If you've been waiting for the release of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 series to upgrade your elderly machine, or start your first gaming build then it sadly looks like the great graphics card drought may continue for some time.
Prices for GPUs like the RTX 3080 on auction sites like eBay (opens in new tab) have skyrocketed last month from an average of $1,300 -$1,500, reaching an eyewatering median of $2,069 by March 3. And these aren't just the list prices – it appears that some desperate consumers are actually buying the cards at these crazy markups.
The RTX 3080 video cards have a typical recommended retail price of $699 to $869 (dependant on what manufacturer you buy from), which means many listings are currently bumping the product to over twice its stated value.
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Data for the inflation comes from data engineer Michael Driscoll, who has also previously reported on similar issues faced by console fans. When speaking to PCMag (opens in new tab), he noted that the numbers began to drop around the release of the RTX 3060, Nvidias latest affordable GPU.
“The prices stopped going up exactly when the 3060 launched, so that can't be a coincidence, not a huge drop, but significant. For the increases, I have no way of confirming this, but I know many employers give out year-end bonuses in February, and people are starting to file and receive tax returns, which could be driving some of the price increase.”
Dark times ahead for PC builders
While cryptominers are not solely to blame for the insane inflation we're seeing, it's certainly a contributing factor. We've seen a boom in folk using these new RTX cards in cryptomining farms since the 3000 series launched in late 2020, and even gaming brands such as Zotac seem to have no issues on if their product actually gets into the hands of gamers or miners.
It's too early to tell if the products being released by Nvidia to limit the card's ability to mine cryptocurrencies will actually have an impact on available stock or scalped prices on auction sites, but we're not holding out that things will get better any time soon.
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Via Extreme tech (opens in new tab)