MSI To Increase GeForce And Radeon Graphics Card Prices Amid Historic Demand

MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Ventus 3X
We loathe to be the bearer of bad news, but MSI has apparently decided it is going to jack up the prices of graphics cards amid tight supply. The silver lining, we suppose, is that actually finding a graphics card in stock is tougher than winning a fight with an armed grizzly bear, using just your bare hands. In other words, it is not easy by any stretch.

Here's the thing—NVIDIA's latest generation GeForce RTX 30 series is always out of stock at most places, and if you do happen to find one available for sale, it's typically from a marketplace seller who wants way more than the card is actually worth. And unfortunately, the same is true of AMD's newly minted Radeon RX 6000 series.

AMD and NVIDIA have been fleshing out their latest generation GPU lineup with additional SKUs, but that does not address the issue. It might even compound it. The real issue at hand is a shortage of silicon, due to a variety of factors—new product launches across the board, the pandemic, cryptocurrency mining, and rabid demand.

According to Digitimes, MSI chairman Joseph Hsu said the tight supply of GPUs could persist through the entirety of 2021, leading to higher graphics card pricing. As points of reference, here's where MSRPs sit for the latest generation GPUs (reference models)...
  • GeForce RTX 3090: $1,499
  • GeForce RTX 3080: $699
  • GeForce RTX 3070: $499
  • GeForce RTX 3060 Ti: $399
  • GeForce RTX 3060: $329

  • Radeon RX 6900 XT: $999
  • Radeon RX 6800 XT: $649
  • Radeon RX 6800: $579
  • Radeon RX 6700 XT: $479
Custom models with fancier cooling solutions and/or factory overclocks typically cost more than reference pricing, but upcoming price increases will create an even bigger gap. This can already be seen, in some instances. For example, over at Best Buy, Gigabyte's GeForce RTX 3070 Aorus Master is listed at $800, which is $300 above the reference MSRP. And in the second-hand sector, the going rate on eBay (looking at 'sold' listings) is around $1,200 to $1,400.

First-party price hikes are not going to be unique to MSI. In a recent conference call, ASUS eluded to the same thing, for the same reason.

"For GPUs, right now, of course, the most pressing issue is the shortage of NVIDIA GPUs. So there's a decreased quarter-on-quarter in shipment. Because of this shortage, we are seeing price hikes in GPU. And that's only natural with this shortage and supply prices will increase," an ASUS representative said.

ASUS attributed this to a "low yield upstream," noting it is difficult for the company to predict when yields might improve. In the meantime, ASUS said it will "continue to discuss things closely" with its partners.

So that's the situation in a nutshell. There's not enough silicon to go around, which in turn means it will be incredibly difficult to buy a graphics car this year. And even then, you're likely to pay a higher price than you otherwise would. Bah humbug.