Why Graphics Card are so expensive?

By shoeseat · 44 replies
Sep 24, 2008
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  1. Do anyone why graphics card cost more than processors and motherboards.Its like a mid range graphics card cost more than a mid range mobo and processors.Why is this?A mobo has more components,big in size than GC still GC are expensive. Also GCs are outdated faster then mobos and CPUs.
    I have a decent desktop PC bought recently but when i checked the price for GC they cost like half of my new PC.In my case,here it cost like $200 for 9600GT,$150 for 8600GT and $300+ for 8800GT.Thats the main reason i don't have nay GCs till now and saving again to buy one.

    So why are GCs so expensive??
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    GT200 chip (the heart of GTX 280 and GTX 260 cards) is built in 65nm, packs 240 stream processors and is the largest chip Nvidia has ever made. 1400 million transistors managed to fit on almost 600mm2.

    240 stream processors are connected to 32 ROPs, which further connect to 512bit memory interface. Here we have 8 ROP partitions, each packing 4 ROP units (8x4 = 32 ROP), where each partition has a 64bit connection with the memory. 8 ROP partitions x 64bit interface totals to 512bit memory interface.

    This all sounds like it would be expensive to make, don't you think?
  3. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    A large part of the cost of the chip is not the cost of production, but that of the R&D behind it. Actual chip costs, while significant, are not that big a factor in the overall cost of the chip. This is true for both GPUs and CPUs.
  4. DaMak420

    DaMak420 TS Rookie Posts: 189

    no... but it DOES sound expensive to create.... The R&D is way more expensive than the production...... realistically.... it costs approx 450 for gtx280 (depends on model... but meh)

    It probably cost roughly 50 dollars to "make" or produce. Probably sold to the distributers for roughly 150 dollars. It finally hits the resellers for probably around 200-250 dollars.

    as it hits the reseller, or final seller, it carries a hefty price tag around 450 bux. so... no kimsland... I don't think it cost that much to make.

    I do however agree that the R&D, and MILLIONS of dollars invested in said R&D was rather costly :)

    Edit - Rage, you got your post off whilst i typed =P, and no it didn't take 30 mins to type, lol, but I had about 20 TS tabs open, from today, and was reading them all... haha.
  5. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 688   +67

    While I do not disagree with the replies above, I add that another reason may just be that buyers are prepared to pay more for a graphics card than for a mobo.

    This may sound silly, but I am old enough to remember when CDs first appeared and they were more expensive than vinyl records (they still are), though they cost no more to make.

    The UK Consumers Association investigated the matter, and the only reason they could come up with was that consumers were prepared to pay more for a CD than for an old technology vinyl record.
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Hey this is going to shock you, but milk comes from a cow, but is one of the most expensive drinks out there !?

    Definitely consumer demand
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,555

    Maybe Because Nepal is Mostly Uphill........?

    The first rule, second rule, and third rule of real estate value are these; location, location, location.

    The first,second, and third rules of graphics cards prices are identical to the rules for real estate. Should you ever decide to leave Nepal and join our badly tanking free market economy, at least you will have access to cheap GT8800s (about $120.00 USD)
  8. shoeseat

    shoeseat TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 87

    wow different ideas.Its the complex explanation "kimsland" has given about the processors and transations.I was like :confused: I think its R&D is the reason for the price of GC to go higher when its first release like "Rage" said.

    Yes its because of location also but i am talking about other countries also.Even in USA GC are expensive like 4850/70,G260:)confused:).I think even in other countries like Australia,India,Qatar its expensive.What about Dubai "Rage",you live there whats the cost like their.It's basically a shipping cost i think GCs are expensive.

    Here in Nepal.i wonder why only GCs are so expensive compared to other components like my C2D E7200 cost around $137,MSI G31 mobo around $70m,1x2GB muskin 800MHZ like $40.Here the cheapest 9600GT 512 cost around $190 and 8600GT cost arround $160.

    Can anyone tell me what will be shipping/courier cost to Nepal,kathmandu.Last time i search the UPS courier service and it amout the total of $130 i think only for courier service.I was like what the ..

    Anyway thanks for the explanation.Good to hear from you guys.
    Take care.
  9. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 688   +67

    Pricing is the trickiest aspect of marketing.

    In the last analysis, suppliers will charge “what the market will bear”. And if they don’t recover their costs with that, they just change lines or close down.
  10. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Dubai's market for graphics card is ridiculously overpriced. It's far cheaper to order one from Fry's.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,555

    A Stimulating Discussion, This Price of Things Thing,,,,,

    If you think about it, a motherboard has so many more chips, widgets, capacitors, do-dads, and what-nots, so why aren't they much more expensive than they are? Here I say, don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

    You're quoting prices on items, (VGAs), that are on, more or less, the cutting edge of development. Not everybody has, needs, or wants one of them. I figure even an integrated Intel GMA950 works beyond my wildest dreams for my needs. Well, discounting a little glitch here and there.

