Want a new graphics card on Prime Day? You may have to buy a pre-built PC

image of a gaming PC with its components exposed
(Image credit: Shutterstock / ItzaVU)

Amazon’s Prime Day arrives on June 21, but if you were hoping to see some Prime Day deals for graphics cards, you’re probably going to be out of luck.

This is because the chip shortage that has been going on for months now shows no sign in letting up, and that has meant that retailers around the world have not been getting huge amount of stock in for the new graphics cards, such as the recently-released Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti.      

Add in the growth of cryptocurrency mining, which relies on graphics cards, and you’ve got a perfect storm where buying a new GPU is a bit of a nightmare, to put it mildly.

Should you give up hope?

Does this mean there’s no way to get a new GPU on Prime Day? Not necessarily. While the chances of any modern GPUs either being in stock or getting Prime Day deals is slim, your best bet may be to buy a pre-built gaming PC.

These will come with those sought-after GPUs already installed. Now, this may seem like overkill if you just want to upgrade your graphics card, but there are some factors to consider which make it not seem quite so bad.

For a start, we've seen gaming PCs get some decent Prime Day deals in the past, and we could see some this year as well. If not from Amazon itself, the likes of Best Buy, Scan and Overclockers UK often have deals around Prime Day, and they have some great pre-built PCs. Dell, Asus, Razer and more also cut their prices around this time on their gaming PCs as well.

So, buying a gaming PC won’t be quite as expensive as it usually would be during other times of the year.

The shortages of GPUs and huge pent up demand has also resulted in the few GPUs that do go on sale to be sold at prices well above what they should normally sell at – especially on sites like eBay. So, an RTX 3060, which should sell for $329 (about £240, AU$430), has been seen on some sites selling for as much as $1,370 (around £1,000 / AU$1,800). Not only is this a huge mark-up that you should never even consider, but it’s not that much cheaper than an entire desktop PC.

Of course, the desktop PC comes with other components as well. Buying one could give you an opportunity to upgrade other parts of your existing PC, or simply retire your existing PC rather than upgrading it.

If you really don’t need the other parts of the PC, just the GPU, then you could even remove the GPU and then sell the rest of the new PC, which could help you recoup some of the costs.

As we said, it’s not an ideal situation, but these are strange times we’re living in, and it just might be your best bet at getting a new GPU on Prime Day.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.