Radeon RX 6000-series GPUs have come down in price substantially quicker than Nvidia’s counterparts, with AMD selling almost all of its RDNA2-based products at MSRP or lower. Nvidia on the other hand is seemingly still struggling with inflation issues, as nearly all of its RTX 30-series lineup remain inflated over MSRP, with rates going as high as 40%. Here’s how prices are stacking up currently (as of May 18th).
For reference, we have gathered pricing data on Nvidia and AMD’s aftermarket graphics cards alone, since they are more widely available and AMD has stopped selling reference RX 6700 XT, RX 6800, RX 6800 XT, and RX 6900 XT graphics cards at its own store.
Nvidia’s RTX 30-series products have seen decent price declines since the start of 2022, but most of its product stack still suffers from severe price markups. The only exceptions are Nvidia’s high-end product stack. Only the RTX 3090 Ti (unsurprisingly) and RTX 3080 Ti are selling at Nvidia’s official MSRP, but those MSRPs are effectively marked up already.
The RTX 3090 lands in a strange spot right now. It’s priced 13% over MSRP, with gaming performance that’s similar to the 3080 Ti but with twice the VRAM. Apparently, either supply is limited and driving prices up, or there’s enough desire for a 24GB card that it can maintain something of a premium.
The rest of Nvidia’s lineup unfortunately have much higher markups, ranging from 17% on the 3070 Ti to 40% on the 3060 Ti. The vanilla RTX 3070, 3070 Ti, and RTX 3080 10GB are potential options at around 20% “inflation” relative to the MSRPs. The RTX 3060 might also be worth a look, at $410 right now.
The GeForce RTX 3080 12GB remains an interesting curiosity. Depending on the card, performance can nearly match the RTX 3080 Ti, and prices aren’t that much higher than the 10GB variant. Nvidia never announced an MSRP for this model, but paying $70 more for the extra 2GB VRAM might be worth considering. You can almost get 3080 Ti levels of performance and save $280.
Unfortunately, Nvidia’s “budget-friendly” RTX 3050 is one of its worst values compared to MSRP. Currently, the cheapest model still costs $330 at Newegg. The worst offender comes in the form of Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti, still sitting at an eye-watering 40% over MSRP. That’s probably because, based on MSRP, it would otherwise be one of the best values.
Note that we looked around at various retail outlets, but for Nvidia cards Newegg ended up as the best price in every case. Well, best prices assuming you don’t want to give eBay a shot.
RX 6000-series prices are faring much better than their Nvidia’s counterparts, and with the help of AMD’s new RX “6×50 XT” cards, prices are now even more in favor of AMD.
Nearly every RDNA 2 card can be found around MSRP, or potentially with up to a 10% discount. The only exceptions are the RX 6800 XT and RX 6800, which are currently going at 23% and 31% over MSRP still. Again, that’s perhaps thanks to the “too good to be true” launch prices, as these cards tend to compete well against Nvidia’s RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 GPUs.
The biggest discount at present comes in the form of the RX 6900 XT, currently going for as little as $900 on Newegg. Of course, that card has nearly the same specs as the lower priced RX 6800 XT — it’s only about 7% faster at best. The vanilla RX 6600 also goes for 9% less than MSRP, making it a great value as it easily eclipses the RTX 3050 in general gaming performance.
Note that AMD has said it will keep selling the RX 6900 XT and RX 6700 XT, while the RX 6600 XT will be phased out, to be replaced by the RX 6650 XT. You can get a 6600 XT at MSRP right now, but we expect prices to get worse as supply dries up.
AMD Takes the Lead for Now
For now, AMD easily wins the price wars against Nvidia at almost every price bracket, with additional help from its recent RX 6×50 cards. This might win some additional mindshare to team red, as Nvidia still remains the far more popular option among mainstream gamers.
It remains unclear how long AMD will have this lead. Graphics prices as a whole are still trending downwards every month, meaning that in a few month’s time, Nvidia should have many more cards at MSRP compared to today. But we might also see AMD’s GPUs start falling well below MSRP, which was relatively common in the past (e.g. with the RX 5000-series prior to 2020).
Next-generation graphics cards are also on the horizon. Many rumors have reported an unexpectedly early July release for the RTX 40 series graphics cards, which if true could change the GPU landscape completely. We expect Nvidia Ada GPUs to deliver great performance, though we don’t know how much they’ll cost. AMD meanwhile should release its RX 7000-series GPUs based on RDNA 3 later in the year, we expect in the Q4 time frame.
If you’re looking at buying a graphics card right now, AMD offers some good values. However, with prices in freefall, buying a soon to be previous generation GPU right before the new cards arrive might not be wise. But that’s what we said in 2020, just before the RTX 30-series launched, and we all saw how that turned out. Here’s hoping GPU history doesn’t repeat itself in 2022.