    It would be interesting to determine how much more it costs to manufacture a Blu-Ray disc, than a DVD. This because a blank Blu-Ray costs at least ten USD, whereas a blank DVD can be had for twenty three cents. My math says that's a difference of FORTY times!

    The ugly truth of supply and demand is this; if I develop a product then the first ones will be horribly expensive. Witness the original free standing DVD recorders at a thousand bucks each. Hey wait, if I call Newegg today I can get a DVD burner for my computer for about twenty five USD. Now where have I seen that 40 to 1 ratio before? Hint, see above.

    The stark, cold, and ugly reality is this, I bring a product to market then, if enough people DON'T buy it, I stop building them. Witness HD-DVD. So, it's like this, "dude, you had to have it first, you paid your too much money and took your choice, what's the problem"? It's a lose, lose. Even if enough people buy it first, they pay forty times what it will be worth eventually, so that's a lose, lose also. So, it's like this, "dude, you had to have it first, what's the problem"? Always remember where you keep your wallet. Here's a clue, it's not next to your heart. LOL Methinks it's there for a reason. Still LOL

    BTW, a 7200E is worth about $120.00 with free shipping from Newegg. So Nepal's price is still a tad uphill from there.

    So here I sit, with my Emachine T-5026, and forty dollar Philips upsampling DVD player, grinning at my good fortune like a pig in s***, and being amazed at the quality. I amuse easily you say, without a doubt, and no doubt you can kick my a** at any video games around. To this I say, have mercy on a fool such as I.

    Kimsland old friend, I take it you haven't priced even rotgut whiskey recently.

    Also. "definately" is spelled "definitely". I think they put "de" and "finite" together, thus producing a "neologism". That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it. LOL

    I'm running "No-Script", hence no "smilie" of any kind.

    "De", means of or from in Latin. Well, in Spanish too.
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I'll definitely remember that. :)
  13. shoeseat

    shoeseat TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 87

    Thats what i am trying to say.Ur spot on.mobos also have their own graphics chips which can do everything fine except playing 3D games with high setting.But even if i spent like $100-$150 for a graphics card i can't play the latest games at high setting.Isn't that annoying u spent all ur saving to play games and u r restricted to low-medium setting and after one year its upgrade time already.:haha:
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,555

    Generating Pride in Ownership the American Way....!

    I've always marveled at the sign at one of our local ,(automotive) Speed Shops; "speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?" Frustrating, ironic certainly,yet almost sympathetic, a timeless classic.

    Every time the price of oil goes up, the oil companies state the it's an issue of "supply and demand". That means we have it and you want it, so you're going pay our price. When this happens our Congress "investigates" "price gouging". "Price gouging" to me, is when an oil company says, "we have it and you want it, so you're going to pay our price". My financial acumen is admittedly limited, but isn't that the same thing? Well, apparently not, because the oil companies never get rung up on "price gouging", but they always respond to "supply and demand", in our best interests, of course.

    During the 50s and early 60s here in the US, each and every year the fins on the cars got higher and higher, yet this added nothing to the overall performance. It was however, equated with prestige among the huge cadre of morons that comprise the American buying public. But wait there's a bright side..........

    At least with VGA adapters, next year's model is likely to out perform this years. It will more than likely however, require much higher and larger fins to cool it. The upside to this is, at least the fins will serve a purpose. As always LOL, captaincranky.

    PS; Next years VGAs will be more expensive for a time, undoubtedly, due to issues of "supply and demand", please don't shoot me, I'm only the messenger.

    PPS; I think they sell you the motherboards cheap to get you hooked, then when you want more computer parts, supply and demand kicks in.
  15. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 688   +67

    OK, time to get a bit off subject, after all it’s been exhausted.

    Printers are sold cheap, near or even below cost. But then buyer milking starts with the exorbitant ink prices.

    This is known as the Gillette strategy. He sold razors cheap and made big profits on the blades.

    For supply and demand to work and regulate prices, you need a competitive market. Otherwise you have monopoly and exploitation.
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,555

    State Your Middle Initial...........

    I hear that! Let me tell you about the 20 buck Canon Pixma printer, scanner, copier I got at BB for $19.95 on a Black Friday.

    OK, the only quarrel I have with this is the tense of the verb. Since this is ongoing in his name, shouldn't that be "sell", or possibly "are selling", should you prefer the progressive tense. They're up to FIVE blades in each cartridge, but I haven't priced them as of yet.

    Footnote; Shick actually printed a coupon giving away a Shick "Quatro". Old news now, only has four blades.

