Question Price of GPUs

tworley4125

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Apr 20, 2020
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So let me preface this by saying that I haven't purchased much by the way of hardware in a couple of years so I will admit that I'm out of touch. But I am more than a little blown away by the prices I'm seeing on graphic cards at the moment. The last graphics card I bought was a GTX 1660 in 2019. I think I gave something like $200 or $250 for it. It wasn't much. Now I'm starting to look at components for a new PC build and I thought that I would just pick up a new 1660 card for it. The exact same card that I purchased in 2019 is now selling for $800 on Amazon and Newegg. Price increases seem to be the same across the board for similar caliber chipsets. What in the world has happened in the last two years to account for such a price hike? I mean I get that the world lost its collective mind over the covid nonsense, but a near 400% increase on a chipset that was middle of the line two years ago. Seriously?! What's driving this?
 

Furzumz

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May 28, 2020
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What in the world has happened in the last two years to account for such a price hike?
If I'm not mistaken its something to do with a chip shortage. A lot of stuff is affected, even Ford has a bunch of vehicles sitting in large lots waiting for computers to be installed

The reasons from what I can gather is a combination of corona causing shutdowns which means less stock being produced, a huge increase in demand for electronics because people are staying home buying new things to keep themselves sane, automakers underestimated demand in 2020 for their vehicles and now they're scrambling to meet the higher than expected demand and some of the vials the corona vaccine are put in are produced using the same silicon as computer chips (I don't think the vials themselves use the silicone, rather the machines used to fill the vials en masse)

It's a short supply lasagna
 
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Phaaze88

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Supply and demand.
Supply has caught up to what it used to be and a little more, even though it doesn't look like it.
Covid did cause some industries to 'under-order' on semiconductors/etc, and that would bite them in the butt later, as there is only a handful of companies that make them and the orders take time to fill.

It's the demand that's the problem; the 'ceiling' is way up there, or practically non-existent.
Automakers need chips
Apple and other companies needs chips
Phones need chips
Laptops need chips
Prebuilt PCs need chips
Consoles need chips
Gpus need to be made
Cpus need to be made
etc.
But all that has an upper limit somewhere.
What gives the demand a non-existing ceiling is how profitable gpu cryptocurrency mining is:
"I'll buy up as many gpus as you can give me. I've got the room, and can make more if need be. More gpus = more money."
Literally the only thing stopping those folks right now is how much space they have to hoard gpus. Just me alone could probably set up 2 or 3 mining rigs in my house if I actually tried.
That's like what, up to 24(?) cards in the hands of ONE GUY. Just imagine what the more resourceful people can do...
 

tworley4125

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Apr 20, 2020
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Makes sense, I guess. I know stuff like transistors and boards and so forth have been in short supply (seen the effects of that at work). I guess I was just surprised at the size of the price hike. Oh well, maybe I can find a second hand card at a reasonable price.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Oh well, maybe I can find a second hand card at a reasonable price.
Good luck with that, practically anything with more than 4GB of VRAM is getting snatched by crypto-miners at substantial premiums.

It's the demand that's the problem; the 'ceiling' is way up there, or practically non-existent.
Supply is a problem too with many fabs having to shut down due to lack of power, lack of water or some other form of disaster. The next year or so until all of the new fabs come online are going to get screwy.
 
I would absolutely not buy a card at the current prices, unless there were some immediate critical need for one. The prices only skyrocketed within recent months, and while there are undoubtedly other factors at play with the current shortage, I would attribute it mostly to the cryptocurrency mining market. There are warehouses full of graphics cards grinding away at generating crypto, that the companies then trade for real money. The value of these "currencies" is completely speculative in nature, and unstable as a result, and could very well collapse, or at least become unprofitable to mine on relatively short notice. And when that happens, a lot of these cards will likely flood the used market, and the prices of cards should eventually work their way back down. There was a similar mining-induced graphics card shortage that saw massive price hikes a few years back, but prices were largely back to normal within a year of when they started rising. We could potentially see prices recover toward the end of the year or early next year, though that's certainly not guaranteed.

As for used cards, they are also getting bought up by miners, so don't expect to get 1660-level performance without paying hundreds of dollars over what that card would have cost brand new. And of course, a used card won't likely have any warranty coverage remaining, so if it fails shortly after you get it, you'll be out hundreds of dollars with nothing to show for it. It's possible that you might be able to find some used GTX 970 cards for around $200 or so if you shop around, though that card is also typically around 25-30% slower than a 1660, and around 40% slower than the 1660 SUPER that you could have found new within that price range just a few months back.
 
May 11, 2021
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You either have to really love gaming and have deep pockets or you are using it to make money..... which is a large part of why there is a supply/demand imbalance at the moment. I'm sure that companies are deploying assets to crank out more products but that takes time and billions of dollars to invest in the fab. If history is any indicator the pendulum will swing the other direction given time.
 

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