There's actually some good graphics card news for a change: they're getting cheaper

Gigabyte RX 6500 XT Gaming OC
(Image credit: Gigabyte)

In a rare bout of good news, graphics card pricing appears to be heading back down to normal levels. Numbers from that track the average of the best prices for the latest Ampere and RDNA2 graphics cards show a downward trend over the last three weeks, and it makes for an encouraging sign of things to come. Could we finally see cards return to normal MSRPs before we enter the summer? 

In the last three weeks, the average pricing for the best deals on AMD's RDNA 2 cards has fallen from 63% above the MSRP to just 45%, while Nvidia's cards have fallen from 77% above to just 57% above. Drops of 18% and 20% respectively.

There are a couple of important caveats with these numbers, but don't let them be a buzz-kill to the idea that everything is going to be alright after all. These numbers were derived from major German and Austrian retailers, so aren't necessarily in line with other retailers around the globe. It's worth pointing out that the PC market in Germany is generally perceived to be in a healthy place, so don't write it off for that.

The numbers are also impacted by recent releases. Both the AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 were launched in January and are the cheapest cards of this generation for both camps—something that will obviously drive the average prices down. These do join fairly stacked families though, and this reduces their impact on those averages too.

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The Nvidia RTX 3070 and AMD RX 6700 XT side by side on a colourful background

(Image credit: Future)

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Will this trend continue? It's hard to be optimistic here, as prices looked similar to this back in July 2021, just before prices rose again, potentially caused by an increase in the value of ethereum leading to an increased demand for mining cards. Cryptocurrencies did crash towards the end of January, but it was a somewhat short downturn and since then they've bounced back, meaning that demand could be about to increase again. 

Here's hoping history doesn't repeat itself.

Alan Dexter

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.