You can finally afford to buy a GPU again

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NVIDIA

The day you have waited for is finally here; GPUs are now reasonably priced, in stock, and for sale. Buying a graphics card today guarantees you the best price of the last three years; yes, you can finally afford to buy a GPU again.

There is only one problem. The price of the graphics card is yet in a strong downward trend, and external factors could push prices further down. You can afford a graphics card again, that’s true, but you might want to wait a bit longer.

Why are GPU prices low?

We noticed that GPU prices were plummeting back in March. Data of 3D Center he suggested that prices would continue to fall throughout 2022 with GPU prices reaching MSRP in June or July. That prediction was correct.

The sharp drop in GPU price is mainly due to the drop in cryptocurrencies. Graphics cards are often used to “mine” cryptocurrencies, but we have reached a point where equipment and electricity costs outweigh the revenue generated from crypto mining. Only those with deep pockets, business responsibilities, or a willingness to gamble have continued their operations.

That means fewer people are buying graphics cards, and more importantly, crypto miners are racing to resell their GPUs before prices hit rock bottom. The used market is awash with GPUs right now, and when there are a lot of products, things get cheaper.

In addition to the collapse of cryptocurrencies, GPU manufacturing is at an all-time high. Stores can finally keep a stock of GPUs without stupid tricks; unfortunately, players may purchase fewer of these cards than they normally would. Many players are taking advantage of the used market, for example, while others are scared by our difficult economic situation. If retailers end up with an oversupply of GPUs, prices could drop further.

The new GPUs are in stock and for sale

The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT GPU

If you haven’t been to Newegg or other computer retailers in a while, you’re in for a ride. It’s like going back in time: not only are there GPUs in stock, but they’re also at MSRP. And by gosh, some units are even for sale.

At the time of writing, high-end cards like the RTX 3080 are roughly $50 off at NewEgg, and our friends at antonline are selling the RTX 3060 for just $400. The cheapest GPUs for 1080p gaming, like the Radeon RX 6600, they face even bigger discounts.

The only problem is that prices could continue to drop. Those who buy a GPU today get the best deal of the last three years, but they may not get the best deal of 2022.

Buying a GPU now will also be locked in the past. Next-gen GPUs are coming later this year, and while they probably won’t be discounted, they will sell at MSRP (something we barely experienced with the previous generation). Not to mention, when the RTX 4000 and Radeon 7000 cards hit the market, the older GPUs will be less expensive. You’ll get an even bigger discount on that latest-gen hardware if you just wait a few months.

And used GPUs are even cheaper

A GPU-packed crypto mining platform.
Artie Medvedev / Shutterstock.com

From a profit point of view, now is the worst time to sell a GPU since 2019. Cards that sold for $4,000 a few years ago are only worth a few hundred dollars today. Still, the used market is awash with graphics cards, as crypto miners scramble to sell old gear before it pays off. even less money.

If you buy a used GPU today, I can almost guarantee that it was used to mine cryptocurrencies. But it can also cost a few hundred dollars less than a new graphics card. So should you buy used?

As we have seen in laboratory tests of LTT and others, using a GPU for crypto mining doesn’t really affect its performance. Still, buying used computer parts is always a gamble, and crypto farms don’t always treat their equipment with respect. Simply using a GPU may not affect its performance, but dust, corrosion, and heat exposure certainly will.

I highly recommend reading How to do it Geek guide on used GPUs if you are thinking of buying an aftermarket graphics card. It will severely reduce your chances of being scammed.

One thing to note: gamers are currently upgrading their PCs with used crypto GPUs. Most of these players already owns a GPU of some kind, and a lot of those old GPUs will end up on eBay. That means we’ll see another flood of used GPUs in the coming months, which could push prices even lower.

You can afford to buy a GPU, but should you?

The NVIDIA RTX 3080 graphics card floating in cyberspace.
NVIDIA

We know that GPU prices are trending down, and all signs suggest the trend will continue. Graphics cards should get even cheaper in a month or two, so if you’re looking for the best deal, you might want to wait until August or September.

One thing to keep in mind is that next generation GPUs are just around the corner. NVIDIA is expected to release its RTX 4000 series cards between July and August, and AMD Radeon 7000 series cards should arrive this fall. When these GPUs are released, the older models will be less valuable, especially on the used market.

And while I don’t want to spread a lot of doom and gloom, we are currently in the midst of an economic downturn. A recession is a great possibility. If a recession strikes, demand for computer parts may plummet — bad news for manufacturers that ramped up production to meet increased demand during 2020 and 2021.

In other words, we could end up with a massive oversupply of PC parts by 2023. The same thing happened in 2009, and guess what? Computer parts got pretty cheap. (The current situation is a bit tricky, especially due to chip shortages and supply chain constraints. Some players are betting on this outcome, though.)

I strongly suggest waiting at least a month or two before purchasing a GPU, as prices should continue to fall due to a strong second-hand market, declining demand, and the arrival of next-gen cards. Prices could be very attractive this August or September. But if you’re willing to bet on an economic disaster, which we’ll hopefully avoid, you may want to hold out even longer.