Reprieve For PC Gamers As July Might Herald Cheaper Graphics Cards
For much of 2017 and 2018 (so far) pricing of both AMD and NVIDIA consumer graphics cards has hovered well above MSRP. This symptom was acute in the classic entry-level to mid-range segments - the bread and butter of NVIDIA and particularly AMD - where cards sold through retailers were inflated beyond affordability for most gamers. The primary causes were two-fold: heavy demand from crypto-currency miners and increased DRAM prices; knowing that however didn't assuage the disappointment of many consumers who may have turned to consoles or second-hand GPUs for their gaming setup.
Finally however there is light at the end of the tunnel, and perhaps even a minor bonanza to rejoice in. Citing a 'chill in demand for cryptocurrency mining hardware', Digitimes are reporting that some manufacturers are especially keen to clear inventory that has been growing since the market first showed signs of weakening in April. This could lead to cards reduced by as much as 20%, helping their return to affordability and bringing costs down for PC gamers.
The signs are already there for NVIDIA, whose GPUs have in many instances returned to MSRP in retail channels, and in some cases can be found even cheaper than that. AMD's Vega-class GPUs are also normalising, but the mid-range Radeon RX 580 and 570 - particularly popular with miners in the past - remain well above their <£200 MSRP.
Surplus cards are also rumoured to be behind the continuing delay to NVIDIA's next generation of GPUs. Originally anticipated at GTC, the latest update from the rumour mill pegs an unveiling as late as Gamescom in August. Pushing a launch even further out may mean NVIDIA have to organise their own event, as they did with the GTX 900-series in 2014.