After many, many months we finally have some good news to share regarding graphics card pricing and availability. Things are starting to head in the right direction and although inflated pricing isn't far from over yet, this month we are seeing the lowest GPU prices in over a year.

Follow up: March 2022, April 2022, May 2022, June 2022, July 2022, August 2022, September 2022, October 2022

This past month we also saw two new GPU launches, so let's take a look at how they are shaking up first. The AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT, a card that we very much did not like, and Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3050, a reasonable product that was always going to be overpriced. These are the first cards in this generation to launch with an "MSRP" below $300, which in this market translates to street pricing below $500.

Newcomers, Close Enough to MSRP

The Radeon 6500 XT has been in stock and available since day one, which is quite a novelty and a first in this generation. Now, in typical AMD fashion, we saw a few GPUs hit the market at $200 around launch, but that price has since disappeared in some regions. This has happened with the last few AMD launches, with retailers telling us that resupplies for the card beyond the first batch were going to be above MSRP.

Currently, if you want to buy an RX 6500 XT they are available on sites like Newegg for as little as $260, and even less in other regions. In fact, at Australian retailer PC Case Gear, they will happily sell you a 6500 XT from PowerColor for just $320 AUD, which is $210 US before tax. Mindfactory in Germany will also sell you an MSI model for as low as 235 euros, which is just 10% over the US MSRP before tax. So it seems that the US market is lagging a little behind on pricing for this card right now.

In our review of the 6500 XT we said we wouldn't consider buying it at anything above the MSRP and ideally this card should be priced closer to $150, or less. But it does seem that available stock is approaching the MSRP which bodes well for the card and buyers. Don't be tempted to pay inflated prices on this one as it looks like the MSRP is well within reach.

Things aren't looking as good for the GeForce RTX 3050. Pricing debuted around $600 on retail shelves, which is absolutely disgusting for a $250 MSRP product, and while prices have since fallen in the weeks after launch, the 3050 still sits nowhere near MSRP. The cheapest card we could find at US retailers was $455 in a bundle that includes an AMD B450 motherboard.

In Australia we're seeing a slightly better proposition, the cheapest RTX 3050 comes from Inno3D and it'll set you back $550, which is about $360 USD before tax. Similar story at Mindfactory where the cheapest RTX 3050 are also around $360 USD before tax. This is still $110 above MSRP, but it does appear that pricing is creeping closer to where it should be each week, which bodes well for patient buyers.

A Healthier Market for Gamers

In our review of the RTX 3050 we mentioned the card ideally should cost no more than $370, and in some regions that pricing has become a reality. However, since our review, the entire market has dropped in price, too, so that $370 assessment is no longer valid.

For example, we showed the RTX 3050 being much better value than the RX 6600 and a better buy than the 6500 XT at these prices, however in regions where the 3050 is less than $370, the 6500 XT is now near MSRP and the RX 6600 can be had for $430 or thereabouts. This makes the RX 6600 about 19% more expensive for 26% more performance at 1440p, so the Radeon 6600 is the better bang for buck purchase. But to be fair, the RTX 3050 isn't bad at those prices and it's a far better situation than if the card was selling for, say, $450.

... pricing for new, in-stock graphics cards at major retailers is much lower than it's been over the last six months. Availability is at its best, even for some of the most popular models.

What we see with the 6500 XT and RTX 3050 also applies to most other graphics cards: pricing for new, in-stock models at major retailers is much lower than it's been over the last six months. Availability is at its best, even for some of the most popular models.

It wasn't long ago that the RTX 3070 Ti was retailing for $1,300 or more, today the most affordable models are $940. The RTX 3060 used to be $880 back in September, now they are down to $670. That's substantial price movement.

One seller told us that pricing is continuing to drop at a very decent pace for new shipments and resupplies, and this should be reflected in retail pricing over the next few weeks. It's not the case where GPU prices have hit the floor just yet, there is still a lot of room for pricing to improve and it sounds like that will keep happening in the early parts of 2022.

