However, this was not always the case. The question is – what exactly happened to the GPU market in the meantime? Why are consumers today forced to shell out thousands of HRK (obviously sometimes… over HRK 10,000) for a high-end graphics card?
In the rest of the text, we will look at some of the reasons why graphics cards are so expensive. Many of these factors are probably obvious to you. Others, however, may surprise you.
1. Lack of competition
The lack of competition in the mid-2010s and early 2020s, especially from AMD, was one of the driving factors behind the ever-increasing prices of GPUs. When Nvidia launched in 2016 GeForce 10 series graphics cards based on Pascalthe company pursued an aggressive pricing strategy as it was already facing pressure from AMD with its RX 300 series of GPUs.
But after that, AMD just fell apart with the launch RX Vege 2017, as it had no GPU to match Nvidia’s flagship (high-end) model 1080 Ti. And because of this lack of competition, Nvidia has become confident enough to launch a newer GPU called RTX 2080 Ti for the price of 1,299 dollars (in America) in 2018. With the fact that you got a worse ratio of price and quality, that is, performance. Converted into HRK (plus various taxes), that graphics card cost over HRK 10,000 in Croatia!
On the other hand, AMD still didn’t have any cards to compete with high-end market and instead focused on mid-range GPUs.
Two years later, a seemingly more confident Nvidia launched the Ampere-based RTX 30 series of graphics cards, with RTX 3090 which was on top for incredible 1500 dollarsthat is HRK 12-13 thousand in Croatia.
And since that wasn’t enough for them and they wanted to take an even bigger share of the pie, the company launched a more powerful one RTX 3090 Ti for $2,000 this year. It is difficult to get that card in Croatia, and its price is over HRK 15-16 thousand.
Although now AMD has started to compete with Nvidia again in the high-end GPU market with its Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards, Nvidia still has the market in its grip and will not let it go easily. Nor is AMD still “real competition”.
2. Shortage of chips
Why are GPUs so expensive? In one word – economy. Offer, demand and the distribution of resources determine how available or expensive goods or services are, especially with what the general public sees and has access to.
We’re still in the middle of it right now global chip shortages which could go on indefinitely. We use semiconductor chips in everything from computers to airplanes; producers from all over the world had to reduce or limit their production due to the shortage.
Chip shortage it affected not only graphics cards but other sectors as well, including laptops, phones and video game consoles.
3. The COVID-19 pandemic and inflation
We understand that the global coronavirus pandemic is old news, but you can’t deny the fact that it has drastically changed the way people and businesses choose to work. More and more people started work from homewhich resulted in increased demand for personal electronics. GPU prices are high right now because the market is hungrier for them than ever before.
Whether for business or pleasure, many people want to buy electronic devices such as computers, smartphones or tablets. This has drastically increased the demand for graphics cards, which is why graphics cards are so expensive.
Another consequence of the pandemic is abort supply launches. Although COVID-19 is no longer the main reason for this, other factors such as Russian-Ukrainian war have disrupted global supply chains in 2022.
This means that people living in different parts of the world may not have immediate access to the graphics cards they need, forcing them to they are looking for imports from foreign markets.
In short: this is why graphics cards are so expensive. There are fewer graphics cards circulating the market than people who have the means, the need, and the cash to buy them, and that’s partly to blame. COVID.
4. Additional taxes
During Trump’s mandate as the president of the USAnew tariffs are imposed on imports from abroad every week, including a tariff that added tax of 25 percent at the asking price for imported graphics cards from Kine. This additional cost is passed on to American consumers through higher prices. And after America, the rest of us. Because if you order graphics cards from America, they are now initially more expensive than they were.
Bidenova administration has not announced any plans to roll back Trump’s tariffs on China. But they intend to re-evaluate any current trade agreements they have before moving forward with any new strategy.
In short: America raised hardware prices. This will spill over to Europe as well, that is, it has already happened.
5. Cryptocurrency Mining
“Cryptocurrency miners” need a good graphics card and software to effectively mine cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum. They often have high requirements for the type of graphics cards they need for their computers; the faster the card, the faster I can mine, so higher class cards are preferable.
Although the “miners” cloned hoarding graphic card in 2022, thanks to the state of the crypto market and the falling prices of cryptocurrencies, the situation could be reversed at any moment. The problem is the other way around – a growing market often results in miners buying as many graphics cards as possible, as extra disrupts supply and demand.
Fortunately, Nvidia has managed to mitigate this problem with its own LHR graphics cards, which actually makes them undesirable for miners. We won’t go into too much detail, but they are 50% less effective for mining cryptocurrencies, which is why people don’t buy them.
6. Resellers and “profit hunters”
Crypto miners aren’t the only ones crowding out the graphics card market; various “hustler” who seek monetary gain have also disrupted the graphics card market, although they use different tactics to meet their goals.
The persons concerned resell the goods for a quick (and usually large) profit. Graphics cards are perfect for resale at high prices desperate consumers who no longer ask for the price but just want to get the “goods”. Even for the graphics card, which is realistically worth HRK 7,000, they paid 10-11 thousand.
Furthermore, you remember PlayStationa 5? On the first day after the console went on sale, you could find them on various classified ads 70-100% higher price but in the store because there were no more of them in the stores. And they were sold. It’s the same thing with graphics cards. As long as the demand is greater than the supply, the prices can go “sky high” and anyone can ask for the amount they want.
7. Better specification and performance
Unlike graphics cards from the early 2010s, modern GPUs use advanced materials i superb design. Generally speaking, they are of higher quality and more difficult to manufacture than those of previous generations. Simply put, you can consider higher manufacturing costs to be one of the main reasons why modern GPU prices are so high.
Manufacturers can only produce what they can afford. Cause of increased production costsproducers must be creative in terms of increasing their profits without compromising product quality or quantity.
The current set of graphics cards from Nvidia i AMD-a pushes the boundaries of computer graphics in more ways than just frame rate. With top technologies such as ” ray tracing” i FSR (DLSS), these modern GPUs are designed to provide the best possible gaming experience at higher resolutions such as QHD i 4K.
In many ways, technically you get what you paid forbut it’s simply another factor to consider when considering your options the next time you’re ready to upgrade your graphics card.
There is no going back
We’ve listed more or less all the reasons why graphics cards are so expensive, but unfortunately, GPU prices are out of our direct control. As long as it is demand greater than supplygraphics cards will continue to be expensive.
To included inflation, you should no longer expect high-end graphics cards with a price below a couple of thousand kunas like five or six years ago. Times have changed, and technology continues to move forward to provide the consumer with new and better experiences – for a price, of course.
Written by: Boris Plavljanić