We’re seeing more evidence that GPU prices are slowly normalizing, and indeed that in one case, a price tag has even fallen below the recommended level (or MSRP).
Let’s talk about the latter point first, with one of AMD’s more wallet-friendly models, the RX 6500 XT graphics card, actually moving below the MSRP – and by a hefty chunk – in Germany, as reported by Tom’s Hardware.
This is at major German retailer Mindfactory, where a PowerColor model of the 6500 XT (ITX Gaming, single-fan version) can be had for €169 (or around $185 / £140 / AU$250). Currency conversions don’t really mean much with regional pricing differences, of course, so to put this in a better perspective, that price tag is 35% below the European MSRP, so essentially we’re looking at a price drop of a third off.
However, it isn’t new to see the RX 6500 XT selling below its recommended pricing, which in Germany for the base model of this GPU is €209. Three weeks ago, some of these cards were spotted going for €199 at Mindfactory, but clearly this further drop to €169 is a big shift, and a most welcome one. (Note that Tom’s Hardware observes there are some cookie-related antics going on with pricing on Mindfactory’s site, and you may have to visit the ‘MindStar’ special offers section to see the PowerColor 6500 XT at the above mentioned price tag).
This isn’t the only optimistic signal coming from the GPU market right now, either. As VideoCardz further flagged up, Hardware Unboxed has been monitoring US pricing over at Newegg, another major retailer, with some graphics cards now showing lessening degrees of price inflation above MSRP.
Note that all GPUs evaluated are still higher than their recommended prices, but Nvidia’s RTX 3080 Ti is now 19% above MSRP, which is a fair bit less than it was not so long ago.
Sadly most other Nvidia RTX 3000 models are still substantially inflated, with the best of the rest being the RTX 3090 with a 35% markup, and the RTX 3070 Ti which is running at 42% above MSRP at Newegg right now.
The average price hike for an Nvidia Ampere graphics card is 50%, with some models still pitched way above the recommended levels – witness the 72% premium on the RTX 3070.
For AMD, the average pricing level above MSRP is a somewhat more palatable 38% (relatively speaking), with the 6500 XT unsurprisingly leading the charge here, as in Germany, though it’s still slightly above MSRP costing 13% more. The RX 6600, another lower-end model, is 21% over, and the 6700 XT has a 25% premium.
The flagship RX 6900 XT is also one of the better performers with a 30% level of price inflation, and the 6600 XT is similarly pitched at 32%.
Hardware Unboxed also points to eBay pricing for resold GPUs drifting downwards, with the average price for a new Nvidia graphics card (meaning a scalper’s product listing) dipping by 10% in March compared to the previous month. For AMD it’s a slightly bigger 13% drop, which at least is another sign that overall, things are moving in the right direction.
Analysis: More good news – but we’re still not where we need to be
This is more good news, of course, but we can’t forget that the overall market remains well above where it should be, with price inflation still considerable (and indeed still pretty outrageous with some outlying models). At least it’s nothing like the worst excesses of the hugely stacked price increases we witnessed during 2021, and at least now one AMD graphics card is actually well below MSRP.
Granted, the RX 6500 XT isn’t going to be a great choice for many gamers. As we pointed out in our review, it’s not much of a compelling upgrade if you already have, say, a GTX 1060 or RX 580. And that might be part of the reason why pricing is pitching down somewhat sharply, as there’s decent availability, and obviously not as much demand as with other cards. (Don’t get us wrong, here: remember that the 6500 XT is still a solid 1080p performer).
Speaking of availability, stock levels are improving in the US and elsewhere, Hardware Unboxed observes, and we’ve been hearing many more positive rumblings around GPU pricing in recent times. Nvidia’s price inflation still looks worse than AMD, but again on that front, there’s optimism regarding a recent rumor that suggests Team Green is passing on some cost savings to card makers, and consumers might soon feel the benefit of that (on top of other downward pricing forces).
Let’s hope so, but overall, the positive momentum continues to build, and Intel’s entry into the market (in Q2) will surely push up GPU stock levels considerably, and shape the landscape into a more competitive place. Let’s just hope there are no other stings in the tail with component shortages which have long been predicted to get better in the GPU world (and elsewhere) in the second half of 2022, which again should help normalize pricing.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).