Bottom line: If you've been dazzled by the recent drop in GPU prices, now is not the best time to buy one. Between the increased availability, reduced profitability of GPU mining, and the recently renewed tariff exemptions on some electronics imported from China, it looks like GPU prices have yet to reach a floor.
GPU prices have been trending down for the past several months, with some regions seeing the lowest prices since the start of 2021, and some lower-end models selling below MSRP. The situation on eBay has also improved, with the average selling price of GPUs dropping by 10 percent between February and March.
That said, these developments are hardly cause for celebration for most gamers, who need to pay, at best, $300 more for a new RTX 3000 series graphics card compared to what they paid for their old card. With availability slowly improving over time, vendors like Asus and Zotac have been calling on the US Trade Representative's (USTR) office to drop Trump-era tariffs on some products that are imported from China, namely PC motherboards and graphics cards.
An official answer to those requests came last week, with the USRT office reinstating hundreds of expired product exclusions from "Section 301" tariffs on Chinese imports. At the time of the announcement, it wasn't clear if that would translate into better retail prices. This week, Asus told Tom's Hardware that it has decided to lower the price of its GPUs in the US by up to 25 percent, starting from April 1.
It's worth noting the price change will only apply to Ampere GPUs, specifically the "entry level GeForce RTX 3050 and RTX 3060, mid-range RTX 3070 and high performance RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 graphics cards."
This marks a significant reversal as Asus last year was among the first to raise prices in response to tariffs and unprecedented demand from gamers and miners. At the same time, Asus along with Gigabyte, Asrock, and EVGA have been running a series of promotions on select GPUs this month, so there's a good chance most vendors will soon follow Asus in lowering prices.
In the meantime, Nvidia has reportedly managed to reduce its manufacturing costs by anywhere between eight and 12 percent. And according to Igor's Lab, Ada Lovelace GPUs will be pin compatible with Ampere GPUs, which means AIB partners won't need to spend as much on research and development on RTX 4000 series cards, which will co-exist with RTX 3000 series cards for a while after launch.
The latest Ethereum Merge testing on Kiln was mostly successful, so the future of GPU mining looks increasingly bleak. With a bit of luck, we may soon see a flood of GPUs on the second-hand market.