Crypto Mining is Less Profitable

So why are GPU prices falling now? The reason is simple: the prolonged decline of profitability for cryptocurrency mining. Since the beginning of November, GPU mining profitability has been on the decline. Compared to this time a month ago, profits are down between 15 and 30 percent in most cases, depending on the GPU you have.

Since October, profits are down over 50 percent according on Whattomine data. This significantly increases the length of time it takes to turn a profit from buying a new graphics card, reducing mining demand. There's also an established months-long trend of declining profitability, further hurting the appeal of adding new GPUs to mining rigs.

Ethereum Difficulty Chart

That's not to say that miners have stopped buying GPUs altogether, the Ethereum network difficulty is still rising, suggesting more GPUs are still being added. But higher difficulty hurts profitability hard when the value of the coins themselves are going down. There's also a clear slowdown in the pace at which difficulty rises since about December, which is also good news for GPU buyers.

GPU Pricing Update

The effect on graphics card pricing as measured in the scalper market is clear: most GPUs are now sitting close or at the lowest price recorded in the past 12 months. Below is a look at Nvidia GPUs and you'll see that prices for all models are trending down since December and the majority of these cards are now cheaper than the previous low in July.

Nvidia GPU Pricing Trend 2021-2022

Average Sale Price of eBay Completed Listings, New Products, 3rd Week of Month

In terms of a month on month decline, Nvidia GPUs have fallen on average by 7 percent, and we're seeing average price inflation below 100% for the first time in a very long time.

In January the average price drop was 4 percent, and we haven't seen a monthly drop this large since July. Hopefully we'll see more green in this table next month.

  MSRP eBay Average Price December eBay Average Price January eBay Average Price February Current Price Inflation Price Increase Jan to Feb
GeForce RTX 3090 $1,500 $2,882 $2,638 $2,496 66% -5%
GeForce RTX 3080 Ti $1,200 $1,968 $1,908 $1,771 48% -7%
GeForce RTX 3080 12GB N/A   N/A $1,623    
GeForce RTX 3080 10GB $700 $1,693 $1,633 $1,538 120% -6%
GeForce RTX 3070 Ti $600 $1,268 $1,226 $1,123 87% -8%
GeForce RTX 3070 $500 $1,099 $1,077 $1,030 106% -4%
GeForce RTX 3060 Ti $400 $965 $935 $831 108% -11%
GeForce RTX 3060 $330 $747 $704 $662 101% -6%
GeForce RTX 3050 $250     $460 84%  
        Average 90% -7%

In terms of a month on month decline, Nvidia GPUs have fallen in price by 7 percent on average and we're finally seeing average price inflation below 100% for the first time in a long time. In January the average price drop was 4 percent, and we haven't seen a monthly drop this large since July. Hopefully we'll see more green in this table next month.

AMD cards haven't hit their lowest price in the last year, but they are close for all models except the 6700 XT. The pricing gap for the RX 6800 vs RX 6800 XT has been restored to a more normal level with that card seeing a decent drop in price, while availability is respectable for all models these days.

In particular, the RX 6600 is now at its lowest price and can often be found cheaper at retail stores than on the scalper market.

AMD GPU Pricing Trend 2021-2022

Average Sale Price of eBay Completed Listings, New Products, 3rd Week of Month

Like brand new Nvidia cards, AMD cards fell month on month, to the tune of a 6% average. AMD price inflation is now at 70%, and we think there's a fair bit of room for that to get lower in the coming months. These are the largest drops in price for most models over the last six months.

  MSRP eBay Average Price December eBay Average Price January eBay Average Price February Current Price Inflation Price Increase Jan to Feb
Radeon 6900 XT $1,000 $1,548 $1,527 $1,480 48% -3%
Radeon 6800 XT $650 $1,435 $1,346 $1,304 101% -3%
Radeon 6800 $580 $1,381 $1,327 $1,131 95% -15%
Radeon 6700 XT $480 $897 $866 $812 69% -6%
Radeon 6600 XT $380 $664 $654 $623 64% -5%
Radeon 6600 $330 $582 $557 $535 62% -4%
Radeon 6500 XT $200     $270 35%  
        Average 68% -6%

Used GPU Pricing

The price floor for new GPUs hasn't yet been reached and we believe there's still plenty of room left to cover in the coming months... provided GPU mining doesn't make a sudden and sharp recovery.

