Bad news for crypto miners is good news for gamers. While GPU prices have steadily fallen over the past few months, the ongoing cryptocurrency crash appears to be expediting the return to MSRP. As Tom’s Hardware reports, GPU prices decreased by around 15% in May following drops of 10% to 15% in the months prior. In some cases, prices are dropping below recommended pricing.
For now, the used market on eBay is dropping at a faster rate, though prices for new GPUs are also steadily declining. Retail pricing fell by 2% in the past two weeks; that may not sound like much, but that decline was offset by a 9% increase in the price of the RTX 3080 (12GB).
Top graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD enjoyed significant price drops, with the RTX 3070 and RTX 3070 Ti falling by 7% and the RTX 3050 now 6% more affordable than before. Even the flagship RTX 3090 Ti is down 5%. Things were more steady on the AMD front, though prices for the Radeon RX 6600 XT and RX 6600 fell by 3%. Most of the other cards from Team Red maintained their price month-over-month but were already near MSRP, whereas Nvidia cards have a longer path back.
Looking at the average retail price compared to the suggested price, only Nvidia’s high-end cards (RTX 3090 Ti, RTX 3090, RTX 3080 Ti) are selling at or below MSRP. The others—including the RTX 3080, 3070, 3060 Ti, 3060, and 3050—remain $50 to $100 above asking.
The used market, as stated above, is plunging at an even faster rate. Over the past two weeks, Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti dropped by 19%, the RTX 3080 by 17%, and the RTX 3070 by 15%. The average sold prices on eBay dropped by 10% in just 14 days, and if you ignore the new AMD RX 6750 XT and RX 6400 (which are hard to find anyway), the average drop was 12%.
Tom’s Hardware suggests these cards are being resold, in part, due to the steep decline in the value of cryptocurrency. With crypto crashing and energy prices increasing, miners are giving up and trying to get back some of the money they lost buying equipment before everybody else sells their GPUs at a lower price. Bitcoin, by the way, dropped from around a peak of $32,000 to about $21,000 in the last few weeks while Ethereum is at around $1,100, down from $1,900. Keep in mind that the used GPUs could be the overworked scraps used by crypto miners, and might not have much life left in them.
Either way, the result is more affordable GPUs for gamers who have been sidelined for the last two years as supply chain problems and scalpers made it almost impossible to purchase a graphics card and even harder to find one at a reasonable price. As Tom’s Hardware points out, the RTX 3080 cost more than $1,000 just a few months ago; you can now find one for around $640 or, in one particular deal, $418 when you buy six.
So should you go out and buy a GPU right now? Not exactly. Nvidia is scheduled to release RTX 40-series cards later this year while AMD will compete with RX 7000-series GPUs. These will no doubt bring significant performance gains over the outgoing cards, but the real question is whether there will be enough stock—and competitive enough pricing—to make them worthwhile upgrades over the now-more-affordable current gen.