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July 15, 2017

Everything you need to know about the graphics card shortage

by John_A

Why it matters to you

Right now, looking for a graphics card at a reasonable price can be a real pain, and we dig into how bad the drought really is.

Right now, looking for a great graphics card at a decent price can be a real pain. Why? That’s a good question, and given that both AMD and Nvidia have teamed up with OEMs to produce graphics cards dedicated to cryptocurrency mining, it’s easy to point fingers at these digital miners for the graphics card shortage. And while that’s entirely possible, we decided to dig into Amazon to see who is selling what.

Not every aspect of the graphics card shortage is attributable to physical supply. Many cards just aren’t sold through Amazon. For instance, EVGA’s portfolio of 70 GeForce GTX 10 series cards is reduced to 53 separate models served up through the popular online retail outlet. Out of the reduced batch, Amazon itself had only 15 cards in stock with the remaining 38 models sold through its third-party sellers during our investigation.

That said, if Amazon has a graphics card in stock, it will normally sell the unit at the manufacturer’s suggested price. In our investigation of the graphics card shortage, there were rare instances where Amazon actually sold cards at slightly increased prices. There were also many units that actually had a reasonable discount. Another tactic we saw was that Amazon would increase the manufacturer’s price by $30 or so, then mark it back down to the normal price at a “reduced rate” exclusively for Prime Members.

Thus, Amazon customers looking for a good price on a graphics card have to grab one while they’re still sold directly by the retailer. Otherwise, it’s a pricing free-for-all with its third-party sellers. Prices can inflate by more than 100 percent, and that can be costly the higher up customers go on the graphics performance totem pole. For instance, a listing for EVGA’s GTX 1080 TI Founder Edition card was inflated in price by 61.43 percent, with the $700 card selling for an insane $1,130.

To get a better visual idea of the graphics card shortage, take a look at these tables:

RX 500 Series
OEMs
Total
Portfolio

Listed On
Amazon

In Stock
@ Amazon

Sold Via
Third-Party
Amazon Sellers

ASUS
15
9
2
7
Gigabyte
13
10
3
7
MSI
10
9
1
8
Sapphire
16
13
2
11

GTX 10 Series
OEMs
Total
Portfolio

Listed On
Amazon

In Stock
@ Amazon

Sold Via
Third-Party
Amazon Sellers

ASUS
30
30
6
24
EVGA
70
53
15
38
Gigabyte
60
36
14
22
MSI
71
47
18
29
Zotac
31
26
13
13

As the numbers show, the Radeon RX 500 and GTX 10 Series cards manufactured by Asus and listed on Amazon are currently mostly sold through third-party sellers. In fact, Amazon’s stock of RX 500 Series cards is extremely low, thus customers are forced to purchase these cards at inflated prices through its third-party sellers, or look elsewhere online for (hopefully) a better deal.

However, in our investigation, we noted that Amazon’s stock mostly resided in the cheaper, low-powered card market. Gigabyte’s listed Radeon RX 550, GeForce GTX 1050, and GeForce GTX 1050 cards were plentiful. MSI’s low-end GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1050 cards were mostly in stock, too, along with solutions from Zotac. Interestingly enough, Amazon had plenty of Zotac GTX 1080 cards in stock as did MSI and EVGA, which are at the other end of the performance spectrum.

Ultimately, the cards mostly hit, it seemed, were the GTX 1070, GTX 1060, RX 580, RX 570, and RX 560.  Their suggested retail prices range from $100 to $400, making them great upgrades for the money when they’re actually sold by Amazon. However, the GTX 1070 cards manufactured by Gigabyte and sold through Amazon’s third-party sellers, for example, were jacked up in price between 33 percent and 82 percent, such as the G1 Gaming 8G selling for $780 (typically $430).

That all said, here are the prices of baseline graphics cards listed on Amazon, which we will refresh each week. Right now, certain OEMs don’t even have listings for a specific GPU on Amazon, but we’ll leave space for them anyway in case a product does show up.

RX 580
OEM
Model
Retail
Price

Current
Price

Price
Increase

Sold By
ASUS
DUAL RX580 O4G
$230
$500
117.39%
Amazon
Third-party
Gigabyte
Gaming 4GD
$240
$440
83.33%
Amazon
Third-party
MSI
ARMOR 4G OC
$230
$439
90.87%
Amazon
Third-party
PowerColor
AXRX 580 4GBD5-3DHDV2/OC
$230
$410
78..26%
Amazon
Third-party
Sapphire
PULSE 4GD5
$230
$400
73.91%
Amazon
Third-party

RX 570
OEM
Model
Retail
Price

Current
Price

Price
Increase

Sold By
ASUS
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Gigabyte
Gaming 4GD
$220
$400
81.82%
Amazon
Third-party
MSI
GAMING X 4G
$220
$430
95.45%
Amazon
Third-party
PowerColor
AXRX 570 4GBD5-3DHD/OC
$190
$369
94.21%
Amazon
Third-party
Sapphire
PULSE 4GD5
$190
$396
108.42%
Amazon
Third-party

