In context: The current generation of RTX Ampere and RDNA 2 GPUs from Nvidia and AMD are getting old, but it looks like prices may soon reach MSRP levels. After almost two years of inflated prices and poor availability, that's hardly something to celebrate, but at least the trend is positive for many gamers who've been priced out of the GPU market by scalpers, crypto miners, and retailers.
One may be tempted to point fingers at Nvidia and AMD for the chaotic GPU market we've experienced for the last two years, but according to analyst Jon Peddie, it was mostly distributors and retailers who raised prices to unaffordable levels.
This was done under the pretext of supply and demand forces beyond their control, but the supply part has been slowly improving over the past several months. And with governments cracking down on mining, growing energy prices, and Ethereum's impending transition to a proof-of-stake consensus, the demand has slowed considerably.
The latest report from 3DCenter on European GPU prices indicates they're inching closer to MSRP.
The publication has been charting the price and availability trends for both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards since early 2021 (as have we, but for US pricing), and this update continues to paint a picture of gradual improvement in both areas.
Nvidia RTX 3000 cards are now priced at an average of six percent above the manufacturer's suggested price levels, while AMD's RX 6000 series hover more closely at just 2 percent above MSRP.
As our readers are no doubt aware, there seems to be a correlation between Ethereum's profitability and GPU pricing, and both have seen slow and steady declines over the past five months.
The detailed picture is a little more nuanced, where some GPUs like the Radeon RX 6500 XT and RX 6600 XT can be found for as much as 19 percent below MSRP, while others are still grossly overpriced.
Even the high-end RX 6900 XT can be found at 12 percent below Team Red's suggested price, but the same cannot be said of the RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT, which are listed at 22 percent and 35 percent more than their respective MSRPs.
The only Nvidia GPU to be found slightly below MSRP is the GeForce RTX 3090. Other high-end models like the RTX 3080, RTX 3080 Ti, and mid-range models like the RTX 3070 and RTX 3070 Ti can be found for 5 to 12 percent above MSRP. The worst choice in terms of value right now appears to be the RTX 3060 Ti, which is sold for 21 percent more than Team Green's suggested price.
Of course, GPU pricing does vary by region and retailer, but the downward trend has been maintained for several months now. As we noted in our latest monthly GPU pricing report, the dilemma now is that a new generation of graphics cards is set for release later this year, so buying cards that are now one or two years old -- which has been a moving goalpost -- even if found at MSRP may not be the best choice.
On the bright side, there seems to be more room for price drops for mid-range and high-end graphics cards, and eBay prices for older cards are also seeing double-digit drops every month.
Furthermore, Nvidia has been working to reduce manufacturing costs, which should more than offset the increase in wafer prices. Meanwhile, AMD's refreshed RX 6x50 XT cards can be found at or near MSRP, at least in the US.