Why you shouldn’t buy a graphics card now
Both Nvidia and AMD have recently announced new ranges of graphics cards with tempting options for almost every budget.
If you’ve stuck with an Nvidia 10 series card or a Radeon RX 5000 and skipped the Nvidia 20 series, you may be wanting an upgrade. The upcoming RTX 3060 seems to be an especially attractive option for 329 euros.
However, now is the worst time ever to buy a new GPU. A combination of resellers, cryptocurrency miners, stock issues, and a general pandemic chaos means that what you’ll find is a full list of cards that are sold out along with much higher prices than you bargained for.
You may want to take a look at our article on best graphics cards.
Scalping and cryptocurrencies
Let’s start with the hottest topic in recent months: resellers. The idea of reselling – that is, buying as many products as possible at launch to resell them at a higher value – is not a new concept, but the shift to online sales during the pandemic has meant that it’s easier than ever for those looking to make a little money.
It has happened with valuable and highly demanded technologies such as the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and sadly, it is spreading to graphics cards as well.
Tech-savvy resellers have turned to bots to bid for them, using automated systems to grab as much stock as possible within seconds after ads are served in online stores.
These resellers then go to sites like Facebook, Gumtree and eBay to resell the graphics cards, taking advantage of the lack of stock to raise prices and take advantage of the interest.
It’s a shady business, people hate it, and retailers are trying to find a solution, but it’s happening too often right now.
However, climbers are not the only problem: in addition to competing with those who want to resell the GPU for a little extra money, you also compete with cryptocurrency miners.
For the uninitiated, you can generate cryptocurrencies yourself, but it takes a lot of graphics power, and the more you have, the more you can earn, and “miners” can quickly recoup the cost of the graphics cards they are buying.
It’s not worth it if you have a basic PC – hardcore miners have impressive setups, often costing several thousand pounds.
The situation was similar in 2017, with a limited supply of GPUs for months, and it seems that the big jump in performance from recent GPUs from AMD and Nvidia means that crypto miners are back on the hunt for an upgrade.
More power = more money, so people are buying all the GPUs they can get. Not only is this making it harder for gamers to get graphics cards, it’s also driving up prices.
There are also doubts about manufacturing issues and the relatively small batches of the latest Nvidia and AMD GPUs going on sale at all times.
The launch of the RTX 3080 in September 2020 was the best example of this, as the cards sold out within seconds of going on sale and caused Nvidia to delay the launch of the RTX 3070 to try to fix the stock issues. .
True, there have been more stocks in recent months, but it largely depends on luck to be able to find them before they are sold out. And with Nvidia confirming that it will not ship its own Founders Edition of the upcoming RTX 3060 – a change from the rest of the 30 series – there is certainly a big question mark around manufacturability at the moment.
To make matters worse, the situation is about to get wors
Why are graphics cards more expensive in 2021?
The lack of stock of GPUs and additional manufacturing costs mean that prices are likely to rise in the near future, as Asus technical director of marketing Juan José Gurrero III hinted in a post already deleted on Facebook.
The engineer suggested that rising component costs, operating costs and import duties are driving up the overall cost of manufacturing GPUs and motherboards, and that recommended prices for new graphics cards could rise by this reason.
But what if I really want a new GPU?
If you’ve read the above and still want to get hold of one of the latest GPUs from Nvidia or AMD to upgrade your gaming gear, we can help.
The best option is to subscribe to online store stock notifications. Stores will email all subscribers when new stock appears, giving you the best chance to get there earlier and grab one.
You can also turn to the wider gaming community for help, as there are Discord servers dedicated to tracking the stock of various GPUs around the world. We’ve heard good about the CtrlAltStock community , but there are many others to choose from.
However you look at it, it’s a chaotic time to buy a graphics card and it’s a shame considering that the Nvidia RTX 30 series and AMD Radeon 6000 series offer a significant increase in performance and ray tracing capabilities.
We can only hope that supply issues are resolved quickly, that stock starts to flow, and that gamers can get hold of the latest GPUs as we move into 2021.