Recently I've been building a new mid-level gaming system for my daughter, and although most of the parts are reasonable in price - graphics cards seem to have taken a dramatic increase in cost since I purchased my last one in late 2020. But why such a major increase in cost for even the lower end graphics cards?
The last few months have seen a drastic increase in the price of graphics cards. The question as to whether this expensive purchase is worth it also arose as people who already had high-end cards saw the prices increase. Graphics cards are typically expensive but these last few months have seen a near doubling of prices. New low-cost graphics cards became available and the prices skyrocketed as people viewed them as potential replacements.
I'm building for my daughter, and they are replacing their existing graphics cards with more powerful models. The blog post suggests that the shortage of graphics cards will continue for some time and it will be worth buying them now while they are still dirt cheap. This situation reminds me of what happened with RAM (Random Access Memory) back in 2018. At that time, RAM prices were at an all-time low and many people thought it was a great opportunity to buy some.
Many gaming blog posts revealed that the graphics cards became more expensive due to the shrinking supply of GPUs combined with the demand for mining popular cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum require a lot of processing power and this has caused a shortage of graphics cards which is driving up their price. These blog posts also state that the increase in price is not just for cryptocurrency miners, but also for gamers.
The demand in mid to high-end graphics cards by those looking to mine cryptocurrencies is having a knock-on effect for gamers. At present gamers are having difficulties finding newer or better graphics cards capable of running newer games. Those cards that are available are selling fast and at a premium price.
What's more, is that many of these gamers have older machines and are unwilling or unable to upgrade to a new machine and buy a new graphics card. This situation is only going to get worse over time. The shortage of graphics cards is here to stay and will continue to drive prices up.
In my opinion, if you are in the market for a new graphics card right now, your best bet is to look for an older model that has been discontinued by the major GPU manufacturers. You can find these graphics cards at dirt-cheap prices because they were dumped on the market by the manufacturers. These cards are also known as "discontinued" or "obsolete" graphics cards. They are not low-end graphics cards, but they will give you a lot more bang for your buck. And the best part is, they will work perfectly with your existing PC.
Also, there is the second-hand market such as on eBay - although there is still a premium price as compared to previous years. A second-hand card is going for more than the original new price from last year.
Finding graphics cards isn't easy right now, but you don't have to pay the asking price.
Besides the usual suspects like Newegg and Amazon, you can also check out Gazelle.com, CardKing.com, and other online retailers. Also, be on the lookout for discontinued or obsolete graphics cards. Just remember, these are NOT low-end graphics cards, but they will give you a lot more bang for your buck.
This is just my opinion of course, which is what you are getting by reading any of my posts. But I'm personally checking out the second hand eBay market...