Previous Update, September 9–23, 2021:
The volatility in Bitcoin and Ethereum prices continued, and the latest China crackdown on cryptocurrency trading at any level caused the expected tumble in prices. Ethereum is now below $3,000 for the first time in a while, and Bitcoin is approaching the $40K mark. It's a bit too recent to have impacted graphics card prices, but if the current trend continues we could see more GPUs start showing up on sites like eBay.
We're looking at the past two weeks of data for the latest generation graphics cards, for the middle weeks of September. We check eBay's sold auctions, filtering for junk data and confining results to actual real GPUs (as much as possible). Some junk listings may slip through, but we're mostly looking at the overall trends.
|Graphics Card||Avg eBay Price||QTY Sold||Gross Sales|
|GeForce RTX 3090||$2,750||647||$1,779,030|
|GeForce RTX 3080 Ti||$1,817||675||$1,226,313|
|GeForce RTX 3080||$1,672||888||$1,484,470|
|GeForce RTX 3070 Ti||$1,174||470||$551,836|
|GeForce RTX 3070||$1,213||955||$1,158,530|
|GeForce RTX 3060 Ti||$930||1643||$1,527,694|
|GeForce RTX 3060 12GB||$699||1581||$1,104,566|
|Radeon RX 6900 XT||$1,526||109||$166,326|
|Radeon RX 6800 XT||$1,328||149||$197,941|
|Radeon RX 6800||$1,314||61||$80,181|
|Radeon RX 6700 XT||$869||420||$364,791|
|Radeon RX 6600 XT||$584||727||$424,350|
With no 17,000 Nvidia Founders Edition GPU restock at Best Buy supplying scalpers with extra cards to sell, unit sales on nearly every Nvidia GPU are down compared to our previous update. The total number of Nvidia cards sold dropped by 15%, with the RTX 3080 Ti being the only card to buck the trend, selling 4% more cards than last time. AMD on the other hand showed overall growth of 16%, thanks mostly to the 60% jump in the number of RX 6600 XT cards sold.
Total sales for Nvidia cards in dollars spent (on eBay) dropped by 16% as well, while money spent on AMD GPUs increased by 10% — more people were buying the cheaper cards, basically. Nvidia GPU prices remained mostly flat, though the RTX 3090 average price went up 5% while the RTX 3080 Ti average price dropped by 3%. AMD GPUs in contrast showed larger swings. The RX 6900 XT average price dropped by 6%, the RX 6800 XT, RX 6800, and RX 6700 XT all increased in average price by 4–7%, and the RX 6600 XT price dropped by 2%.
This is one of the few times where any of AMD's RX 6000-series GPUs outsold multiple Nvidia's RTX 30-series cards. It's also the closest AMD has been to Nvidia in terms of market ratio. Nvidia still outsold AMD by 4.7 GPUs to 1, but that's a lot better than previous updates where the ratio was 6 to 1 or more. Money spent on GPUs still favors Nvidia by 7.2 to 1, though.
Summary: No Crypto-Crash Yet
Despite continued crackdowns on the use of cryptocurrencies in China, we haven't seen the predicted crash in prices. Sure, Bitcoin is down over 33% from its all-time high, and Ethereum is down over 25% from its high, but both are still trading at nearly 10X their price from a year ago.
The current profitability for cryptocurrency mining has also dropped quite a bit since earlier in the year, but the RTX 3080, RTX 3080 Ti, and RTX 3090 can all still net over $5 per day. Other cards like the RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 Ti, along with all the Navi 21 GPUs (RX 6900 XT, RX 6800 XT, and RX 6800) can net about $3.50 per day. That means it would take nearly a year to break even on the cost of the hardware, but clearly there are still people buying cards for mining purposes.
It's not just miners buying GPUs, though. There are still plenty of PC gamers that wouldn't mind an upgrade. Look at the latest generation consoles as another example: Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are averaging close to $800 on eBay, 60% more than their official prices. Best-case, we'd expect the latest RTX 30-series and RX 6000-series GPUs to track closer to the console markup, and right now only the cards with the highest MSRP, like the RTX 3080 Ti and RX 6900 XT, are marked up that far.
Actually, that's not quite true. If you want a latest generation graphics card, AMD's RX 6600 XT is only marked up about 50%. So you can buy that card for under $600, a real bargain! (That's sarcasm, FYI.) It's a better deal than the RTX 3060, which costs a bit more and is generally slower in most games that don't use ray tracing, but the most desirable cards cost about double the AMD and Nvidia MSRPs.
If we can get several months in a row of downward trending cryptocurrency prices, and then if the prices stay down — or maybe if we're lucky they'll roll over and play dead — prices on the best graphics cards might finally recover. That's a big "if," unfortunately for PC gamers.