Consumer graphics card prices have increased by a considerable amount in the last few years. High-end SKUs which form the bulk of the discrete GPU market have gone from just around $500 in the first half of 2018 to nearly $1,500 this year. That’s an increase of 3x in 3 years. For comparison, the GeForce RTX 980 Ti, easily one of the best Titanium-class GeForce cards was priced at just $649 at the time of launch. This was when the competition in the graphics card market was still alive and well. It went up against AMD’s Fiji-based Radeon R9 Fury X which was the first consumer GPU to feature HBM memory. Despite featuring just 4GB of it, it performed rather well in most titles but become sort of obsolete a few years after launch when the memory requirements rose past 4GB.
The Pascal-based GeForce RTX 1080 Ti wasn’t priced much worse with a retail MSRP of $699, $50 more than the 980 Ti. Things went from okay to worse with Turing when NVIDIA launched the RTX 2080 for $699 and later on, the RTX 2080 Ti for $999, a rather considerable hike despite featuring mediocre performance gains compared to Pascal. The reason was quite straightforward. They did it because they could. AMD had no competing products at the time, and as such, there was no pressure on Team Green.
Moving to 2021, we got the RTX 3080 Ti for an even higher $1,199 despite being just 5-10% faster than the $699 RTX 3080, a blunder if there ever was one. Compared to the RTX 980 Ti and the 1080 Ti, that’s an increase of nearly 2x. So, yes the prices haven’t exactly increased by 3-4x as mentioned in the report, but they still have gone up quite considerably. If we factor in the Titan-class GPUs from NVIDIA and the Quadro offerings, I reckon that should bring that figure up to 3x at the very least.
As if things weren’t bad enough, it’s being reported (via El Chapuzas) that graphics card prices will continue to increase due to memory shortages. GDDR6 prices are expected to rise by 8-13% in the third quarter of the year after already increasing by 25% in Q2. This means the combined effect of the two hikes will likely be notable in the coming refreshes from NVIDIA/AMD and their next-gen lineups.