While prices today are now slightly lower than the previous low in July 2021, mining profitability today is significantly lower than it was then, and in many cases profitability has halved. We appear to be in a scenario where a backlog of normal GPU demand is being cleared and if this remains the case, the outlook for pricing is positive.

  MSRP eBay Average Price December eBay Average Price January eBay Average Price February Current Price Inflation Price Increase Jan to Feb
GeForce RTX 2080 Ti $1,000 $1,187 $1,148 $941 -6% -18%
GeForce RTX 2080 Super $700 $820 $809 $742 6% -8%
GeForce RTX 2080 $700 $777 $730 $650 -7% -11%
GeForce RTX 2070 Super $500 $737 $726 $625 25% -14%
GeForce RTX 2070 $500 $677 $660 $580 16% -12%
GeForce RTX 2060 Super $400 $688 $648 $562 40% -13%
GeForce RTX 2060 $350 $527 $499 $429 23% -14%
        Average 14% -13%

The used market has seen more significant price drops this month than what we see in the new GPU market.

The used market has seen more significant price drops this month than what we see in the new GPU market. For Nvidia's GeForce 20 series, pricing is down 13 percent on average, and cards are almost back to MSRP levels in some cases.

It's particularly good to see a bit of movement for products like the RTX 2060, which were hideously overpriced in prior months and are now approaching reasonable levels.

  MSRP eBay Average Price December eBay Average Price January eBay Average Price February Current Price Inflation Price Increase Jan to Feb
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti $280 $483 $445 $394 41% -11%
GeForce GTX 1660 Super $230 $512 $473 $411 79% -13%
GeForce GTX 1660 $220 $393 $378 $335 52% -11%
GeForce GTX 1650 Super $160 $306 $303 $272 70% -10%
GeForce GTX 1650 $150 $273 $247 $213 42% -14%
        Average 57% -12%

It's a similar story for the GeForce 16 series. We have new GPU entrants that are competing with these products -- finally -- and that's pushed prices downwards by 12 percent on average.

Most cards in this segment are still overpriced, in particular the GTX 1660 Super and GTX 1650 Super, but a strong reduction in price monthly pricing is something we like to see.

  MSRP eBay Average Price December eBay Average Price January eBay Average Price February Current Price Inflation Price Increase Jan to Feb
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti $700 $666 $665 $561 -20% -16%
GeForce GTX 1080 $600 $461 $467 $384 -36% -18%
GeForce GTX 1070 Ti $450 $465 $441 $393 -13% -11%
GeForce GTX 1070 $380 $403 $368 $307 -19% -17%
GeForce GTX 1060 6GB $250 $308 $292 $256 2% -12%
GeForce GTX 1060 3GB $200 $231 $199 $178 -11% -11%
        Average -16% -14%

Pascal GPUs also fell in price by 14 percent on average, and we are close to seeing every card sitting below its launch MSRP on the used market. It's unclear how much life Pascal products have left in them, not necessarily from a hardware failure perspective, but in terms of performance and driver support, so we wouldn't be surprised to see these hit the hardest if used GPU prices continue to tumble.

  MSRP eBay Average Price December eBay Average Price January eBay Average Price February Current Price Inflation Price Increase Jan to Feb
Radeon 5700 XT $400 $900 $815 $714 79% -12%
Radeon 5700 $350 $868 $759 $664 90% -13%
Radeon 5600 XT $280 $623 $571 $480 71% -16%
Radeon 5500 XT 8GB $200 $428 $387 $341 70% -12%
        Average 77% -13%

AMD Radeon RX 5000 series fell in price by 13 percent month on month, although price inflation is still quite high, as these cards are pretty good at mining relative to their gaming performance.

