GPU mining is becoming less profitable with every passing month, and with a bit of luck, Ethereum’s transition to a proof of stake consensus will render the activity useless for profit-seekers. Retail stocks are also improving and next-gen graphics cards are set to launch in the coming months, so prices for current-gen hardware are under the pressure to drop to more sane levels.
For the past 18 months, Ethereum miners spent a whopping $15 billion to scoop up graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD, leaving gamers at the mercy of scalpers and second-hand sellers for almost any model from the past two generations of graphics hardware.
Add to that a storm of logistical problems, factory lockdowns, and component and material shortages, and you get GPUs that are only now approaching the retail prices they should have had at launch.
According to a report from 3DCenter, prices in some parts of Europe are finally touching MSRP levels. In the case of AMD cards, prices for models like the Radeon RX 6900 XT, RX 6700 XT, and RX 6600 XT, as well as refreshed models like the 6750 XT and 6650 XT can now be found between seven and 16 percent below MSRP.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 series GPUs are still priced at an average of two percent above the manufacturer-suggested levels. High-end models like the RTX 3090, RTX 3090 Ti, and RTX 3080 Ti are now selling at a modest discount ranging from eight to 16 percent. However, low-end and mid-range models are still hovering above MSRP — including the RTX 3070 (non-Ti), which is now almost two years old.
With Ethereum pricing now in free-fall, some speculate we may soon see miners selling off GPUs by the bucket on the second-hand market. With a bit of TLC, most of these cards will be able to chug along inside gaming PCs, but they do carry a risk of failure due to passive components that have been stressed 24/7 for mining purposes.
Either way, the pricing of both old and new graphics cards looks set for further drops in the coming months. There is some variation between regions and even between retailers/sellers in the same region, but the trend is visible around the world.
Our GPU Pricing and Availability update for June 2022 will land later this week, so make sure to check that out for a more detailed look at the current state of the graphics card market.