RX 560
OEM
Model
Retail
Price

Current
Price

Price
Increase

Sold By
ASUS
RX560-O2G OC Edition
$120
$120
0.00%
Amazon
Third-Party
Gigabyte
Gaming OC 2GD
$110
$110
0.00%
Amazon
MSI
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
PowerColor
AXRX 560 4GBD5-DHV2/OC
$110
$197
79.09%
Amazon
Third-party
Sapphire
Pulse 2GD5
$110
$110
0.00%
Amazon

RX 560
OEM
Model
Retail
Price

Current
Price

Price
Increase

Sold By
ASUS
RX550-2G
$85
$85
0.00%
Amazon
Gigabyte
Gaming OC 2GD
$90
$90
0.00%
Amazon
MSI
Aero ITX 2G OC
$90
$90
0.00%
Amazon
PowerColor
AXRX 550 2GBD5-DH/OC
$90
$120
33.33%
Amazon
Third-party
Sapphire
Pulse 2GD5
$90
$90
0.00%
Amazon

GTX 1080 Ti
OEM
Model
Retail
Price

Current
Price

Price
Increase

Sold By
ASUS
FOUNDERS
EDITION
$700
$850
21.43%
Amazon
Third-Party
EVGA
GAMING
$700
$794
13.43%
Amazon
Third-Party
Gigabyte
FOUNDERS
EDITION
$700
$900
28.57%
Amazon
Third-Party
MSI
AERO 11G OC
$739
$739
0.00%
Amazon
Zotac
FOUNDERS
EDITION
$700
$830
18.57%
Amazon
Third-Party

GTX 1080
OEM
Model
Retail
Price

Current
Price

Price
Increase

Sold By
ASUS
ROG STRIX 8G GAMING
$560
$760
35.71%
Amazon
Third-Party
EVGA
GAMING (ACX 3.0)
$540
$590
9.26%
Amazon
Third-Party
Gigabyte
WINDFORCE OC 8GD
$500
$642
28.40%
Amazon
Third-Party
MSI
GAMING 8G
$600
$600
0.00%
Amazon
Zotac
FOUNDERS EDITION
$550
$863
56.91%
Amazon
Third-Party

GTX 1070
OEM
Model
Retail
Price

Current
Price

Price
Increase

Sold By
ASUS
DUAL O8G
$430
$615
43.02%
Amazon
Third-Party
EVGA
GAMING
$410
$660
60.98%
Amazon
Third-Party
Gigabyte
WINDFORCE OC 8G
$400
$700
75.00%
Amazon
Third-Party
MSI
AERO 8G OC
$420
$572
36.19%
Amazon
Third-Party
Zotac
AMP Edition
$450
$1,000
122.22%
Amazon
Third-Party

GTX 1060
OEM
Model
Retail
Price

Current
Price

Price
Increase

Sold By
ASUS
PH-GTX1060-3G
$215
$270
25.58%
Amazon
Third-Party
EVGA
GAMING
$200
$230
15.00%
Amazon
Third-Party
Gigabyte
WINDFORCE OC 3G
$210
$263
25.24%
Amazon
Third-Party
MSI
3G OCV1
$230
$339
47.39%
Amazon
Third-Party
Zotac
3G Mini
$194
$380
95.88%
Amazon
Third-Party

GTX 1050 Ti
OEM
Model
Retail
Price

Current
Price

Price
Increase

Sold By
ASUS
PH-GTX1050TI-4G
$145
$238
64.14%
Amazon
Third-Party
EVGA
GAMING
$145
$155
6.90%
Amazon
Gigabyte
OC 4G
$150
$150
0.00%
Amazon
MSI
4G OC
$160
$160
0.00%
Amazon
Zotac
Low Profile
$170
$150
-11.76%
Amazon

GTX 1050
OEM
Model
Retail
Price

Current
Price

Price
Increase

Sold By
ASUS
PH-GTX1050-2G
$115
$125
8.70%
Amazon
Third-Party
EVGA
GAMING
$110
$110
0.00%
Amazon
Gigabyte
OC 2G
$130
$130
0.00%
Amazon
MSI
2G OC
$109
$109
0.00%
Amazon
Zotac
Low Profile
$120
$120
0.00%
Amazon

So what exactly is going on with the graphics card shortage? The baseline demand is of course from PC gamers, with Amazon restocking supplies when it can. One possibility is that sellers are purchasing Amazon’s stock at the MSRP, and then reselling them elsewhere at amplified prices. Others could be purchasing cards through distributors and inflating prices while others may just sell products at higher prices regardless of the current demand. But as EVGA pointed out in an email, an MSRP is only a suggested price.

But the graphics card shortage also likely stems from the cryptocurrency mining crowd, which appear to be consuming GTX 1070 and GTX 1060 cards along with AMD’s batch of Radeon RX 500 Series cards. These cards offer a lot of bang for the buck, and cryptocurrency miners understandably don’t want to spend more than $400 on a single unit to produce digital coin. We’ll just have to wait and see if AMD and Nvidia’s attempt to rectify this spending spree by offering dedicated cryptocurrency mining cards will keep graphics cards in stock at Amazon in the near future.

Finally, we reached out to some OEMS regarding the graphics card shortage, and will update this piece accordingly. We also contacted Nvidia, who couldn’t comment on the current state of the graphics market at this time.




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