GPU prices could soon drop below MSRP triggering a ‘surge’ of gamers building PCs

Corsair said it expects GPU availability to improve and prices to return to MSRP soon, and we may see price tags drop below recommended prices with discounts, as many more and more people are building their own PCs in the second half of 2022.

The company has just revealed its first quarter financial results, with Corsair CEO Andy Paul observing that the quarter saw “positive underlying growth trends” in gaming hardware, despite some continued headwinds, and the general manager specifically addressed the situation around both self-built PCs and graphics cards.

As PC Gamer spotted, Paul noted that in the first quarter of 2022, GPUs were the most expensive single component in a gaming PC and were running around 150% higher than MSRP (the price recommended by the manufacturer) on average – but even with this premium, the CEO said that “the gaming PC building business [was] slightly higher than pre-pandemic and pre-GPU shortage levels.

Additionally, Paul commented, “We expect GPU cards to return to MSRP in the short term, possibly at a discount below MSRP. With GPU and CPU products becoming available and reasonably priced, we expect to see an increase in self-built gaming PC activity in 2H22 and 2023. We are seeing a similar positive trend with peripherals.

Analysis: the price forecast seems to have solid foundations

Graphics cards selling for less than recommended prices will understandably be music to gamers’ ears, and there’s reason to believe that could happen soon enough.

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Over the past couple of months we have seen a continued downward price trend, returning to more normal levels, and indeed in some cases we have already seen the odd product dip below its recommended price, such as AMD’s flagship 6900 XT for example.

Admittedly, there may be extenuating circumstances to some degree with this GPU given the supposedly imminent launch of revamped RDNA 2 models, including a 6950 XT that will be a step up from the 6900 XT. The rumored launch of these refreshed 6000-series models, if it goes quickly as planned, should help drive the prices of AMD’s existing cards further down.

Also, if the current situation at Newegg is anything to go by – with the top 20 selling GPUs being entirely Nvidia models, save for one AMD product – Team Red may feel compelled to start getting a bit more insistent with its prices.

There’s also Intel’s wildcard hitting the market with Arc desktop GPUs possibly in a few weeks, and while indications show Team Blue may not attempt to make some kind of sub- pricing to enter the market, if nothing else Arc cards should really increase overall GPU availability (in the mid-range and low-end to begin with, rumored) which will surely have a impact on prices anyway.

In short, there are a number of forces at work here on the downside prices. So it would follow, of course, that if the situation with GPU stock and prices improves as expected, people who have held back because they can’t get the graphics card they want – at a decent price, if at all – will likely go ahead with a release they’ve postponed, which means a “surge” in new PC releases later this year seems like a reasonable enough forecast.

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At least for now, although we don’t know if the supply chain issues and lockdowns in China could yet begin to exert unwanted pressure in the opposite direction to roll back this impending continued recovery…

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