In context: The PC hardware industry has been under intense pressure from crypto miners, scalpers, and gamers alike lately. Throw the ongoing chip shortage and the Covid-19 pandemic into the mix, and you have a recipe for pricing disaster. While we can't say for sure when the situation will substantially improve for ordinary gamers, PC building companies will experience some relief soon thanks to recent manufacturing optimizations at Nvidia HQ.
According to new reports, the company has managed to reduce its manufacturing costs by anywhere between 8 to 12 percent. Nvidia has already informed its AIC partners of this news, as well as its intentions to pass these new savings directly on to said partners.
Strangely, WCCFTech reports that those AICs won't then offer those savings directly to consumers. Instead, they will be passed on again to system builders like NZXT, Corsair, Omen PC, Maingear, and others. In other words, don't expect a sudden dip in pricing on individual partner-branded cards you might find at local or digital retailers.
That said, there's still room for optimism there. As we pointed out in our last GPU pricing update, costs continue to drop across the board, with some cards seeing a retail price dip of up to 11 percent between January and February. They still come in at far above MSRP, but again, the point is that the situation is improving rather than growing worse, and Nvidia's manufacturing optimizations certainly won't hurt there.
Returning to the topic at hand, gamers are only likely to see price improvements if they purchase a build through a system integrator thanks to the way these savings are being passed down the sales chain. Everyone else will have to content themselves with a more gradual decline in pricing over the next few months; provided that crypto mining demand remains low.
Intel's impending entry into the GPU market should also have a positive impact on overall card pricing. However, we can't say how significant the dip might be until the first Alchemist GPUs officially launch sometime this year -- likely between May and June.