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How to Get the Best Graphics Card Deal

If you’re in the market for a new graphics card, it can be pretty tough to discern a deal from a dud heading in to Black Friday and Cyber Monday season. Nvidia's RTX cards, whether they be the original models from 2018 or the Super variants that have arrived this year, tent to stick pretty closely to their MSRPs. So it's unclear if we'll see many (or any) major deals on those high-end cards. That said, the launch of the more mainstream GTX 1660 Super means we could see some price drops on the GTX 1660 Ti, one step up the performance ladder.

Older and more mainstream cards have now long been down from their year-long highs due to fading interest in cryptocurrencies. But retailers still sometimes use those previously extreme prices to make a card seem like it’s a steal when, in fact, it may be selling at or close to its 2016-era launch price.

How, then, do you tell if the sale price on a specific card is a good deal or not? A good place to start is to look up that original selling price/MSRP, which you can always find in our graphics card reviews. That at least will give you a baseline and let you know whether or not the current price is inflated.

The next step is to check the specific card or cards you’re considering on a price-tracking site like camelcamelcamel or PCPartPicker.

Armed with the MSRP and a detailed history of pricing, you’re in a pretty good place to tell whether a “sale price” is a legit deal or just a slight dip down from an inflated price. But what cards / GPUs do we specifically expect to see deals on this holiday season?

For starters, as we said up top, don’t expect any major price slashes on RTX cards as the year draws to a close. 10-series Nvidia-based cards are still readily available, but usually at inflated prices that don't make them appealing given their age and the fact that newer, better-performing 20-series options are available for about the same price or less.

The prices of many AMD Radeon RX 580 and RX 590 cards now hover between $180 and $240. And with what looks to be lots of stock still available, they're likely to plunge even more now that AMD has announced the newer Radeon RX 5500 has been announced, aimed at the same market of 1080p mainstream gamers. But given that those Polaris-based cards are based on nearly four-year-old silicon, and we still don't yet know the price or performance of the RX 5500, deals on older AMD cards will have to be pretty steep before buying into something so old makes sense. 

If you spot an RX 580 or 590 well below $150 and you don't want to wait, it may be worth considering. But you may also regret that purchase in the coming months if lower-end 5000-series parts become available that perform better and consume less power at a lower price.

If you’re still not sure exactly which card to shop for or how much you should pay to achieve the performance you're after, you should check out our graphics card buying guideGPU Performance Hierarchy and Best Graphics Cards pages for help narrowing down your options.