At the beginning of 2022, graphics cards prices were increasing at a rather staggering rate. Just compare the price of a mid-range MSI card: it used to cost no more than $192, but today it sells for an average of $298. This trend can be seen in many models. This begs the question: what is the reason behind these inflated prices?
To get a better idea, let's look at what a graphics card is, what GPUs are available, and when we can expect GPU prices to drop.
A graphics card helps your system process graphics data. Once the chip has processed the information, it is displayed on the monitor. Users can't see pictures, videos, or animations without the GPU.
There are the following types of graphics cards:
Integrated and discrete cards can have different characteristics. The choice of model depends on the tasks and loads to be performed. An integrated format is sufficient for office work, while miners need a discrete graphics card with more powerful features.
Firstly, a graphics card has never been an affordable purchase. This is especially the case for more powerful models used by miners and gamers. In fact, manufacturing graphics cards is a costly business, with companies investing billions of dollars in development and production facilities.
However, by the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, we witnessed a significant increase in price for all graphics cards. This was especially vivid if to look at the secondhand market. And many interested users are wondering if GPU prices will ever decrease or if we should prepare ourselves for a prolonged crisis.
So, to find the answer to the When will graphics cards prices drop? question, we must discuss the reasons behind the boom, so let's take a closer look at each one.
The global pandemic affected the graphics card market in several ways:
These are merely some of the more obvious causes that can be used to determine the impact of the pandemic. There are some other secondary factors in addition to the main ones.
The cryptocurrency mining trend has reached its peak. To mine crypto, you need powerful computing equipment. One of the main tasks in mining is performed by a graphics card, so everyone who wanted to mine rushed to buy one.
The graphics card market was unprepared for such an increase in demand, and thus a shortage of components occurred. Often miners would buy entire system units just for the graphics card in them.
Scalpers have always existed, but at a time of increased demand for GPUs, they began to buy large batches directly from the factories and then sell them at an inflated price. This is supported by the fact that used GPUs have become more expensive than new ones on the second-hand market, and short-term deals have brought significant profits to scalpers who use sophisticated bots to trade.
Modern graphics cards are more feature packed than ever and can be very efficient for complex and large workloads. GPUs power many professional and creator workstations, which can be used for anything from 3D rendering to medical simulations to artificial intelligence applications.
Will graphics cards prices drop, and when will the market stabilize? There has already been some decline in demand for graphics cards, but the price tags are still the same. By analyzing the reasons for this, we can make the following argument as to when GPUs will be back in stock and prices will drop:
The GPU shortage is directly linked to increased demand. When miners, scalpers, and gamers stop buying graphics cards in such high quantities, production will cope, and stocks will be restored once again.
The pandemic is gradually slowing down, and vaccines have been developed to combat the disease. In this regard, suspended production facilities are being reopened, but restoring production levels will take some time.
Political and weather conditions, which have been less than favorable, have also played a significant role. Typhoons, increased humidity, and some thawing in the political arena give hope for an improvement in the situation on the market for silicon elements.
If your video card has been installed for a long time and you want to know if it is up to date today, you should check its specifications. Knowing detailed information about the model will allow you to rely on certain graphics tasks according to the hardware capacity of your PC.
When researching a model, you may find it difficult to read the specifications. They are listed separately for the chip itself and the model. You need a little more information to figure out how to correctly recognize a model.
Let's start with the fact that the leading video card manufacturers are two companies: AMD and Nvidia. Other brands can install and fit their chips with other elements—coolers, chips, etc. As a consequence, there are two model numbers.
If you are interested in general and comprehensive information about a video card's features, consider the characteristics of the card model, not the chip. In this case, you will own the complete data, taking into account power, connection, power, cooling, and other indicators.
Will graphics cards' price drop? It is unclear, and when it may happen is still unknown. But if today you already need a more powerful video card, and to find it at a reasonable price is not realistic, you can try to overclock the one that you have available.
Before you start overclocking, you should analyze the effectiveness of the result and whether it is worth all the work and risks. If the answer is yes, then proceed.
Not only a professional gamer can overclock a graphics card. It can be done by a mediocre gamer as well if he learns the basics. First of all, it is worth taking into account that you will have to change several indicators:
It is essential to prepare the cooling system - replace the thermal paste, clean the heatsink, compactly lay the wires, and remove the system unit from the niche and away from the battery.
All the above actions are necessary to prevent video chip overheating. After all, it will consume more energy under increased load, and as a result, heat dissipation will increase. Each board has a temperature limit, upon reaching which the frequency is reduced, and overclocking will not succeed.
The next step is to prepare the software. Here is what you will need:
Once you have studied the instructions, you can begin to take action, gently raising the benchmarks and monitoring the data. Avoid critical values so that the video card does not burn out.
It is worth turning to specialists if you are not confident in your competence. Today, many craftsmen and assemblers offer such services.
Recent trends give us hope that GPU prices will drop. Once production and logistics are stabilized, and there is a sufficient number of graphics cards available on the market, miners will be able to breathe a sigh of relief and buy the model they want at a reasonable price.
For now, the only way out is to overclock the GPU within reasonable limits to get more performance out of them. With the news that GPU prices are coming down, the market will get back on track.
GPUs are very much in stock now and not hard to get anymore. The shortage of GPUs prevalent in 2021 and 2022 has been resolved; now, it is much easier to purchase these devices.
The price for old GPUs has already dropped and will likely keep dropping as used devices are abundant. Thus, the price of older models will tend to go down as the demand decreases.@
When Nvidia concentrates solely on its upcoming range of cards, and Samsung improves its RAM yield, the cost of GPUs could potentially drop. There is currently a lower demand for solid state memory.
The last generation of cards is more expensive than previous generations, but that's essentially the new normal in the GPU market. Prices may fluctuate over time; however, it is unlikely that they will return to their pre-pandemic levels any time soon.