In brief: Some of Nvidia's and AMD’s AIB partners are running promotions on their GPUs, which is good news for gamers everywhere. While we don’t know when we’ll be able to buy graphics cards at decent prices, improved availability and developments such as this raise hope that the market will continue to improve in the coming months.
Between the chip shortage, scalpers, and cryptocurrency miners with an appetite for industrial GPU mining, it's been two long years since we've seen mid-range and high-end graphics cards anywhere close to their manufacturer suggested retail price. Things have been improving as of late, albeit at a pace that makes everyone long for a time when MSRP was more than an arbitrary number that's thrown around in marketing materials.
Availability is much better today than it was a year ago, and prices for both AMD's and Nvidia's GPUs are generally hovering at around 40 percent over MSRP. In some parts of Europe, lower end models like the Radeon RX 6500 XT and the GeForce RTX 3050 can be found for surprisingly low prices in what is still a heated GPU market.
As noted by Chris Szewczyk over at PC Gamer, select manufacturers have started offering discounts on some RTX 3000 series graphics cards. For instance, those of you that live in Australia may find the Strix and TUF variants of the RTX 3080 10GB selling for as low as $1,399.99 at retailers like Scorptec, PC Case Gear, and PLE. This was a significant price drop, as most units sold out quickly over the course of a few hours.
For people who like to scout for GPUs on eBay, things are not quite as rosy, but Tom's Hardware writes that prices for most current generation graphics cards have seen an average drop of around nine percent since February. That said, Newegg prices for some GPUs are even better, with Gigabyte's RTX 3080 12 GB going for $1,249.99, the RTX 3070 Ti going for $899.99, and the Aorus RTX 3070 priced at $859.99.
The situation with AMD's RDNA 2 cards looks quite similar. The Asrock RX 6900 XT now sells for $1,299.99, the RX 6800 can be found at $979.99, the RX 6700 XT can be had for $599.99, and the RX 6600 XT is only $499.99. Amazon prices are still a mess as of writing, but with improved availability in several other places, it won't be long before they'll align with the same downward trend.
EVGA is also listing the RTX 3080 12GB XC3 Ultra Gaming and the RTX 3080 12GB FTW3 Ultra Gaming models for 1,249.99 and 1,299.99, respectively. It should go without saying that stock for these will probably evaporate soon, but they're yet another positive sign for the troubled GPU market.
Of course, there's still a lot of room left for improvement and the downward price trend could reverse due to a variety of factors, such as factory lockdowns in Shenzhen, power outages in Taiwan, and a dwindling supply of certain materials and gases due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Intel's much-awaited Arc A-series GPUs aren't immune from some of these developments, but we can only hope the increased competition for Nvidia and AMD will drive down prices a little more.