GPU prices could come ‘crashing down’ with scalpers getting burned

Graphics card prices are likely to “tumble” from their inflated prices in the future, according to a new report from an analyst.

Jon Peddie, who leads Jon Peddie Research (JPR), shared his latest thoughts on the graphics market, and in particular PC desktop cards, in an article for Graphic Speak (opens in a new tab) (spotted by Tom’s Hardware (opens in a new tab)).

The report includes an interesting analysis of the average selling price of AIBs (i.e. expansion cards, a fancy term for PC graphics cards), with a chart that shows prices have been rising steadily since 2014. , but have really increased in 2020 and 2021.

In the US, from 2014 to 2019, we saw the desktop GPU go from an average price of around $270 to around $440, but in 2020 the average sale price jumped to over $650, then to around $780 in 2021. sure, ridiculous, but we all know the reasons why, and Peddie points them out.

Peddie observes, “PC gaming and mining AIBs grew at least 2x, maybe 3x, compared to laptop GPUs. Thus, shortage of supply should be ruled out as the reason for the surge in AIB PC prices. That leaves miners, speculators, and scammers. This is not a joke.

He continues: “Who benefits? Distribution organizations like Amazon, NewEgg, BestBuy and others, while speculators sell AIBs on eBay at prices 2x to 3x higher than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP).

The article however concludes optimistically, with the claim that “there is a good chance that these inflated prices will crash as gamers just say no”, leaving price scammers with graphics cards they cannot sell (or rather they will be forced to resell them at a loss, that would be a shame).

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Analysis: Will GPU Prices Really Fall?

We’d broadly agree with Jon Peddie here, and certainly as we’ve said before, the prices have clearly gotten ridiculous, especially around mid-2021 when some Nvidia graphics cards were costing triple their MSRP in some cases.

Where to place the blame is equally clear, with crypto and Ethereum mining pressures driving demand, taking cards out of players’ hands, while pandemic-related supply issues have made everything worse – and then caused the third factor, which is scalpers looking to buy that scarce inventory to resell at big profits.

As for whether GPU pricing will “collapse”, Peddie suggests there’s a good chance it will – well, we’re not so sure. Granted, there are plenty of signs lately that graphics card availability is getting stronger, though prices are falling and normalizing slowly rather than in a hurry.

But the theory has always been that the second half of 2022 will see more of a resumption of component shortages for AMD and Nvidia, with new Arc cards also coming to market from Intel to further bolster supply levels. It’s a promising mix of positive developments, that’s for sure, and so there’s certainly reason to hope that the GPU market will see prices fall at a speed closer to a stone than a feather.

All in all, it certainly seems like pulling the trigger on a GPU purchase this month would be foolhardy, and best to wait and keep an eye out for those price tags that are only heading in one direction right now (with the other eye on potential market developments that could cloud any recovery, like new lockdowns in China for example).

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