It’s time for another look at graphics card pricing and this month it’s particularly exciting as we enter a new generation of GPU hardware. Nvidia’s powerful GeForce RTX 4090 is already on the market, so we’ll be exploring the impact of that launch in today’s article: how is the RTX 4090 selling, what impact has that had on other GPUs’ pricing, and what can we expect from the multitude of graphics card launches that are coming up shortly?
As far as the RTX 4090 launch is concerned, we had heard from multiple retailers and card makers ahead of launch that stock for this particular GPU was really strong in comparison to previous launches.
Nvidia had heard the message loud and clear from the RTX 3090 launch where they did not provide enough supply to meet demand in a normal market, yet alone one inflated. Launch day supply of the RTX 4090 was plentiful and several multiples of what was available back in the Ampere days.
Despite this, in some regions the RTX 4090 sold out almost immediately and depending on where you live it remains out of stock. However, we want to stress that this is perfectly normal for a graphics card launch and has occurred for every single major GPU release since as far back as we’ve been testing these products.
For the first couple of weeks demand typically outstrips supply, and then stock begins to settle about 2 to 4 weeks later. For really in demand launches, it can be hard to get a GPU for maybe the first 2 months, but beyond that availability tends to improve and cards return to standard MSRP level pricing.
RTX 4090 Availability
What we’ve heard is that demand for the RTX 4090 has been strong, especially considering this is a $1,600 GPU. Sales have been good and there don’t seem to be many concerns around RTX 4090s piling up – it does seem that gamers are buying them, which makes sense given the largely positive reception. Gamers have proven time and again that they are willing to buy graphics cards in this sort of price range and the RTX 4090 is no exception.
However this launch is very different to the launch of Ampere and there are zero concerns about stock and availability looking into the future. In Australia, for example, we’re sitting a week post launch and you can buy an RTX 4090 at several retailers right now if you wanted to, which was unheard of at the RTX 3090 release.
One key factor in this availability is the high local price of the RTX 4090, for most models they’re asking over $3,000 AUD, and of course, what is helping to keep these models in stock is supply that is far higher in this region than any previous flagship GPU launch.
In other regions we’re seeing varied stock levels. We checked several retailers in Europe like Overclockers UK, Mindfactory, Amazon and saw most models were out of stock with the occasional retailer having one or two models available.
In the United States, like is typical for most GPU launches, the RTX 4090 is out of stock unless you want to pay well over the MSRP. We are just one week after launch though, and we expect to see stronger availability this time next month.
There is absolutely no reason to panic buy an RTX 4090 at scalper prices, we just recommend waiting if you are interested in one, and waiting is a good idea anyway as you probably should see what AMD has in store before making a final purchasing decision, that way you have all the relevant info at your disposal.
Nvidia GPU Pricing: RTX 4090 Impact or Not?
This is where things start to get interesting. When we look at Nvidia’s Ampere line-up we see an interesting scenario where on the whole GPU prices have increased since last month, but only by a few percent with most of the damage occurring to a handful of models.
In particular at the high end, stock levels for the RTX 3090 series appear to be falling, there are just fewer options to choose from right now on Newegg, so there aren’t as many screaming good deals – though cards are still available below the MSRP.
The RTX 3080 Ti is also less plentiful, although pricing has only risen back up to the level in August, so it’s not a huge issue. What remains easy to purchase is the RTX 3080. Despite being two years since launch, the fake $700 MSRP has yet to materialize and we’re still faced with a $740 asking price in late 2022.
As for the lower parts of Nvidia’s line-up, it’s similar to prior months where the RTX 3050 and RTX 3060 are not available at the MSRP and don’t appear to be headed that way any time soon, with these cards also seeing a small price increase month on month. On the whole, Nvidia GPUs rose in price by 3% on average, so the RTX 4090 has effectively done nothing to provide price pressure to the new retail market.
This was expected to some degree, as in our RTX 4090 review we pointed out that its cost per frame value compared to other models wasn’t that appealing – it’s a flagship product with the typical ‘high end buyers’ tax. This isn’t the card to deliver a big price shake-up to the market, and the RTX 4080 16GB with its high $1,200 price tag doesn’t appear to be that sort of card either.
AMD GPU Pricing
On the AMD Radeon front, it seems those have largely ignored what is happening on the other side of the market, falling by 3 percent month on month overall.
This is less than the price decline we saw last month, when prices fell 7 percent, but the average has been impacted by a price rise for the RX 6700 XT series. There doesn’t appear to be many supply concerns, it’s still possible to easily find models like the RX 6900 XT for less than $700, even though this card is now well below MSRP.
Pricing for AMD’s lower-tier models continues to be super aggressive as well. The Radeon RX 6600 has fallen to $220 and the 6600 XT and 6650 XT are both now below $300, coming in around the mark of Nvidia’s RTX 3050.
We’re not expecting these models to be replaced with new RDNA 3 products any time soon, so the fact they continue to fall in price is great though not unusual for cards that are a year old.
GeForce vs Radeon Price Points
With Nvidia GPUs increasing in price while AMD going the other way, this makes for an interesting price tier comparison. The action really begins around the RX 6900 XT which currently sits between the RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 Ti as Nvidia still has several models priced well above $750.