    If I asked you what supply and demand's middle name was, you'd say "and", but you'd be wrong, it's "M$". Well after all, they have the supply, we create the demand. I'm LOL, but only on the outside. I would call them monopolistic and exploitive but that would only create controversy. Besides, there are thousands of lawyers worldwide that are already doing that, so I'd just be running with the pack.
  17. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 688   +67

    The verb was – er…still is – correct.

    I was speaking about the past, but for brevity I only gave the gist of the story.

    Actually, Gillette was/is the inventor of the razor that uses interchangeable blades. Of course, he didn’t have competition at the time, today he has. So, in order to entice men to use his invention (instead of an open razor), he priced the razor itself below cost. And as I said, he then made big profits on the blades, which by the way needed frequent replacement at the time.

    Today, that shaving device isn’t much in use and there are also strong competitors.
  18. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 688   +67

    Then there is also the Wilkinson strategy. He came later, when there was competition on razors and blades.

    So he made his razor, with suitable projections, to only accept his blades, which had corresponding recesses. But his blades would fit everybody’s razor!
  19. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Has anyone ever played that game, where you tell somone something, then pass it on; and when it gets to the end it's a totally different topic !!

    I'm betting yes :)
  20. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 688   +67

    You are right on both counts: that we’ve played the game and that we’ve changed subject.

    Hence my remark:
    Actually, from my experience with other boards, this thread has stuck to the original topic longer than usual and received replies more relevant than usual. Further strict adherence would inevitably lead to repetitions.

    A small reservation though. The current topic(s) are not totally different, as they still deal with overpricing. The strategies described help in understanding how (lack of) competition is exploited, and may lead to further explanation of why graphics cards are expensive. After all, the laws governing graphic card pricing are universal.

    That’s my excuse anyway. ;)
  21. DaMak420

    DaMak420 TS Rookie Posts: 189

    Just for the record..... My motherboard wasn't cheap.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131274 - And that's actually approx. 50 dollars less than what I paid for it.

    you CAN get an inexpensive mobo, and you CAN get an inexpensive graphics card. The difference is in the details.

    If you are happy running games on medium to medium/low settings, and are using a smaller display, you don't need as much "power" from either.

    If you want to try to stay on the crest of the technology wave, it is always going to cost the big bucks.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,555

    Because Razors are a Cutthroat Business.......

    Take that kimsland! LOL LOL LOL ROTFLOL.....

    So boys and girls, the moral of the story is this, if you want to be the first kid on your block to have the latest computer s***, be prepared to pay this special price reserved for the first kid on the block.

    This is known as the "grab your ankles" strategy. Still LOL, but respectfully mind you.

    Here I would differ , as popular wisdom has it that "the devil is in the details". I'm jus' sayin'
  23. shoeseat

    shoeseat TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 87

    "DaMak420" are you from USA.We have a location here in Nepal called "Damak".As soon as i saw your name i thought you were from here.Hehe.anyway nice to hear that ur mobo is expensive than GC.I would have bought cheaper mobo and 8800GT here instead of buying this mobo.:grinthumb.Are you running what three way SLI?just guessing.After all who need such an expensive mobo if u don't SLI with at least one pair.

    Today i think i know the reason why GCs are more expensive here in South Asia than other part of the owrld.Its because here aren't any serious gamers except 1/2.So the retailers have only like 2/3 pic of main stream cards like 800GT when they first came and some 10/15 medium cards like 8600GT.So they don't sell these cards in less price even today until they get their stock cleared cause they have to cover their cost price.I am saying this because i went like about 1 year ago to buy my friends computer and today i went to exchange my dead mouse and i asked the price of MSI 8600GT an its still where it was last year like $130.

    Where as in USA almost everyone is getting at least 8600GT when they buy desktop PC.Am i right?Obliviously the stock get cleared soon as the new stock comes with low market price.Also the price is low due to local production.

    That's the main idea i think otherwise why the price difference is minimum for processors like of $15-20 and maximum for GCs here.
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,555

    In a word, no!

    Best Buy has this Dell I530S-109B Desktop, 19" Widescreen LCD Monitor & 3-in-1 Printer, on sale for about $730.00 USD. It has an Intel E7200CPU and Intel GMA3100 graphics, which are integrated.
    Dell's performance series of gaming computers "X2S" are at about the $1100.00 mark, desktop only. These are shipped with a GT8800 (or this years model thereof).

    I would at this point also like to squelch the rumor that the streets in America are paved with gold. In many areas, (including my neighborhood) they're paved with crack bags, take out food wrappings, and dog s***. Sorry if I've shattered any illusions.
  25. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I don't have anything more to add to the graphics card portion. But if you are still using a 1-2 blade razor, you really need to upgrade to the Fusion 5 blade. I don't think it shaves much or any better than a Mach3, but it actually has a 6th blade on the top and back side of it, which is ideal for making a clean cut on your sideburns, or like under your nose where its harder to get the regular blades to reach.

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