Graphics card prices are finally approaching recommended retail prices (MSRP) for the first time in more than two years. However, there may be no need to rush with these seemingly good plans.
Finally ! For more than two years of testing graphics cards on Frandroid, we’ve been forced to come back to the issue of price and shortage at every conclusion. It must be said that the prices of this essential component of the PC video game player had become prohibitive at the height of the shortage. Under these circumstances, it is impossible to recommend the purchase of a new generation graphics card. That’s why we’ve offered you guides to find alternatives while you wait for the silence.
That’s it, it’s arrived, but for all that, you should always be careful about any graphics card purchase.
That’s it, prices are falling!
Amazon’s Prime Days is the perfect illustration of this, graphics card prices have finally come down. The US dealer doesn’t have a monopoly on good-value graphics cards, so we could see Radeon RX 6700 graphics cards at $399.99 at Topachat, the price AMD recommends. And stocks manage to support demand as the product is still in stock after several hours. We also saw a GeForce RTX 3070 Ti for $699.99 at Cdiscount, close to Nvidia’s recommended price. For its part, Nvidia has also been passing on offers through a dedicated site since April.
The phenomenon is not limited to France, in China we can speak of a crash as some models are sold 38% below the recommended retail price, with prices falling within a few weeks. Here it is necessarily the massive decline in cryptocurrencies that has led to a decline in the graphics card market.
So should you fall for these great offers?
The Shadow of the New Generation
The first obstacle to buying in 2022 is first of all the imminent arrival of a new generation of products. The Radeon RX 6000s and GeForce RTX 3000s should make way for the Radeon RX 7000s and GeForce RTX 4000s before the end of the year, probably at the beginning of the school year. In the event that we expect a sharp increase in performance, but also in consumption . To put it more clearly: is it a good idea to buy a graphics card for almost 1000 euros, if in just a few months a product offers 50% more performance at this price, according to the more optimistic rumours?
However, this fear must be tempered. First of all, the replacement by the new generation will take place gradually and initially concern only the top of the range. If you’re looking to buy a Radeon RX 6700 or a GeForce RTX 3060, rest assured that their replacements won’t arrive before Spring 2023.
In addition, the release of new graphics cards is still in the rumor stage. In IT, it’s generally a bad idea to act on rumors to delay a purchase. As a result, we often wait forever for any innovation. AMD has nevertheless already started to lift the veil on RDNA 3 by promising something heavy, and Nvidia seems to be on a 2-year cycle per generation. After the launch of the RTX 3000s in September 2020, this logically places the arrival of the RTX 4000s at the end of 2022.
You should also consider the issue of your PC’s compatibility with future graphics cards. As far as using PCI Express, this shouldn’t be a major concern, even if the manufacturers insist on PCIe 4.0 or 5.0 compatibility, which will improve performance on the margins. On the other hand, the issue of food will be crucial. There are rumors of an increase in consumption and the ATX 3.0 standard seems to have come at the right time to justify a renewal of the power supply. In this context, it might be wiser to aim for a current graphics card.
In addition, the new-generation graphics card could be accompanied by another general increase in suggested retail prices. The GeForce RTX 3080 that was officially launched in September 2020 for 720 euros will undoubtedly be replaced by a GeForce RTX 4080 whose price updated by inflation and the exchange rate of the euro will probably be around 850 or 900 euros.
Should you fall for a graphics card?
Let’s start by projecting ourselves to an obvious scenario: your machine is broken or at the end of its life and you need to replace your graphics card immediately. With the more accessible prices applied in the market, there is no contraindication to crack now. For this profile, we recommend that you aim for the mid-range that will only be renewed later, so a GeForce RTX 3060 or Radeon RX 6700. The latter seems particularly good to me, but beware of the mediocre performance of AMD RNDA 2 if it comes to ray tracing. You will leave with a graphics card capable of performing the latest innovations in Full HD with the maximum graphics quality or in QHD by playing on the parameters.
On the other hand, investing in a high-end graphics card seems like the pitfall to avoid this summer of 2022. Unless you have a specific need, say professional, we find it hard to recommend spending hundreds of dollars on a card that will be upgraded in a few months.
No pun intended, you have the cards in hand to make your choice.
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