We recently began to see a light at the end of the tunnel, the price of graphics cards seemed to start a slow recovery , and stock levels were increasing. Unfortunately, the illusion has lasted very little, and that is that the price of graphics cards has risen again, and everything seems to indicate that it will not normalize in the short or medium term.
I’m sorry to give you such a pessimistic view, but seeing that even the CEO of NVIDIA acknowledged that there will continue to be supply problems in 2022 is the only realistic forecast I can offer you. That small recovery that occurred a couple of months ago, and the possibility of buying some graphics cards at a price very close to the recommended price, have completely disappeared . Just take a look at the prices of the main Spanish retailers to realize this.
For example, the price of Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics cards, which on the day before their launch could be bought almost for the recommended retail price, has risen significantly, and is between 500 and 920 euros. Yes, you read that correctly, more than 900 euros for a graphics card that has a recommended price of 389.99 euros, it is a real madness.
There is stock, but the price of graphics cards is nonsense
Until recently, buying a GeForce RTX 3080 or a Radeon RX 6800 XT was almost impossible. Both graphics cards are among the most sought after for their excellent performance and adjusted price, at least if we let ourselves be carried away by the recommended prices that NVIDIA and AMD gave, 719 euros the first and 699.99 euros the second.
The stock has improved, that is clear. A few months ago it was impossible to find a new generation graphics card, and now we have a good availability of almost all existing models, and yes, this includes the GeForce RTX 3080 and Radeon RX 6800 XT. However, the prices of graphics cards have risen again, and this has meant that the first one continues to be around, at least, 1,199.99 euros in its LHR version , and that the second easily exceeds 1,300 euros.
If we put this in context, we would be paying 480 euros more for the GeForce RTX 3080 and almost double for the Radeon RX 6800 XT. The situation, if we talk about other ranges, is identical, with inflated prices despite the fact that the stock level has improved notably , something that, a priori, seems difficult to understand, but that basically has an explanation.
Even if the stock improves , if the demand is still high and the sales prospects are good, the prices do not have to fall, in fact they can continue to rise without problem. On the other hand, we must bear in mind that retailers will set the price they deem appropriate, and that they will only lower it when they are convinced that it is strictly necessary to continue selling a certain product.
With that in mind, we can make it clear that graphics card prices are not going to drop greatly until demand is extremely low, so much so that stock builds up and sales drop worryingly, something that, After seeing the rally that cryptocurrencies are experiencing , it seems unlikely in the short and medium term.
On the other hand, it must also be taken into account that the shortage of semiconductors, and of materials necessary for the manufacture of electronic components, continue to significantly affect the graphics card sector. Production improves, and with it the stock, but we are still at levels that are below normal.
Finally, we must not forget about speculators . Buying and reselling at higher prices, taking advantage of the scarcity of the market, has become a very lucrative business from which some individuals are benefiting. It is not a reality that only affects PS5 and Xbox Series X , it also affects GPUs, and this has been noticeable in the prices of graphics cards.
Final Notes: Dark Times for the Industry
In the end, this crisis is being worse than the one we experienced with the first bubble within the cryptocurrency mining sector, and deep down it is normal, because on this occasion the values that have reached this type of assets are dizzying, and this it makes mining them much more profitable, and the investments in the hardware necessary to carry out this activity are more generous.
If you have the need to buy a graphics card, I am sorry to tell you that you will have to pay more for a component that, sooner or later, will end up losing a good part of its value. With the current situation, I would recommend looking for an inexpensive second-hand graphics card that will help you get out of the way, and hold on until the situation really normalizes, or until the prices are minimally reasonable.
I remind you that, although the situation does not normalize in 2022, the most normal thing would be for it to experience, at least, some kind of improvement, although seeing the weight that cryptocurrency mining has and the ups and downs that it has given in such a short time, the truth is that I dare not assure anything.