Nvidia Seems to be Slashing Prices on Its High-End GPUs
There’s been a lot of news in the past week or so about a crisis of sorts unfolding for Nvidia. The company is gearing up to launch its 40-series GPUs, but it has a little problem: There’s currently way too many 30-series cards still on virtual store shelves. Those GPUs weren’t supposed to be there. After all, there’s been a GPU shortage for the past two years. However, in May the crypto market started to implode. That accelerated in June, and now that we’re in July, crypto is on life support. That’s lead to an unexpected dump of GPUs onto the open market. All of a sudden, it’s the opposite of a GPU shortage. This has now lead Nvidia to throw a fire sale on its most powerful Ampere GPUs. All of its high-end GPUs are now way under MSRP at major retailers.
Nvidia is undoubtedly wary of history repeating itself. Back in 2018, the sudden decline in cryptocurrency sales left the company with a ton of Pascal-era stock on the market even as it tried to launch Turing, at substantially higher prices. The resulting glut had Pascal cards selling below MSRPs for weeks while Turing sat on shelves.
News of the unexpected price drop follows the equally surprising news from earlier this week. Best Buy had suddenly slashed the price on the RTX 3090 Ti to $400 below MSRP. According to Benchlife, that move by Best Buy precipitated an across-the-board price cut by Nvidia on its high-end GPUs. The new pricing offers diminishing returns as you go down the stack. However, right at the top the RTX 3090 Ti gets the biggest cut, with $500 being lopped off its MSRP. That makes it a $1,499 GPU now, with the RTX 3090 getting a $200 reduction as well.
The two RTX 3080 models are also getting a modest price cut. The RTX 3080 Ti is just $1,099, while the 3080 12GB is $799. What’s notable is the 12GB version of this card never had an MSRP. Despite that situation, it was usually around $1,200 or so. What’s ironic is the 12GB version was cynically dubbed a “price correction” for the RTX 3080 when it launched. Some speculated that Nvidia realized it errored in making the 10GB Founder’s Edition just $699. So it created a new version with mild improvements, and offered it for almost twice the price. Nvidia didn’t even generate any launch day reviews for it, seemingly to avoid an inevitable backlash. That was in January, and now look where we are. The price is now where it should have been at launch; only $100 more than the 10GB version. Nature is healing, as they say.
Benchlife says its sources in the channel indicated the prices should go into effect this week. Based on a cursory search though, they are already happening. We browsed Amazon and Newegg and saw the new prices with our own eyes. Also, in an ironic twist, we noted that all of EVGA’s RTX 3080 12GB cards were now listed at $799. Each and every one of them was also out of stock.
Another interesting aspect of this sale is it only applies to the most expensive GPUs. This would lead us to assume the RTX 3060/Ti and 3070/Ti are still very much in demand. That is likely disappointing to a lot of gamers who don’t want to spend close to a grand on a GPU. It seems doubtful those upper-mid-range GPUs will ever get a price cut, but Nvidia could always get more desperate in the future. After all, it is rumored to be trying to avoid pushing the 40-series launch back due to excessive inventory. It needs the channels to be relatively clear of GPUs before it refills it with new products. These new prices will definitely help in that effort, but we also wonder just how far Nvidia might go with price cuts. At this point, it’s difficult say where the “bottom” is as far as pricing goes.