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GPU Prices, January 2022

As this is the first update for September, we'll provide the full Turing and RDNA1 August rundown. With the recent volatility in Bitcoin and Ethereum prices — Bitcoin jumped from around $47K to over $52K before 'crashing' back to the current ~$46K, and Ethereum shot from around $3,100 to over $3,900 early in the month before dropping back to the current ~$3,450 — the impact on GPU prices has been less dramatic. Cryptocurrency mining continues to affect GPU prices and availability, though the potential to make a big profit has definitely trailed off.

We're looking at the past two weeks of data for the latest generation graphics cards now, and below we'll have all of the August data for previous generation GPUs. 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. Here's how things looked at the end of August and beginning of September.

Ampere and RDNA 2 Graphics Card Sales on eBay
Graphics CardAvg eBay PriceQTY SoldGross Sales
GeForce RTX 3090$2,620854$2,237,873
GeForce RTX 3080 Ti$1,880651$1,223,639
GeForce RTX 3080$1,6661253$2,088,099
GeForce RTX 3070 Ti$1,167541$631,466
GeForce RTX 3070$1,2041029$1,239,276
GeForce RTX 3060 Ti$9161988$1,820,988
GeForce RTX 3060 12GB$7071719$1,215,797
Radeon RX 6900 XT$1,62064$103,690
Radeon RX 6800 XT$1,280202$258,568
Radeon RX 6800$1,232101$124,393
Radeon RX 6700 XT$825445$367,339
Radeon RX 6600 XT$593450$266,963

Remember last month when there were 17,000 Nvidia Founders Edition GPUs sent to Best Buy? They all immediately sold out, as far as we could discern when we visited a local store, and we mused about the potential for many of those cards to end up on eBay. Compared to the prior two weeks, the number of graphics cards sold on eBay shot up 36% for Nvidia GPUs — and 30% for AMD GPUs as well.

That might be coincidence, so we checked on RTX Founders Edition models specifically. There were 1,915 sold in the past two weeks, compared to 868 during the previous two weeks. The good news is that potentially only 1,000 or so of the Best Buy GPUs got sold on eBay, so that's only 6% of the GPUs. Better than nothing, maybe, but the GPU drought continues.

With more GPUs sold, we'd expect a slight decrease in prices, and it's there. Again, it can get a bit fuzzy, but the average price per GPU sold dropped by 2.5% during the past two weeks. The problem with that figure is that RX 6600 XT unit sales increased substantially, which mostly counteracts any overall change in prices, and most of the cards continued to sell at roughly the same cost as before, give or take a few percent. The RX 6900 XT, 6800 XT, and RX 6800 all went up by 4–6% as well.

Looking at AMD vs. Nvidia GPUs sold on eBay, for the latest generation models, Nvidia beat AMD by 6.4 to 1 on quantity and 9.3 to 1 on gross sales — the latter is much higher as Nvidia's Ampere GPUs generally sell at higher prices than the roughly equivalent AMD GPUs. That's another $11.6 million worth of graphics cards sold on eBay, with eBay claiming about $1.6 million of it in fees.

Turing and RDNA Graphics Card Sales on eBay, August 2021
Previous Generation Graphics CardsAvg eBay PriceQTY SoldGross Sales
GeForce RTX 2080 Ti$1,039360$374,148.00
GeForce RTX 2080 Super$839256$214,745.60
GeForce RTX 2080$759195$147,930.90
GeForce RTX 2070 Super$709463$328,285.52
GeForce RTX 2070$707320$226,246.40
GeForce RTX 2060 Super$642266$170,870.42
GeForce RTX 2060$513570$292,672.20
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti$459374$171,778.20
GeForce GTX 1660 Super$472669$315,921.87
GeForce GTX 1660$386406$156,549.54
GeForce GTX 1650 Super$329258$84,763.32
GeForce GTX 1650$295676$199,487.60
Radeon RX 5700 XT$847848$718,128.80
Radeon RX 5700$744112$83,305.60
Radeon RX 5600 XT$555212$117,719.36
Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB$40776$30,935.80
Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB$31427$8,467.47

What about the prior generation of GPUs? Here we've tracked all the August sales of Nvidia's RTX 20- and GTX 16-series GPUs along with AMD's RX 5000-series cards. Most of these continue to sell at prices that are significantly higher than the launch prices, with the exception (again) of the RTX 2080 Ti. The AMD GPUs and GTX 16-series cards are particularly poor 'deals' right now, with average prices nearly double the original MSRPs.

The ratio of AMD to Nvidia GPUs shifts more toward Team Red here, though Nvidia still outsold AMD by a 3.8 to one ratio. But the difference in gross sales only favors Nvidia by 2.8 to 1, as the RX 5000 cards tend to do quite well at mining efficiency and command relatively higher prices. That's because the number of GPUs sold relative to July dropped quite a bit for AMD on the RDNA GPUs, but increased for Nvidia's Turing cards. Overall numbers dropped by about 10% as well, month over month.

There were also some odd swings in the numbers, like the GTX 1660 Ti number of units sold basically doubled while the GTX 1660 Super numbers dropped by over 40%. We were under the impression that the 1660 Super replaced the 1660 Ti, as both use the same TU116 GPU and deliver nearly identical gaming performance, but perhaps both are still in active production. The 1660 Super does deliver slightly higher mining performance, thanks to its higher memory clocks, which is another reason for Nvidia to prioritize 1660 Ti (from a gaming perspective).

Summary: More of the Same

Bored kid rolling eyes

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Wouldn't it be great if the graphics card shortages would go away? Wouldn't it be awesome if the Covid pandemic stopped being an ongoing concern? And while we're wishing, how about some money growing on trees? At least the first two problems should eventually clear up, unlike the lack of money trees, but that's not happening any time soon.

Based on what we saw with the Best Buy GPU drop last month, it looks as though Nvidia and it's partners likely are only shipping tens of thousands of new graphics cards every week. Meanwhile, demand for reasonably priced GPUs probably exceeds that by an order of magnitude or more. It should eventually equalize, but with millions of PC gamers worldwide, not to mention supercomputers and businesses
and miners that also want a piece of the GPU pie, don't be surprised if the next generation GPUs arrive in 2022 at substantially higher prices.

At least we'll have plenty of other things to look forward to in 2022. Intel will join the dedicated GPU market with Arc Alchemist, and we should see (Ada) Lovelace and RDNA 3 GPUs from Nvidia and AMD at some point as well. That's just the graphics part of the equation as well, with Alder Lake CPUs, V-Cache Zen 3 CPUs, and maybe even Zen 4 CPUs also in the pipeline. But with manufacturing capacity constraints, having more new chips joining the fray may not do much to help people actually acquire the hardware.

Jarred Walton is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on everything GPU. He has been working as a tech journalist since 2004, writing for AnandTech, Maximum PC, and PC Gamer. From the first S3 Virge '3D decelerators' to today's GPUs, Jarred keeps up with all the latest graphics trends and is the one to ask about game performance.