If you are waiting for graphics card prices to even get close to their MSRPs, you are surely aware that this will be a long road which will surely result in the fact that the new RTX 40 and RX 7000 will overlap right above replacing to the remaining models and that just to empty stock the price will go down. But here there will be a curious paradigm to comment on.
The “normal” GPU pricing problem
Price is always the most determining factor in the purchase of any PC component, of course if the performance is competitive. The RTX 30 and RX 6000 are not going to reach their MSRP given what has been seen and being the dates in which we are and although it is difficult to assimilate, we will not see a generation of GPUs competitive in price due to multiple factors and saving the case of Intel that arrives as the new player to press assuming losses with its Xe GPUs.
Why won’t normal GPU prices from before come back? Because the R&D, the materials and machinery to create the graphics cards has exploded and will remain the same for at least 5 years. If you as a company want to offer a product that competes in price, the first thing you have to do is lower costs, but that today is impossible.
R&D from the top three companies is fired to achieve the best performance, ASML scanners go for more than 400 million units, the price of materials, even if it settles or even falls, is really expensive and the mining market is only an excuse that generates shortages and inflates the price for a time.
The console problem
In addition, there is the fact that the consoles are getting faster and the restilings as improved versions arrive earlier. This has meant that given the price they have and the comfort that they suppose they occupy the low range of graphics cards being something totally external to the PC, that is, by price they occupy what the mid-range used to occupy.
Although all the companies are going to launch low-end GPUs (late), the consoles will also do the same with the price as soon as the chip crisis ends and they will begin to adjust margins to become profitable and then reduce the price over the years. So, the low-end is in danger, the mid-range and high-end are not going to reduce its price (raising it and seeing that people pay that price has worked for them).
Which of the three actors is going to lower prices with a scenario like this? None evidently. As soon as the user pays at the price of gold, it becomes profitable for them to sell fewer units, the financial data is there and when GPU mining is no longer profitable they only have to adjust the market minimally to pass the unsold stock to the average gamer.
The problem, as always, is the average user, be it gamer or miner. If a company can sell for 50% or 100% more its product and sells it to the point of not having units available… They will excuse themselves in the above to increase GPU prices and not return to “normal” prices. With only 1 in 10 users paying a 100% surcharge, it is already profitable for them despite having lost sales of 9, mainly because the number of chips is still limited and there would be no stock for all.
When the market stabilizes, the MSRP will be equal to or higher in subsequent generations, make no mistake about it and unless a technology lowers manufacturing or design costs, the price will continue to rise as it has been going on since the beginning of the decade.