PC Gaming continues to grow as time progresses. However, many trying to create or upgrade their build struggle to obtain a key component, a graphics card.
Last Fall, tech companies Nvidia and AMD announced the next generation of their GPU lineup, the RTX 3000 and RX 6000 series, respectively. Both cards are noted for their vast improvements over their predecessors in terms of overall performance and memory. Despite their acclaim, many enthusiasts have struggled to obtain these new graphics cards due to a lack of stock.
From people buying GPUs in mass quantities either to use them to mine currency such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, which has been rising in value in recent years.
Additionally, there has been many cases of customers purchasing the graphics cards only to resell them on websites such as Kijiji at a higher price. The new graphics cards have become scarce and difficult to find.
Graphics cards such as the RTX 3060 TI and the RX 6800 sold out almost immediately after becoming available on online retail stores and the few stores selling the graphics cards in person, such as Canada Computers.
One such person who has been searching for one of the graphics cards for a while now is Cambridge resident Cody McKee, who had been looking to upgrade his gaming computer with a brand new Nvidia RTX 3080.
McKee frequently checked popular PC retailers such as Newegg and Canada Computers, even going to third-party websites such as eBay or Facebook Marketplace to find the graphics card he wanted.
“It’s been difficult finding one because all of the ones on the market are way overpriced compared to what it’s actually worth,” said McKee.
However, some consumers noted that it is less challenging to obtain one of the new graphics cards if they decide to purchase a custom-built gaming PC. Certain stores offer Gaming PCs that are already built and ready to go. Some retailers include CyberPowerPC, IBUYPOWER, and even retailers such as Newegg offer customers the option to order a custom build.
Local twitch streamer and PC gaming enthusiast Chris Dye shared his insight on the matter after his experience of purchasing a new gaming PC amidst the GPU shortage.
After the motherboard in his previous PC broke, he then contemplated getting either purchasing all of the PC components to build his PC himself. However, due to the lack of stock and estimated wait times that stores have for customers reserving cards, Dye was more inclined to order a custom-built PC as retailers that offer those services seem to have more access to these scarce graphics cards.
“Often, the pre-built companies have contracts with the companies that make the GPUS, so they can make more money,” said Dye.
According to financial reports published by Nvidia, the company made approximately $5 billion for Q4 2020 despite the limited supply of Nvidia graphics cards.
Additionally, a Nvidia spokesperson said during a press conference on Jan. 12, 2021, that supply for the highly demanded graphics cards would likely remain limited until the end of April.