For every product, there is a recommended retail price from the manufacturer or what most of us like to call MSRP. If you are a part of the computer hardware community, you are probably very familiar with this abbreviation. The MSRP of PC hardware is probably one of the most important factors for most consumers. What’s the point of an incredibly fast graphics card if most people cannot afford it? Because of this, companies such as Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA try to offer as competitive pricing as possible.
However, there is one huge problem in the computer component industry that we all have to acknowledge. The recommended prices set in place by the manufacturers are very commonly ignored. Regularly the pricing is set several dozen dollars above what it should be. This is understandable to a degree since retailers, stores, etc. do this for a return of their costs or for a bigger profit. But, the problem grows even bigger from here and I want to talk more about that.
Current GPU market
If you are interested in what I have to say on this topic, I can already assume that you already know what is going on with the GPU market. To put it simply, it is unbelievably expensive while also short of stock.
To those uninitiated, I will try to give a quick explanation. Back at the end of 2020, both Nvidia and AMD released their new lineups of GPUs. For the first time, in a long time, AMD finally showed up with a competitor in the high-end sector. Not only did they come prepared with a good competitor, but AMD also came with a great price offering. What’s even crazier was that even Nvidia cut down the pricing when compared to their previous RTX 2000 lineup.
All of this sounds great, right? What’s wrong with the GPU market then? Currently, a lot of things. One of the main issues right now is the lack of supply. If you have the money right now to get yourself an RTX 3080 or an RX 6800XT, you can’t. There aren’t any in stock. Does not matter whether you are in the US, Europe, or anywhere else in the world. The demand is huge while the supply is awfully low.
This lack of supply caused a chain reaction that pushed the GPU market to an even deeper hole. The pricing of any kind of GPU skyrocketed similarly to the Bitcoin after Tesla made the $1.5B investment. Yes, it is that bad.
Right now, one RTX 3070 that should cost $500 goes around on both retail stores and second-hand markets for over $850. If you look far enough, you will find that same GPU for over $1000. This is unacceptable.
Whose fault is it?
These are some serious issues in the PC hardware industry. But, whose fault is it? Can we blame the manufactures? Or should we blame the retailers, the stores, and the scalpers? In my opinion, I think the blame is currently on everyone. Even the buyers are pushing the problem further. By purchasing PC parts at such elevated pricing, we continue to support this kind of market.
However, I am certain that the main blame lies back at the source. The manufacturers, or more specifically, AMD and Nvidia. Sure, ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, EVGA, Sapphire, and all of those partners are the ones pushing for more expensive graphics cards.
But, why are AMD and Nvidia allowing such manipulation with the MSRP of PC hardware? Why not just put the foot down and lock the price deviation. Naturally, this won’t happen because everyone is currently making an incredible amount of money. Some are even doubling their profits. In other words, companies are currently enjoying the riches while the average consumer has to pay twice the money to enjoy a mid-end GPU or CPU.
Is the MSRP of PC Hardware legit?
So, the question is, is the MSRP of PC hardware legit? Can it be trusted? The answer to these questions is a simple no. Right now, it is even impossible to compare two products with such a huge difference in pricing.
The $579 RX 6800 is 15% to 20% faster than the $500 RTX 3070, but how can this help anyone with the decision when the real pricing is completely distorted. Both the 3070 and RX 6800 go for over $800-900.
This is unacceptable. This has to be regulated somehow in the future otherwise we will see an even larger increase in GPU, CPU, and RAM costs. I hope that in 2021 or at least in the next couple of years, the PC component market will finally stabilize and that someone is finally going to regulate this kind of manipulation.