The chances of bagging one in the last year have been vanishingly slim as scalpers turn a handsome profit on auction sites, but the best way to own a recent RTX graphics card from Nvidia is to opt for attractive, well-built Founders Edition.
Unlike third-party models sold by retailers, Nvidia has kept to the announced launch price in much the same vein as console giants Sony and Microsoft selling their machines at MSRP.
Founders Edition cards have in times of cryptomining boom turned up on auction sites at practically double the sticker price, thus providing a tantalising opportunity for immoral scalpers to build up the green at the direct expense of gamers.
Nvidia has recently rolled in under-the-radar price increases for the coveted FE cards in Europe, and the eagle-eyed folk over at Computerbase have logged the changes, as represented in the table below.
|Previous price||New price||Increase||Percentage rise|
|GeForce RTX 3060 Ti||€419||€439||€20||5%|
|GeForce RTX 3070||€519||€549||€30||6%|
|GeForce RTX 3070 Ti||€619||€649||€30||5%|
|GeForce RTX 3080||€719||€759||€40||6%|
|GeForce RTX 3080 Ti||€1,199||€1,269||€70||6%|
|GeForce RTX 3090||€1,549||€1,649||€100||6.5%|
The increases are spread across all current-generation RTX models in broadly equal percentages. Those hardest hit in a pure cash sense are the true high-end GPUs, with the RTX 3090 costing $100 more. Small beer in the big scheme of things, of course, and Nvidia puts the ramp squarely at the feet of exchange-rate fluctuations, according to a communiqué with Tom’s.
There is merit in this claim as the euro rate has diminished significantly against the US dollar in recent months, though we don’t know what kind of hedging or forward buying Nvidia does to mitigate fluctuations. Taken from six months’ ago, the euro is about five per cent weaker, suggesting Nvidia’s hikes are reasonable… if we go down this thinking.
UK’s humble pound remains steadfast against price hikes even though the year-long graph is broadly similar to the euro’s. Perhaps the recent uptick since the New Year has saved us Brits from the Nvidia price hike, yet don’t be at all surprised to see UK price increases in the near future, too.
Discussions such as this verge on the academic because stock of Founders Edition cards remains tightly constrained. We’re adamant any serious gamer won’t think twice about snapping up, say, a GeForce RTX 3080 for £699 instead of the present £649, such is the dearth of supply.
Cost of raw materials to build leading-edge graphics cards have gone up, as well, and their pricing trajectory certainly won’t help value in the short term, no matter what happens on the FX market.
We feel as if consumers are in for a bumpy year as inflation runs riot across the board for myriad reasons, and the PC industry appears to be following the wider economic pattern of late.