If you've wanted to pick up a graphics card in 2021, you've had to be prepared to keep a close eye on stock or pay over the odds for one. Unfortunately, that's still the case today, but good news is the latest pricing figures out of 3DCenter (opens in new tab) suggest graphics card prices are actually dropping in Germany.
According to the figures from German retailers—collated by 3DCenter at irregular intervals during the year to date (via Videocardz (opens in new tab))—prices for the latest Nvidia and AMD graphics card have both settled down to 153% of MSRP, on average. That's still a lot more to pay for a graphics card you should be able to purchase at MSRP, but it's a damn sign better than 304% of the MSRP, which was the average selling price for an Nvidia GPU mid-May.
A month and a half later and we're looking at a much more favourable GPU market, if not quite where we'd like it to be yet.
The prices of Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs have seemingly declined at a faster pace than AMD Radeon RX 6000-series. It is worth noting, however, that those same cards also hit greater peaks during peak inflation.
The average price for an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 (opens in new tab) in Germany today is between €799–€1,490, down from €1,498–€1,649 on May 16. It launched for €519.
AMD's Radeon RX 6800 XT (opens in new tab) is available for €1,089–1,499, which was available for €649 at launch. Admittedly, this has been a difficult card to find in stock ever since.
There are a multitude of factors at play in the increasing price tags for graphics cards in the first half of 2021. Generally speaking, though, the increase in price was due to demand outstripping supply, which was no doubt severely worsened due to a surge in cryptocurrency mining interest.
It's possible that the introduction of a cryptocurrency mining limiter on all RTX 30-series GPUs is the reason for a lessened demand in graphics cards on the crypto side and the subsequent slip in price tags. That doesn't do much to explain AMD's slide, however, which may point to a generally more robust supply chain for GPUs than we've seen in previous months.
The 3DCenter report seems to corroborate this, and states that GPU delivery quantities are now "currently sufficient" for the quieter summer period.
So, in Germany things are looking up, at least. With China also reportedly going through a bit of a lull in cryptocurrency demand (opens in new tab), in part due to many crackdowns on mining, we could see an improvement in pricing in other regions as supply stabilises. There are also reports of GPU prices dropping in Russia (opens in new tab), too, so this isn't an isolated case.
It's important to keep expectations at bay, however. Graphics card prices remain far in excess of MSRP, and supply might not return to normality for some time yet (opens in new tab), and when that changes it's important to try and find a graphics card the honest way (opens in new tab) rather than put cash in the pocket of crypto-miner flogging some worn-out GPU over the odds to recoup their losses.