Just a few months ago, the best graphics cards remained difficult to find at “reasonable” prices. Nvidia launched the RTX 3090 Ti at a then-obscene $1,999 MSRP at the end of March, for example. Today, retail prices have dropped as much as 43% — close to half off! Other cards have become much more affordable as well, and only a handful of GPUs remain above their official MSRPs.
Where 2020 and 2021 were a perfect storm of converging factors, including the pandemic, supply chain issues, and skyrocketing cryptocurrency prices, we’re now seeing an about-face in nearly all areas. Crypto prices and mining profitability are tanking, inventory of current generation cards is “too high,” and most of the supply chain kinks are being worked out. With Nvidia RTX 40-series Ada GPUs expected to debut in the next month or so, and AMD’s RX 7000-series RDNA 3 parts not far behind, manufacturers are doing their best to clear the way for the upcoming launches, especially at the high-end and extreme ends of the market.
Unlike our GPU price index, which focuses on eBay prices in monthly chunks, here we want to look primarily at retail prices on new graphics cards. We’re specifically looking at US prices, and we mostly won’t bother with any previous generation GPUs, though there are a few Nvidia Turing models (RTX 2060 and GTX 16-series) that remain in production and are thus included.
Here’s the full rundown of current retail prices, as of September 6 — do note that all of these are prone to sometimes large fluctuations. For example, short-term sales (like Labor Day) can hack off another 5–10% from the prices shown here.
Compared to the August 2022 retail GPU prices (opens in new tab), graphics cards have dropped an average of 7%. We haven’t tracked retails prices for Nvidia’s Turing cards, and the Intel Arc A380 is new to the list (along with the RX 6700 non-XT), but the more expensive cards show the largest deltas.
Nvidia’s highest-end RTX 3090 Ti GPU now sells for 45% less than its official launch MSRP — and Nvidia itself leads the way, as the cheapest card is the RTX 3090 Ti Founders Edition (opens in new tab) from Best Buy. That’s another 21% decrease since last month! The RTX 3090 costs basically just as much, while Newegg has the RTX 3080 Ti for $809.99 (opens in new tab) (after a $40 instant rebate) — another large 15% drop. The RTX 3070 through 3080 still sell for slightly more than MSRP, but they’re getting closer and should soon fall below that mark, assuming they’re not simply discontinued to make way for new models. Meanwhile, the RTX 3050 through 3060 Ti are still going for 12–20% more than MSRP. That’s probably because Nvidia doesn’t plan to replace the budget and midrange offerings with new RTX 40-series GPUs until next year.
Flipping over to the AMD side of things, AMD’s GPUs have mostly been selling below MSRP for a couple of months now, but now even the RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 are joining the fun. The Radeon RX 6900 XT for $699.99 (opens in new tab) looks particularly tasty — there’s also an MSI RX 6900 XT (opens in new tab) with a rebate for that same price, though we don’t particularly like mail-in rebates. If you’re hoping to pay less than $500, or maybe even closer to $250, the Radeon RX 6600 for $249.99 (opens in new tab) is almost impossible to beat right now. Nvidia’s closest alternative is the previous generation RTX 2060 for $229.99 (opens in new tab) — it’s actually faster for ray tracing, particularly with DLSS, but up to 20% slower in standard gaming performance.
However you slice it, the RTX 2060 and RX 6600 make the prospects for anything that costs less than $200 rather unappetizing. Yes, they cost more than cards like the RX 6400 and RX 6500 XT, but they’re also up to twice the performance. If you want a cheap card that might actually improve in performance over the coming months, Intel’s Arc A380 at $139.99 (opens in new tab) has some excellent video codec hardware, though it’s currently backordered — and gaming performance can be a bit iffy at times.
GPU Prices: What to Expect Next Month
Again, there are multiple GPUs all slated to launch within the next few months. I think there’s a good chance we’ll see Nvidia release RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 cards by October, with the GTC 2022 keynote likely digging into some of the architecture. However, it’s also possible Nvidia will start with the rumored 48GB Ada card, which could be a new Titan — with a suitably high (obscene) price. We’ll find out on September 20.
AMD’s plans aren’t quite as clear. It demonstrated working RDNA 3 silicon during it’s Ryzen 7000 announcement. While the CPUs will go on sale September 27, I think RDNA 3 graphics cards won’t land at retail until late November, give or take a couple of weeks — basically a repeat of the RX 6000-series launch. I’d love to be wrong, though, and it would be far better for AMD to get RX 7000 cards out the door in October, so that they’re available for the holiday shopping spree that takes place throughout November and December.
Intel’s not going to be left out of the fun this year either, if the latest indications are anything to go by. The drivers continue to get regular updates, and the worst bugs and issues are being squashed. Rumors indicate an “imminent” launch for the Arc A770 and A750, and possibly A580 as well, which could happen before the end of the month — certainly by October. If pricing looks anything like the A380, Intel will be aggressive and try to get cards off the shelves rather than stagnating any further. Could we see better than RTX 3060 Ti performance from the Arc A770 for under $400? That would make the most sense, as Intel’s still the newcomer to the graphics scene.
All of those upcoming GPUs mean the existing cards will, if anything, have to continue to drop in price. For high-end cards that should be eclipsed by RDNA 3 and Ada Lovelace offerings, we definitely recommend a “wait and see” approach. We may even see midrange cards drop further in pricing to clear inventory and perhaps keep people from buying Intel’s new GPUs, but there’s not much room to go lower than the $250 range.