards for gamers up to the year 2022.
Price development: Slight relaxation and reasons for high prices
The graphics card market is calming down more and more after there have been massive price increases and bottlenecks in deliverability since autumn 2020. There were many reasons for this, although in the end there was a simple statement: AMD and Nvidia could not meet the demand. On the demand side, there were four important factors. Two of them concern gamers, on the one hand those who had waited a long time for the new Nvidia and AMD models, but then didn’t get the model they wanted and had to look around for other graphics cards. On the other hand, there were gamers who had chosen PC gaming as a new hobby because of the corona pandemic and were therefore looking for gaming hardware, either complete newbies or ex-gamers who wanted to revive their hobby.
Those: PC Games Hardware
The third factor is miners who resorted to normal graphics cards because of the soaring prices of certain cryptocurrencies. Some model series are better suited for such purposes than others, which are actually even stronger in games. This led to the fact that some models became more expensive in addition to gamer demand – because as long as the expected income from cryptomining does not exceed the purchase price, professional miners, especially from China, have made a lot of money and made more profits per invested dollar than with specialized mining hardware .
As if it wasn’t enough that people who have nothing to do with gaming buy up graphics cards and drive up prices, there was a fourth group that was just out for money: scalpers. Scalpers are generally retailers or companies that buy consumer goods that are expected to become more expensive in order to then offer them for the higher price. They do this especially when new products come onto the market. Scalpers who do this on a large scale are particularly annoying, possibly because they have good contacts with regular traders. The game consoles Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X were also badly affected.
On top of these factors there were problems in the production of GPUs as well as problems in securing production capacities, since the demand for chips of all kinds has shifted and increased massively due to the corona pandemic – in the automotive industry there was and is a lack of the required chips with some manufacturers even complete downtimes over a few days. Corona protective measures also slowed down production and sales. For months, gamer graphics cards had to be paid twice, sometimes three times the price, for these reasons, compared to late summer 2020 or – when it comes to new model series released since September 2020 – to the price recommendations from AMD and Nvidia.
The misery began slowly around September 2020 and first affected stronger and new graphics card series such as the RTX 3070, which was already out of stock on the day of release and was being offered by scalpers for horrific prices on eBay. In the meantime, prices are relaxing again, which also has to do with the fact that Nvidia is installing a kind of brake in newly produced graphics cards, which reduces the performance especially when mining, as well as the fact that China is taking strong action against miners, especially since they are enormous generate high energy consumption. We’ll take a look at the current price development for graphics cards next.