GPUs are back, baby!

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Nvidia GPU

Image: Nvidia

Raise a glass to your fellow gamer: the GPU stock shortage is coming to an end. If you’re a PC Gamer or content creator, then you don’t need any reminder about how purchasing a graphics card or game console without paying a markup has been nearly impossible for the past few years due to supply shortages caused in large part by the ongoing pandemic.

You’ve heard this story countless times before, but this time, it has a happy ending. GPU stock is finally normalizing, and the price of AMD and Nvidia graphics cards is dropping to the point of nearing MSRP. To signal this new era, Nvidia has launched a “Restocked and Reloaded” campaign in the U.K., which features in-stock products that you couldn’t dream of purchasing just a few months ago.

GPU prices

Image: 3DCenter Germany

Not every card is available, nor are they all selling at retail prices, but the GPU landscape is in better shape than at any point in the past two years. In fact, 3DCenter Germany (via Tom’s Hardware) released a report on Monday indicating that AMD GPU prices had declined in the past three weeks by an average of 13% while Nvidia cards had dropped 6%. The price decrease for Nvidia cards may be slowing, but components from both Team Red and Team Green are now nearing MSRP, down from peak markups of above 300%.

The Verge updated its street vs. MSRP pricing chart with April figures and found that a worst-case scenario puts a card at about $400 over asking price, while certain models are actually being sold for below MSRP. AMD’s RX 6900 XT, a high-end desktop GPU, goes for $961, down from its $999 retail price. Nvidia cards are, in general, netting higher markups.

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Can I finally buy a new Nvidia RTX or AMD RX GPU?

For everyday consumers, a quick search on popular retailers like Best Buy, Newegg, and Amazon shows that many cards are, in fact, in stock. For example, Gigabyte, Asus, and MSI RTX 3050 models can be purchased on Newegg for around $100 above retail. Similarly, an ASRock Radeon RX 6700 XT, a card billed as a challenger to the RTX 3060 and 3070 for 1440p gaming, costs $569 (the Radeon RX 6700 XT has an MSRP of $479). Gamestop is even in on it, selling an AMD RX 6600 GPU for $339, or just $10 above MSRP.

You still need to pay a comparatively small markup for most cards, especially those landing between the top-of-the-line options and the budget ones. We just aren’t seeing the 2x or 3x price hikes we once did at the height of the pandemic and the concurrent growth of unrestricted cryptocurrency mining. With prices returning to something close to normal and declining at a slower rate, those who have held out for a graphics card might feel compelled to take the leap.

Having said that, we are nowhere near having every option available to customers at any given time, and all of the stock cards from AMD and Nvidia are sold out. Though no help to morale, it’s worth noting that GPUs would normally be sold for below MSRP at around this time, as the next-gen cards are right around the corner. AMD is readying its highly anticipated RX 7000 RDNA 3 GPUs later this year, while Nvidia’s Ada Lovelace architecture will power RTX 40-series cards when it arrives this fall.

That leaves customers with a tricky predicament to either purchase today at close to retail or a slight markup, wait for prices to continue to decrease, or risk waiting for next-gen options. We can’t tell you which option to choose, but what I can say—with a wide grin on my face—is that any of these choices beats lining the pockets of scammers.

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