The Great GPU Drought of 2022... and What You Can Do About It
And yet, the current 3000 series remains hard to find for the average gamer.
We discuss the factors behind the GPU shortage, and what you can do to get your hands on one without paying outrageous scalper prices.
Why Is There a GPU Shortage?
First, why is there a video card drought in the first place? Four reasons:
Ever since someone ate a bat, the world went into lockdown and people had to work from home. Of course, that can't apply to manufacturing industries like PC hardware and GPU production, which led to supply chain problems.
There continues to be a shortfall in silicon chip supply. The end result: cars being shipped without some functions, consumer electronics like smartphones and consoles being in short supply, and of course, NVIDIA and AMD struggling to meet demand.
The Covid-19 outbreak not only affected manufacturing, it also caused problems for transport and logistics companies. Everything from cargo ships, air freight, overland trucking to last-mile UPS delivery were impacted negatively. The Evergreen fiasco was one such incident, but it was relatively short-term compared to the overall freight disruption that continues to this day.
If you live on the other side of the new Iron Curtain, tough luck. The invasion of Ukraine has led to dramatic sanctions against Russia, and to a smaller extent Belarus. So 3080tis will be hard to find in Moscow, along with the current-gen games it's supposed to play on Steam, Microsoft, Sony, among others.
How to Get a GPU Without Getting Robbed
And now we come to the real reason why you're here: how to get yourself a graphics card without being gouged.
Without further ado, here are five ways to get that dream vcard without paying outrageous prices.
1. Trawl Discord
Contrary to popular belief, GPUs do trickle here and there, but most people aren't aware of them. This is where Discord alerts come in.
There are plenty of Discord channels that alert gamers when new shipments come in. Here are some of them:
Tracks both RTX 3000 GPUs and AMD 6000 series GPUs, as well as next-gen consoles
Dedicated solely to video cards
Rapid Stock Checker
For NVIDIA 3000 series
2. Watch Youtube
YES, there are Youtube live feeds dedicated to monitoring GPU stocks. If you have a spare monitor or TV, hook one up to one of these channels and just wait for the chime or ding.
3. Twitch It
If you're more of a Twitch fan than Youtube lurker, we got you covered too!
Tracks Nvidia RTX 3000/AMD Ryzen 5000/ Radeon 6000 in Best Buy, Newegg, Amazon, BH.
For RTX 3060TI, 3070, 3080, and 3090 campers
4. Sign up for Inventory Trackers
There are online services that track retail stocks and either email an alert or send you a phone notification.
Not only sends an email on new stocks, but also when prices drop based on your preferences. Do note that it's limited to Amazon.
Supports a wider range of merchants
Useful for tracking different video card versions in one page
5. Buy a Pre-Built PC
It's not just bots ordinary consumers have to contend with for GPUs: it's PC makers themselves. One of the surest ways of getting a videocard is just buying the whole system that comes with it.
While this seems like a stupid tactic (or one limited to deep-pocketed gamers), you can still come out ahead. The outrageous prices of top-end cards like the 3080ti and 3090 almost eclipse entire CPU builds. If you pluck out the card, you can then resell the PC components for an equal or marginal gain, compared to paying scalper prices. After all, there's always a market for midrange components for players not into the latest, most-demanding games.
There you go. When you finally toss that old 980ti in the bin and bask in the 90FPS warmth of your maxed out MS Flight Simulator, there's no need to thank us.