The GPU shortage seems well and truly over, if market prices are to be believed. After literally years of insane inflation, seeing graphics cards double or even triple their retail value, selling prices have fallen off a cliff in 2022. A combination of factors appears to be at play, including the burst both expected from the cryptocurrency bubble and relief from the chip shortage. But the end result is that graphics card prices have fallen by almost exactly half over the past year.
That’s according to market data collected by Jon Peddie Research and analyzed by German site 3DCenter. In Q3 2021, the average selling price of a new desktop GPU hit an all-time high of $1077, more than tripling in less than two years. The fall from this steep peak was not so dramatic, but in 2022 the average price fell to $643 in the first quarter and $529 in the second. As PCGamer notes, these numbers are for cards sold by manufacturers to retailers, not end consumers, but they are a reliable indicator of where the market is headed. As of this writing, in-demand cards like the GeForce RTX 3070 and Radeon RX 6700 XT are hovering around their actual MSRP for the first time in nearly three years.
There are a lot of factors at play here. As previously reported, the global chip shortage is beginning to ease, affecting manufacturing from trucks to tea kettles. And the cryptocurrency market is finally experiencing a major downturn as investors seek something less volatile ahead of a possible recession. (Or maybe they just want a new get-rich-quick scheme, you know how investors are.)
Between that and the fact that everyone seems to be done with their pandemic PC upgrades, there’s a lot more stock to be had…which means scum-sucking scalpers are less interested in gobbling up all the GPUs before anyone else. can’t too. We’re also on the verge of a new generation of graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD, which means savvy consumers are waiting for a big buy. Nvidia is readying its RTX 40 series for debut later this month.
In the near term, Nvidia and AMD are poised for a tough couple of quarters as prices and sales return to pre-pandemic market stability. And that’s ignoring a new market entry, as Intel prepares its Arc series of GPUs. But it’s good news for consumers, who can finally unearth new computer components with relative ease and without pawning a few appliances. With the arrival of new high-end hardware, we might even see some real bargain-hunter deals, though whether you should upgrade your graphics card now or wait for next-gen GPUs depends on your needs. Anyway, the happy days are back.