Despite previous reports estimating that the graphics card market could soon be seeing some major availability and pricing improvements, list prices seen for Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 and AMD Radeon RX 6000 series cards have started to stagnate once again.
If you've been trying to buy a new graphics card in recent months, chances are you've been unsuccessful and potentially a little downhearted after wading through listings of insanely inflated prices for scalped products, and refreshing online stores during stock drops.
Meanwhile, where prices have been falling recently in a few regions thanks to the cryptocurrency market taking a tumble, 3DCentre has noticed that this has come to an abrupt halt for German-based retailers.
Graphics Card Prices in 🇩🇪🇦🇹 July 18, 2021👉 Party is over, price reductions hit full brakes.👉 Availability is the same or slightly better.👉 Without any notable movement, it's difficult to predict when retail prices will come close to MSRP.https://t.co/x8VWKEZIEr pic.twitter.com/xIuOcYEDzSJuly 19, 2021
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Don't lose hope yet
It's worth noting of course that the German and Austrian markets don't often reflect on other regions as retailers are unwilling to drop product prices due to the premiums distributors are charging, so it's unwise to make global market predictions from this, but it is indicative that we're not out of the woods yet.
Currently, prices for some of the best graphics cards are still sitting at around 50% over the recommended MSRP in Germany, but it does appear that availability is starting to improve despite the fall in prices coming to a halt so if you're willing to overpay to finally get your hands on a GeForce RTX 3080 then you might find they're easier to find. That said, it's still likely that a little patience could pay off in the coming months.
China's recent crackdown on cryptomining for Bitcoin has caused miners to sell off their used hardware en mass in order to squeeze some final cash out of their operations, which has resulted in used GPUs flooding the Chinese market.
It's anticipated that this could have a knock-on effect for both availability and affordability due to China being responsible for around two-thirds of the world's Bitcoin mining in 2020.
Something would have to go drastically wrong for the trends we've seen of late to do a complete U-turn. With Nvidia ramping up production, and Ethereum and Bitcoin mining no longer being as lucrative as it was previously (as well as China closing down existing mining farms), there is both increased availability and decreased competition. If you fancy taking a risk then you can even buy one of the many used GPUs in Chinese marketplaces for around MSRP.
WCCFTech also weighed in that Nvidia's LHR (or 'Light Hash rate') series has also caused GPU prices to fall as miners don't want the hassle of cracking the anti-mining protocols built into the cards, leaving gamers a little more buying power to force retailers to lower prices to something a little more reasonable.
It's likely that the current stagnation seen by 3DCentre is a temporary blip, and we remain hopeful that the global market for GPUs will start to see improvements again, but for now just having more GPUs on the shelves for gamers is a much-needed win.
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Jess is a former TechRadar Computing writer, where she covered all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. Jess is now a journalist at The Verge.