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Frustration in the Gaming Graphics Card Landscape: Is the Future of Gaming in Jeopardy?

I'm just a small-time guy working a normal job as a physician assistant. My passion is building PCs and testing/reviewing PC hardware.

Exasperated and Frustrated

Hello everyone. Will here and today, I am a bit broken and frustrated. No, I’m not broken in the way that some who just give up are broken but I am broken in morale within the PC building community. The reason for this brokenness and frustration is the advantage that retailers are taking on us within the community as well as the likes of AMD, Intel, and nVidia. So, why is this? Let me explain.


In December of last year (2017), I came up with an outline, a blueprint if you will for the upcoming year of 2018. I made this outline based on projects that I wanted to undertake and bring the results and reviews to you fine folks who stop by every day or every few days to read what I write. That plan included everything from changing over my main computing system form Intel to AMD, product reviews of things like CPU air coolers and liquid all-in-one coolers, and different CPUs and graphics cards. I still plan on going through with this blueprint but the aforementioned companies like AMD, Intel, and nVidia are making it very difficult to do so as I purchase all of these products out of pocket.

At any rate, let me get to why I am writing this article. Today, I am quite exasperated by one major thing and that is the absolute trashiness of the aforementioned companies and retailers like Best Buy, Newegg (especially), and Amazon. These places have taken it upon themselves to gouge us consumers and gouges us badly. I know that simple economics play a part here but human decency at times should overcome the urge to take advantage of capitalism. This is one of those cases. If you want to know what I am talking about, look no further than the current costs of GPUs, RAM, and even processors. One can clearly see and understand the reasons behind these price hikes if they just look at the landscape of not only gaming PC building but also cryptocurrency mining.

Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2400MHz RAM


Had we looked closely and paid attention to the computer landscape just a few months ago, we probably could have prepared ourselves for this. The fact the we were already having a RAM shortage due to slow production by RAM makers and distributors should have given enough insight to let us know this was going to happen. Just take a look at RAM prices today. In August 2017, I purchased a kit of 16GB of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM clocked at 2400MHz for just $130 but now, that same 16GB kit costs roughly $190-$200 depending on where you purchase it from. That is an insane 46% increase or an average of 11.5% per month! This is completely unacceptable in today’s world.

Now, for the real reason I am extremely irritated and upset with these companies is GPUs. I made the conscious decision just a few weeks ago to build a cryptocurrency mining rig. This decision came after I did a 2-week experiment with my main rig that features the MSI GTX 1080 Duke graphics card. After the 2 weeks of running the system for mining for roughly 12-14 hours per day or about 13 hours per day on average, I was able to min around $50 worth of Ethereum or roughly $3.57 per day which is around $1.00 more per day than most people are getting out of Ethereum on a single card. This was a crazy result and this convinced me that I could do so much more with mining if I only had a mining rig that would run 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Well, I started putting together my mining rig system components.

MSI GTX 1080 Duke 8GB Graphics Card


My rig was going to consist, initially of 3x AMD Radeon RX 560 4GB graphics cards as that would give me almost the same amount of mining power as my GTX 1080 at a fairly lower cost. The other thought I had was to pick up a solo RX 570 and add an RX 560 which would have given me a little more mining power than the GTX 1080. I know what some of you will say right now, especially if you read my other articles… You will say, “Will, you already have an RX 570, why are you angry about pricing?” Well, what I do is with the systems that I have built, I take those and sell them, even at a loss sometimes, and I donate that money whether to charity, the local Children’s hospital, or help someone in the community who is down on their luck; mostly, that money goes to the local Children’s hospital, though.

So, I started looking for graphics cards, particularly the RX 570 and RX 560. I was able to find a few at places like Newegg, Fry’s Electronics, Amazon, and Best Buy for somewhat decent prices around $280 for the RX 570 4GB edition to $110 for the RX 560 4GB version. I decided to order one of each on Newegg. By the time I had filled everything out to purchase the products, they sold out. I was quite dumbfounded by this, so, I searched the site for more options and all of a sudden, those prices had jumped from the $280 RX 570 4GB version and $110 RX 560 4GB version to $380 for the RX 570 4GB version and around $150 for the RX 560 4GB version. This happened at pretty much every retailer listed above. The next day, I had made up my mind again that if I saw anything less than the day before, I was going to buy it. That happened on Newegg as prices decreased in less than 24 hours to around the original prices mentioned above. However, as with the previous scenario, I was unable to purchase the product by the time the stock was depleted. I went over to eBay to look and they had a Newegg listing of the same graphics card. The listing was for the RX 570 4GB version by ASUS, the ROG STRIX edition for just $280. I was surprised so, I went back to Newegg and saw that the same card was in stock but was now $551. I quickly went back to eBay to purchase and was met with the “this item is no longer available” error message.

AMD Radeon RX 560 4GB Graphics Card

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Now, aside from the obvious, why is this so irritating and annoying? Well, that lies in the MSRP of the aforementioned graphics cards. You see, the MSRP of the AMD Radeon RX 560 4GB model is just $100 but even at prices just prior to the hike was still $10 above the MSRP, for a card that is worth maybe $90 given its pretty pathetic performance all around. Then, looking at the AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB model, the MSRP is just $170 and prior to the hike, they were retailing for $280, a 65% increase from the MSRP. Now, take the $551 price tag on the RX 570 over at Newegg and you get a 224% increase above MSRP. Sure, supply and demand and capitalism and all but come on, this is gouging at its worst. This is absolutely atrocious.

AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB Graphics Card


Conclusion and Final Thoughts

These companies need to get their act together and help us consumers out. They need to stop being selfish for the all mighty dollar and do what is right because right now, regardless of their plans, they are 100% wrong and would be more so if you could go above 100% in a situation like this. And look, I’m all for capitalism and making a few dollars (heck, I’m cryptocurrency mining) but this is unethical what these companies are doing but more so, the retailers and dealers who are gouging us consumers. So, my warning to them, though they will never listen to me or probably the lot of us, is this: Stop gouging us because eventually, we will quit caring and go with what we have or just quit all together. You will lose customers which will cause you to lose money and in turn, shift the paradigm you experience against your favor.

Thanks for stopping by folks and as always, I appreciate your support. If you have an opinion, leave comment below. Once again, thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again next time.

Why are graphics cards so expensive?


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Yeah on March 22, 2018:

It's because of mining rigs that prices are being jacked up. Way to contribute to that, and all the gamers are screwed now.

William Cobb (author) from Columbia, SC on January 23, 2018:

Yeah. The prices are out of control. I don't really blame anyone however but I do get frustrated along the line. Apparently, some distributors are selling directly to these "miners" in large quantities which is allegedly causing the supply to dwindle when the demand is so high currently. And look, I'm even okay with miners, heck, I just bought an RX 580 8GB model myself to do some small mining. I am also planning on buying at least 2 more cards to supplement my mini-mining rig. See, that type of mining, I'm okay with because those guys are suffering with the rest of us. See, the RX 580 I purchased, I paid $415 (shipped) which is around $200 more than the MSRP. That's ridiculous but it will eventually pay for itself, I hope. Ha. Ha. At any rate, my whole purpose of the mining rig is to earn a bit of money to help supplement my content creation endeavors.

Eric Farmer from Rockford Illinois on January 23, 2018:

I don't keep up with hardware as much you. But the is situation is interesting. I remember reading about a month ago about how GPU prices are going up.

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