With Nvidia's GTX 1180 incoming, graphics card makers are keeping GPU prices high | PCGamesN

With Nvidia's GTX 1180 incoming, graphics card makers are keeping GPU prices high

MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio

Graphics card makers are still counting the cost of the weak cryptocurrency mining demand and are expecting to see shipments fall even further for the rest of this year. But that hasn’t stopped them from still maintaining artificially high margins for their GPUs, even though supply is high and demand is relatively low. I wonder why...

DigiTimes is reporting the Taiwanese add-in board partners (AIBs) - Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and TUL - are all now holding large inventories of stock, but are still keeping their gross margins at around 20%. For reference, at the start of last year the same graphics cards held margins of 8-10%.

The GPU is the superstar of the gaming PC, but it would be nothing without the best gaming monitors.

That is still a pretty considerable drop compared with the height of the GPU mining boom, where they were able to add on margins of 40-50% on top of the standard retail price, but despite miners no longer investing in graphics cards as they once did the prices remain artificially high.

The DigiTimes report claims that because of the weak mining demand for the rest of the year the AIBs are now turning back to the traditional gaming audience to keep their revenue momentum going in the right direction.

Nvidia Volta release date

Both Bitcoin and the GPU-based currencies, such as Etherium, have suffered further price drops over the last few months, with a seven-month low pulling the markets down last week.

And while the prospects don’t look none too positive for the crypto-mining boom times to return any time soon - boosting the falling profits of the GPU manufacturers - it might seem odd that they’re stubbornly holding onto their high margins in the face of a large volume of cards sitting in the channel.

You could easily put that down to greediness on their behalf, not wanting to give up on the chance of cashing in on the last vestiges of GPU demand, but I’m not convinced it’s that simple. I’m fairly sure it’s because they’re aware there is a new generation of Nvidia GPUs lurking just over the horizon. 

There have been reports that the AIBs are starting to brief their engineers on the specifics of the new GeForce cards, and if they are coming in the next few months, as is widely expected, then they would have received some sort of notification by now.

If they were convinced the graphics card status quo was going to stick around for the foreseeable then they could confidently play the long game and drop their margins back to previous levels. But by keeping their margins as high as they can reasonably get away with it looks like they’re simply cashing in on the current-gen stock as much as they can for the short term before the next-gen Nvidia GTX 1180, GTX 2080, V80 GTX, or whatever they end up being called, finally drop into their factories.

Or maybe they are just being super stubborn...

GOTW
Sign in to Commentlogin to comment
TimeWentSlow avatarDave James avatarGamer_1087 avatarDaveC avatar
DaveC Avatar
2
3 Weeks ago

The reason no one is dropping GPU prices, even though the market it dead and retailers have plenty of stock that no one is buying, is price gouging pure and simple. They think we are all that stupid or desperate than when they offer an artificial discount we will all go mad and buy a card. I remember when PC gaming almost died in favour of consoles, this surely must be a fear for these GFX card makers as mining using GPUs died 6 months ago...they really don't want to upset gamers any more than they have when they artificially restricted supply. I see GTX 1060s selling for £240 and they think they are doing us a favour...what a joke with ca card that should be about £140 at most. I want to build a new PC, but not until the prices have fallen to where they should be for 2 year old cards. I hope everyone else does the same and waits.

The reason they won't drop prices....to many people vlogs and publications bigging up the current very poor deals.

2
TimeWentSlow Avatar
8
4 Weeks ago

Hello Dave, have you folks considered doing a 'live' PCGamesN recommended build page, for budget,mid-range and high-end PCs?

I can't think of an always-current, on-demand, go-to resource for expert recommended reference builds, and feel like that would be an amazing resource to have access to. Even better, if it could be flexible enough to suggest alternate components that would push a build into mid-segment territory, for those willing to spend a little more (or perhaps less).

This article about the GPU prices is interesting, for example, but if I could see whether that ought to influence which card I should buy at a given budget today, that could make the information more practically useful as well. :)

I like the 'best of' articles, and that they seem to be updated frequently, and I hope to see them continue. But I also feel like you can go further! There's a lot of information out there and I'd love a real-time look at something that cuts everything down to the essentials, from your team's POV.

1
Dave James Avatar
640
4 Weeks ago

Hiya!

We do have an article that aims to do what you suggest, but we do need to be better at updating it. Because of Computex, E3, and 'other things' we haven't updated it since the end of April. Sorry :(

https://www.pcgamesn.com/best-gaming-pc

We're going to give it a refresh soon, so let us know what you think of the format and what you'd like to see changed. It would be great to get your feedback.

2
TimeWentSlow Avatar
8
3 Weeks ago

Thanks for the reply Dave, and for the link, which I apologise for not being aware about (more on that below)! It's actually really great, and it seriously needs to stand out more!

Perhaps your regular readers have it bookmarked, but man, I would have this thing prominently placed so that anyone hitting the homepage (or even glancing over the navigation at the top) would be aware of this resource, as I could easily see it as something that'd be frequented regularly by prospective builders, or by anyone just wanting to keep up to date.

Speaking of which, my feedback is primarily around the reliability of the resource being one that's constantly up-to-date, which I'd imagine would be the core appeal of the thing. Even if you might not want to change anything in the article even as of today, if the publishing date were to read '20 June 2018', or if there were an 'updated today - 20 June 2018' type of message on there, that'd immediately infuse confidence in the article, which the current '30 April 2018', to me, does have a somewhat opposite effect unfortunately.

The second feedback is around the title of the article and its sub-sections.

Maybe it's me, but 'Best gaming PC 2018', comes across as an article focused upon an ultimate build that I might not be able to afford, rather than something covering a range of builds (which is perhaps why I might have subconsciously skipped the article when it appeared in the timeline). If it could convey a 'Today's recommended PC build guide for all budgets' type of idea instead, I wonder whether that might help it to be more representative of what you're going for.

Also, renaming the tiers along the lines of 'mid-tier, high-end and budget', leaving the 'gaming' part out (or alternatively ensuring that the 'gaming' part is included in them all), I think would add a little more clarity.

Thanks for hearing me out and also for doing such a genuine job with your coverage, which really comes through.

1
Dave James Avatar
640
3 Weeks ago

Thanks for your feedback - genuinely that's invaluable!

I'll definitely take onboard what you're saying, especially about the title and sub-section names. And having it pinned somewhere on the homepage would be great - we're actually looking into different ways we can do that right now.

Watch this space :)

2
Gamer_1087 Avatar
4
3 Weeks ago

Not sure if you are aware of this site http://www.logicalincrements.com/ but this has been my go to site for myself and people seeking my recommendations for config. This site has builds in increments of $50-100 and direct links to sellers in your geo thus meeting all budgets.

2
TimeWentSlow Avatar
8
3 Weeks ago

What a brilliant resource. Thanks so much for sharing this! :)

1