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GPU Pricing Downtrend Stagnates

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(Image credit: Shutterstock)

3DCenter has published a GPU market pricing analysis which updates German pricing trends up to July 18th. The news isn't the best; it seems that the pricing decline is levelling off, with a minimal 3% average price drop for Nvidia's RTX 30-series. AMD's Radeon RX 6000 series pricing, however, has bounced slightly up an equivalent 3%.

Despite the massive reduction in pricing compared to previous May highs, which saw NVIDIA's RTX 30-series selling on average at three times their MSRP, prices are still inflated across the market, with Nvidia's latest-gen graphics cards still commanding 50% higher street price than their launch MSRP. AMD buyers have a slightly worse situation on their hands - over on team red, pricing is 56% higher than the MSRP.

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For official resellers and the second-hand market alike, it's all a matter of attempting to maintain margins. German resellers have to balance their prices, for cards already in stock and bought at increased prices from distributors who themselves have increased margins due to the unprecedented supply/demand ratio for graphics cards ever since launch of both Nvidia and AMD's offerings. It's a tricky business; even if retailers can now acquire new GPUs at prices close to MSRP, they still have to offset the higher price they paid to distributors on previously ordered graphics cards. This leads to price averaging between new, lower-priced stock and older, higher-priced stock: resellers increase their margins on cheaper GPUs they've recently acquired so as to be able to reduce pricing for existing supply. This means that any pricing reduction at a distributor level will take a while to propagate - which brings us to the current price stagnation. 

The second-hand market, however, seems to source its stock mostly from miners who are attempting to flee crashing cryptocurrency prices and Ethereum's protocol updates - or from scalpers. None of these have any incentive to reduce their pricing other than lack of sales; and in the current downtrend market, they'll use reseller prices as the baseline for their asking price. As such, and all things considered, the pricing downtrend stagnation likely signals a longer term return to normalcy.

  • daworstplaya
    Wow more GPU bad news. People seems to be scooping up all these GPUs at inflated prices, there seems to be a lack on incentive to lower the prices when people ARE willing to pay higher prices.
    Reply
  • watzupken
    I wasn't expecting the GPU prices to drop significantly to be honest. The problem stems from very limited supply since the start. Mining demand made it worst, but with mining out of the picture for now, the supply is still bad. One look on online retailers shows that while stock is more readily available, they are very limited, and those selling at a lower price will be scooped up shortly after they are listed. And sadly, because of the very limited supply, scalpers are still thriving.
    Reply
  • andrewkelb
    It would be nice if there was some down time between crypto booms but there might only be a stagnation, with desperate builders paying inflated prices while miners sell their least profitable gpus and scalpers scoop them up knowing they can sit on them when the crypto boom picks up later in the year or early next year. Something will replace ethereum when it can no longer be mined on gpus, so I expect this cycle will last for awhile.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Retailers lost their bet against their customers thanks to China crashing the crypto market and now customers are stuck with the bill since retailers don't want to eat into their own inflated margins on past sales.

    Maybe they will think twice about over-paying their distributors next time.
    Reply
  • Bazzy 505
    It is very unlikely the prices will crash to original msrp prices anytime soon. Number of cards shipped is still fairly low and retailers are facing same fixed costs of running their businesses on one end and limited supply to sell on the other.

    While actual gpu chips are pumped out by nvidia at a steady pace right now, severe shortages of GDDR6 memory will keep the number of new cards shipped to customers low throughout the year. Combine with a low vaccination % and rate at which delta is spreading, there is more trouble ahead for both Micron, Samsung and SK Hynix who produce vast majority of these chips. September will be a good indicator of what to expect till mid 2022.
    Reply
  • bigdragon
    We're going to have to wait until 2022 or 2023 for gaming hardware to become readily available again at reasonable prices. Almost a year after the 30-series launch, there's still nothing out there to buy unless you take very specific steps and glue yourself to a computer or phone to track stock obsessively. Same issue plaguing the consoles too.

    I was hoping the GPU and console issues would push developers into the direction of focusing on story, characters, and AI rather than graphics. Not sure how that's panning out. Doesn't look like the big AAA studios know how to focus on things other than graphics.
    Reply
  • Bazzy 505
    bigdragon said:
    We're going to have to wait until 2022 or 2023 for gaming hardware to become readily available again at reasonable prices. Almost a year after the 30-series launch, there's still nothing out there to buy unless you take very specific steps and glue yourself to a computer or phone to track stock obsessively. Same issue plaguing the consoles too.

    I was hoping the GPU and console issues would push developers into the direction of focusing on story, characters, and AI rather than graphics. Not sure how that's panning out. Doesn't look like the big AAA studios know how to focus on things other than graphics.

    Big AAA studios have plenty of talented people to do just that. Problem is, they really can't afford to. AAA games are just too expensive to make to risk straying too far away from proven formulaes. That era has ended in mid 90's when production costs ballooned past 5mil+ mark. Move forward to current maket, where 50 mil budget is something nobody even bats and eye over.

    With digital distribution taking hold, there has been great resurgence of Indie development. While it has showered us with tons of shovelware, it also gave birth to many original, inovative games which would have never seen the light of day otherwise. There's plenty to choose from if AAA production values are not a priority.
    Reply
  • boondockkids
    This blog said that China was shutting down mining - honest to god it was like reading someone pushing a penny stock. There is no way these miners are gonna give up that easily, I have heard most of them are just moving their operations to Vietnam and expect GPU prices to go back up.

    Also why does anyone care what people use the GPU for and what they pay for it?
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    boondockkids said:
    Also why does anyone care what people use the GPU for and what they pay for it?
    Every GWh that gets wasted on crypto-mining is one more GWh that needs to be produced and transported, so there is a fairly substantial environmental reason to get rid of it. Then you have all of the e-waste generated by crypto-mining, all of the additional resources gobbled up by crypto-mining instead of other things in the middle of a global chip shortage, tax evasion, ransomware, etc.

    I suspect the single biggest reason China is cracking down on crypto is to stop wealth exfiltration from the country - the CCP doesn't allow people to leave the country with a significant amount of money without specific approval. Converting wealth to crypto allows Chinese millionaires/billionaires to convert their Yuans to crypto and then whatever else outside the country without the CCP being able to do anything about it other than ban crypto altogether.
    Reply
  • boondockkids
    Fair enough, however, anyone who thinks these miners are just going to voluntarily stop, as Tom's like to push is just wrong. The crypto miners will find a way to restart operations, if not Ethereum it will be another coin. Like I said, last rumors I heard were the operations were moving to Vietnam - and TBH Vietnam won't care or crackdown.
    Reply