Update, 18. June: We have supplemented the article with an analysis of the price development of over 20 current and older graphics cards on Ebay since November 2020. You can find them on the second page of the article.
Graphics cards have recently become more and more expensive. There are many reasons for this: scalpers, miners and the relocation of work to the home office have driven up demand. At the same time, production chains were repeatedly and significantly disrupted by failures.
In addition, other industries, such as the automotive and smartphone sectors, also need chips, which in turn extract tiny components from the production of graphics cards.
But what is the situation now? Are graphics cards still getting more expensive or has the market situation even improved? If so, what could be the reasons, if any?
Slight downward trend in current models
In fact, there is a slight downward trend in all current graphics cards, whether from Nvidia’s RTX-3000 or AMD’s Radeon RX-6000 series. The point in time for the trend reversal was roughly between the middle and the end of May. The curve looks comparable for all models examined:
Most of the older graphics cards or models from the last and penultimate generation also fall in the course. For example, the Gainward Geforce RTX 2060 Ghost was sold for around 300 dollars at the end of November 2020. Relaunched, it started in March 2021 at just under 600 dollars, cost 780 dollars in the meantime and has now reached around 550 dollars.
GameStar hardware editor Nils Raettig explains why there are still insane prices on Ebay and why we are all a little to blame in his column on the subject:
more on the subject
Insane prices for graphics cards: We are part of the problem
What are the reasons for the falling prices?
Several factors also play a role here. The cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and especially Ethereum, whose prices have fallen significantly since mid-May, are likely to have a not inconsiderable share in this. At the time, Tesla boss Elon Musk had issued massive criticism of Bitcoin (via Focus.de
At the same time, China had set its sights on Bitcoin mining. Deputy Prime Minister Liu He announced in May that he would take action against the creation of virtual currencies (via Spiegel.de).
Nvidia’s mining lock may also play a role, which is now an integral part of all newly produced Ampere graphics cards and has apparently not yet been cracked. In addition, the range of dedicated accelerators for crypto mining is growing steadily.
There is still a long way to go before prices are fully normalized. Because despite the trend reversal recently, many of the models still cost more than twice as much as when they were launched. When we expect generally better availability of PC components, you can find out in the GameStar podcast:
more on the subject
Hardware 2021 – When will the availability be better?
Prices could rise again
In addition, it cannot be ruled out that graphics cards will become more expensive again. The Central American Pacific state El Salvador recently made a name for itself with the announcement that it would accept Bitcoin as a means of payment (via Tagesschau.de).
This and similar actions could again strengthen trust in Bitcoin and crypto currencies in general, lead to rising prices and higher demand for graphics cards.
Overall, however, the situation seems to be improving somewhat. Production capacities are gradually being expanded and the demand from miners is likely to have decreased due to the mining ban and the supply of specialized mining graphics cards. At the same time, the saturation in the market is generally increasing.
What do you all mean? Has a real trend reversal heralded and do you expect the prices for graphics cards to fall further? Feel free to write it in the comments!