Beware, some of the Memorial Day graphics card deals aren't as good as they seem

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition graphics card at various angles
(Image credit: Future)

We're already finding loads of Memorial Day PC gaming deals, and loads that are genuinely worth your time, surprisingly even on graphics cards. However, I have spotted a few that have really riled me up: Here's a PNY GeForce RTX 3060 with $220 off, for example. Sounds great, right, that's bound to be cheap? In reality it's still demanding $430 of your hard-earned cash—$101 over Nvidia's launch price—because its MSRP is set to an insulting $650.

Look, it's not actually the worst deal in the world for an RTX 3060 right now, simply because the RTX 3060 still hasn't dropped in price enough since the GPU shortage to be worth picking up yet. It's just not as good a deal as it sounds.

There are a bunch of Memorial Day gaming PC deals with RTX 3060 GPUs for decent prices, but discrete 3060 cards? Not so much. I found an MSI Ventus RTX 3060 going for $410, which is a saving of $60 from that card's original $470 price tag. Not bad, but still nowhere close to Nvidia's launch price. That sort of money should get you the much improved RTX 3060 Ti, really.

A PC gamer can dream.

Here's a reminder of the prices that today's GPUs launched at:

Nvidia

  • RTX 3090 Ti - $1,999
  • RTX 3090 FE - $1,499
  • RTX 3080 Ti FE - $1,199
  • RTX 3080 FE - $699
  • RTX 3070 Ti - $599
  • RTX 3070 - $499
  • RTX 3060 Ti - $399
  • RTX 3060 - $329
  • RTX 3050  - $249

AMD

  • RX 6950 XT - $1,099
  • RX 6900 XT - $999
  • RX 6800 XT - $649
  • RX 6800 - $579
  • RX 6750 XT - $549
  • RX 6700 XT - $479
  • RX 6650 XT - $399
  • RX 6600 XT - $379
  • RX 6600 - $329
  • RX 6500 XT - $199

Sadly, we rarely find graphics cards selling around these launch prices, but don't count yourself out of that GPU upgrade yet. There is clearly a ton of GPU stock about at retailers right now, and some cards are dipping near, or even below, their launch prices.

Take this AMD RX 6600, which at $300 is suddenly a great option when you're looking at RTX 3060 prices like those mentioned above. Or these two EVGA graphics cards, if you're looking to spend a little (lot) more. 

XFX Speedster Radeon RX 6600 | 8GB GDDR6 | 1,792 cores | 2,491MHz Boost | $319.99 $299.99 at Best Buy (save $20)

XFX Speedster Radeon RX 6600 | 8GB GDDR6 | 1,792 cores | 2,491MHz Boost | $319.99 $299.99 at Best Buy (save $20)
GPUs under their reference price have been few and far between over the past couple years, and the fact that AMD's made huge strides in supply is really telling at retail now. For over $100 less than any RTX 3060 out there, this RX 6600 will still perform at the same level.

EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra | 10GB GDDR6X | 8,704 cores | 1,800MHz Boost | $919.99 $869.99 at EVGA (save $50)

EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra | 10GB GDDR6X | 8,704 cores | 1,800MHz Boost | $919.99 $869.99 at EVGA (save $50)
In terms of 2022 GPU pricing, this much over reference MSRP looks pretty damned good. Considering RTX 3080 cards were retailing for more than $1,000 at some points, this overclocked EVGA is a great option for high-end PC gaming.

EVGA RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra | 12GB GDDR6X | 10,240 cores | 1,800MHz Boost | $1,429.99 $1,199.99 at EVGA (save $230)

EVGA RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra | 12GB GDDR6X | 10,240 cores | 1,800MHz Boost | $1,429.99 $1,199.99 at EVGA (save $230)
This is an overclocked RTX 3080 Ti that's actually retailing for the original reference price of the card. Now that was a heart-stoppingly high cost, but here you're getting a higher boost clock (by 135MHz) and a chonky triple fan cooler to boot.

My point is: you shouldn't always take these discounts at face value, whether on a graphics card, headset, gaming PC, or anything else. Some are just fine—even this PNY RTX 3060 isn't dreadful if you're comparing to its price the past 12 months—but some are not as great as they may appear on the surface. 

One of the best ways we know to look past sneaky sales tactics is to use price trackers, such as CamelCamelCamel. That's a tool that tracks Amazon prices, but can be useful even if you're not purchasing on Amazon. Search any product on there and you'll get a decent idea of the going price and past discounts for whatever it is you'd like to buy.

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would later go on to win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top team as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. He also enjoys making short videos for TikTok and believes everyone reading this should go follow our account immediately.