Meanwhile, the 6800 XT is in a head to head battle with the RTX 3070, the RX 6800 is undercutting the 3070, and the RX 6700 XT is a very tasty proposition up against the RTX 3060.
AMD also has the Radeon 6600 XT positioned up against the RTX 3050 and we’ve shown in the past that this makes the RTX 3050 look terrible.
Used GPU Pricing
The used graphics card market has also seen a positive drop, with a small 3 percent price decrease month on month. The big winner here is anyone interested in a GeForce RTX 3060, those cards are flooding the market right now and are among the best value for people interested in buying used – a 30% discount compared to buying new.
On the flip side, we’re not sure what is going on with sales for used RTX 3090 Ti models, it makes no sense to spend more on a used GPU than buying that model when the 3090 Ti is still available at retailers. Anyone paying the average price for a used 3090 Ti got burned hard.
However, it doesn’t seem like there’s been a big rush to sell off previous high end Nvidia GPUs since the launch of the RTX 4090. Pricing for used RTX 3080s and above has been relatively steady and while you can get a decent discount compared to buying new, it’s nothing earth shattering. For now at least, the prices of used high-end Ampere GPUs seems more linked to their retail price than the amount of supply.
On the AMD Radeon side, we see a similar trend in that used GPU prices slightly outpaced new GPU prices in terms of a reduction month on month. With AMD GPUs being quite attractive on the new market there aren’t many screaming-good deals here, certainly not like the RTX 3060 on the Nvidia side – though the 6600 XT at 25% below new retail price is respectable.
The used market also places AMD and Nvidia GPUs into different price battles. On the new market, for example, we see the RTX 3060 compete with the RX 6700 XT, and the RTX 3070 compete with the RX 6800 XT. However, on the used market the 3060 is a bit better value, slotting between the 6700 XT and 6600 XT.
The RTX 3070 is then priced between the RX 6800 and 6700 XT. It seems that the used market is correcting to some degree the price to performance discrepancies we see on the new market, with Nvidia GPUs better value compared to AMD GPUs if you buy used compared to new.
Data from the used Turing GPU market paints an interesting picture. The value of the RTX 2080 Ti has fallen sharply by 17 percent month on month with very healthy supply.
Is this what many RTX 4090 buyers are upgrading from?
Is this what many RTX 4090 buyers are upgrading from? It’s hard to say for certain but it would make a lot of sense given many PC gamers tend to upgrade every second generation – and the RTX 4090 presents a massive performance uplift over the 2080 Ti in a similar, high-end flagship category. The RTX 2070 also dropped in price by a significant 15 percent month on month, after a smaller drop last month.
The GeForce 16 series continues to fall in price by a steady amount, we’re seeing a 9 percent drop on average this month which seems to be keeping up pace with movement in the entry-level new market, particularly on the AMD side. Pascal GPUs also continue to drop by a similar amount, creating a lot of options in the sub $130 market for used GPUs.
Price to performance ratios seem to make sense as well, both the GTX 1070 and GTX 1660 Super deliver similar performance and are around that $130 mark at the moment, though we’d prefer the newer Turing model as it’s more likely to receive driver updates into the future.
The Radeon RX 5000 series continues to recover from being a highly popular option for crypto miners, with prices for these GPUs cratering over the last few months. The 5600 XT and 5500 XT are the most impacted lately, with huge drops – near 20% month on month.
The 5600 XT actually looks reasonable, given it’s much faster than the GTX 1660 series but is a similar price on the used market. It’s also pretty insane that you can now get a used RX 5700 XT for just $10 more than a new RX 6500 XT – and let me tell you the 5700 XT destroys the 6500 XT in gaming performance and features.
Then we get to AMD’s older Vega and Polaris GPUs. The Radeon RX 590 and RX 580 series have hit a price floor around the $80 to $120 mark this month, despite strong supply. Other models have cratered in price though. In fact, across the 44 GPUs we’ve been tracking on the used market, 22 of those now sit below $200, which was unthinkable this time last year.
What We Learned
Across the 44 GPUs we’ve been tracking on the used market, 22 of those now sit below $200, which was unthinkable this time last year.
So far the RTX 4090’s entrance has had no impact on the overall GPU market. As a new high-end option that offers a performance tier previously unheard of, rather than simply screaming good GPU value, we guess it’s not a surprise that it hasn’t caused a big shift in the status quo.
However, we were surprised to see Nvidia GPU prices rise on average, bucking the trend of pretty much every other category we looked at.
Across the rest of the market, prices continue to fall at a steady pace with a few outliers and exceptions. It seems that owners of the RTX 2080 Ti are ditching their GPUs at a greater than average rate, causing a large drop in used prices.
Nvidia GPUs are also looking reasonable on the used market at the moment, particularly for the RTX 3060 and RTX 3070. Meanwhile, AMD has a strong advantage in the new graphics card market for mid-range and entry-level models. Radeons continue to be aggressively priced even though they’ve been the clear outright value option for several months now.
The upcoming months are set to be illuminating for a number of reasons. We are expecting more GPU launches, at the very least we’ve got the RTX 4080 and AMD RDNA 3 GPUs coming, plus the potential relaunch of whatever the RTX 4080 12GB becomes… (Intel, hello?).
November and December also are typically the top months for GPU sales. This caused a lot of pain last year when pricing was sky high, but this year it appears supply for most models is plentiful, but you never know what might happen.