If you're still using an RX 5700 XT for gaming and not mining, we'd recommend trying to move that card on as soon as possible and upgrading to a newer GPU for only a small price difference instead.

  MSRP eBay Average Price December eBay Average Price January eBay Average Price February Current Price Inflation Price Increase Jan to Feb
Radeon RX Vega 64 $400 $727 $687 $563 13% -18%
Radeon RX Vega 56 $350 $709 $615 $519 30% -16%
Radeon RX 590 $280 $449 $387 $341 22% -12%
Radeon RX 580 8GB $200 $422 $371 $340 48% -8%
Radeon RX 580 4GB $200 $280 $242 $206 3% -15%
Radeon RX 570 4GB $200 $232 $222 $183 7% -18%
        Average 20% -14%

Finally we get to AMD's older GPUs including the evergreen Polaris series. This is where we continue to see problems for the RX 6500 XT. Right now you can buy a used RX 570 4GB for ~$183, which is a decent stopgap solution and substantially cheaper than the 6500 XT's $270 asking price.

Another suitable option would be the GTX 1650 Super which is roughly the same price as the 6500 XT, but faster and more feature rich. If this sort of pricing trend continues for used products, the 6500 XT will need to keep getting cheaper and quickly hit the MSRP.

When Should You Buy a GPU?

We've been tracking GPU pricing on a monthly basis for over a year and this is perhaps the only month where it's really felt like things are heading in the right direction. There's a solid trend of GPU price declines and crypto mining profitability is at a low level compared to most of 2021. When we're seeing the lowest new GPU prices in a year, the best availability in some time, and significant drops in the used market, pretty much everything we were looking to happen has happened to an extent.

How long this trend will hold is unclear. The general state of the GPU market is better than it was all of the past year, with a wider range of GPUs targeting more price points, and supply chain issues are slowly being resolved. There's at least some hope that the days of GPU prices at 3x MSRP are behind us.

The key question is then, when should you buy a GPU?

The key question is then, when should you buy a GPU? Should you jump in now, or continue to wait in the hope that pricing will get better? Or alternatively, should you purchase a stop-gap GPU until pricing recovers? In our opinion, there's still room for GPU pricing to fall further, and the sentiment from retailers is that pricing will continue to come down in the short term.

We're probably never going to see MSRP-level pricing on some cards, especially those launched in 2020. Current inflation is at over 70% in most cases.

If you can wait a bit longer, that's what we would be doing, especially if you're interested in a high-end GPU where waiting a month could mean a $100 drop or more. If you don't desperately need a new GPU, and let's face it you've probably been waiting a while, then I'd be on the hunt for pricing closer to the bottom of the market. Especially given trends are looking reasonable.

However, if you're in the hunt, I would keep a close eye on the crypto market and mining profitability. If there's a new prolonged surge -- longer than a couple of weeks -- that's when I'd be looking to buy a new GPU before prices go up again. Use your best judgment in these situations and you'll find yourself with the best deal and prevent some sadness in a volatile market.

If you do desperately need a new GPU, and your current card is not powerful enough for the latest games, well, pricing is the best it's been for the past year, so it's not a horrible time to jump into the market.

Especially if you're targeting the mid to lower end of the market, GPUs like the Radeon RX 6600 are offering good value right now. And of course, you can see our full thoughts on what GPUs to get in our latest Best GPUs guide.

For stop-gap GPU options, if you need one we'd be looking at products that will lose the least amount of value if the used market continues to fall. Something like an RX 570 that only costs ~$200 may be a good bet, if that falls to $150 or $120 in price, you're only down $50-80. As opposed to getting a $400 card where if it loses a big chunk of its value, you're suddenly down $150-200 and that's going to hurt your budget for a new card. Anything with more than 4GB of VRAM is more likely to lose value if crypto continues to fall as those cards are most sought-after for mining, something to keep in mind.

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