Want to upgrade your gaming PC this year? Or maybe your current graphic card is useless? Buying a new graphic card is a good idea but choosing the moment to do so is paramount as GPU prices have known an increase last year. So when will prices drop? What to do in the meantime? Here are some answers for you.
Why Are GPU Prices So High in 2022?
It’s not that GPU prices are extremely high in 2022, it’s that they’ve increased steadily since 2021.
In part, the massive spike in the prices was caused by the pandemic which disrupted the supply chain. But there were more happenings to consider.
In many countries, throughout the lockdown, many people turned to their gaming sessions and decided their needed to upgrade their PCs. Others, focused more on crypto mining and GPUs suddenly sold like hot cakes. Add to this the inevitable scalpers and you can see why GPU prices are higher across the board.
However, the last couple of months have seen a slight decrease in prices.
When Will GPU Prices Drop?
The decline was easily observable in February and became even more obvious this March. Cards like the GeForce RTX 3080 dropped to $1,000 at some online retailers that – believe it or not – practice lower prices than even eBay.
That’s not to say eBay hasn’t felt the shift – prices of GPUs from prior generations have dropped by 12.5%. When you look at some GPUs individually, you’ll see they’ve dropped in average price by at least 9%.
To get an idea of where that puts you, the average eBay selling price for a GPU last month was $983, down from $1,094 in January. When compared, AMD cards had a bigger price drop than Nvidia – 13% to 9%.
Cryptocurrency fluctuations definitely affected the GPU market but even as Bitcoins and Ethereum coins are recovering, mining profitability is still pretty low hence why GPUs should continue to go down in price.
Add to this the incoming batch of new graphic cards from AMD, Nvidia and Intel and you’ll likely see even more price drops as the companies are eager to get rid of existing inventory.
Our guess? By May, graphic cards could be selling at list price.
When Will the GPU Shortage End?
Good news for gamers – miners are losing interest in GPUs. While in 2021, a lot of GPUs went directly to mining farms, this year the existing volume on the market sold to individuals is increasing, showing that there is indeed supply.
Of course, that might not count as much if you think of getting the latest GPU later this year, either an Ada or a RDNA3 one.
How To Check What GPU You Have
Not sure what GPU your PC has? Here are a couple of ways to find that information easily and painlessly.
- From Windows’ Device Manager. Go to Start – Device Manager and click the drop-down menu near the Display adapters. You should see your GPU straightaway. To see the manufacturer, right click on it and the details should appear in Properties. Need the model number? To check that out unfortunately, you’ll have to get physical access to your graphics card and look at the sticker on the side.
- From Windows’ Task Manager. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del and choose Task Manager. Then, in the pop-up window, go to the Performance tab and select GPU. Here you’ll also see how you’re using the GPU and its current temperature.
- From Windows’ System. Go to Start – Settings and choose System. From there, select Display and Advanced display settings. At Display information you’ll see the graphics card you have installed as well as other metrics.
How to Overclock GPU
If you don’t want to wait until late spring – early summer to buy a new GPU, then you can overclock your current one.
By the way, buying a used graphics card isn’t the smartest move, even if it’s the cheapest. Well, not unless you realise the risks that come with it and you have a great understanding of the card you have and your commercially available options.
So how do you push your GPU to the max? How do you get maximum speed and better visuals from what you currently have?
You overclock it! This is a process relatively easy and safe nowadays that rarely will damage your hardware.
Here are the steps you need to take to overlock your GPU:
- First, benchmark your default performance. This will give you an idea of your starting point and help you understand what are the limits of your card in the end.
- Then, decide on an overclocking tool like MSI Afterburner or EVGAs Precision XOC or AMD Overdrive if you have an AMD card.
- Got it? Now, open it and increase the temp to the maximum and increase the power limit by, let’s say, 10% for some headroom.
- Go anywhere from + 5-50 Mhz to see if the overclocking works as it should. Be bold and choose +50Mhz.
- Now stress test the GPU – no artifacts? Great, you can proceed to the next step.
- Up the clock speed again and again, every time by 10Mhz, looking closely at the results you’re getting. Your grame crashes or the laptop reboots? That’s the max your GPU can give. So…
- Reduce that number by 10Mhz.
- Now work on the memory – overclock it between 10-15% to really up the perfomance you’re getting.
- Hit a limit? Check your temp and power limit to reach the max this baby can give you. Then test again. Remember, the maximum overclock varies from graphic card to graphic card.