Graphics card prices are insane right now, a direct result of the shortage created by cryptocurrency miners snatching up cards quicker than retailers than stock their shelves. This has led to huge markups on practically every mid-range and high-end GPU product, usually through third-party sellers. The solution? That is a point of debate, and interestingly enough, Newegg has begun bundling other hardware with graphics cards. This raises a question—is Newegg essentially masking the price gouging that is taking place, or trying to allocate a portion of inventory to gamers?
That will surely be debated too. We have mixed feelings about this ourselves, based on the bundles we have seen so for. For example, one of the bundles has Newegg tossing in a Gigabyte Z370 Aorus motherboard for 'free' with the purchase of an overpriced Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card with 3GB of GDDR5 memory. Or "had," we should say, because it's currently sold out.
Normally a card of this caliber would sell for around $200, but Newegg has/had it listed for $410—blech! However, the assuming you wanted to build an Intel Coffee Lake system, the Gigabyte Z370 Aorus motherboard is currently on sale for $150. So, the bundle is selling $350 worth of hardware for $410. Or looked at another way, it's like paying $260 for the graphics card. That's not bad in the current climate.
Unfortunately, Newegg's strategy is not working, assuming the vendor is trying to discourage miners and sell only to gamers. The bundle is sold out, so even if you're willing to pay a smaller markup, you can't. At least not for this particular bundle.
There are other bundles in stock. For example, this Sapphire Radeon Nitro+ RX 580 graphics card with 4GB of GDDR5 memory comes with a 'free' HP 27-inch monitor, for $500. The monitor sells for $170 by itself, so you're basically paying $330 for the graphics card. That's $130 more than what the card launched at in April 2017. If we are taking a glass half empty approach, Newegg is bundling a so-so monitor with a dated graphics card, and still overcharging.
A bit better is the ASUS 24-inch (VN248H-P) monitor that Newegg is bundling with the PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 580 graphics card with 8GB of GDDR5 memory. That monitor sells for $150 by itself, or $130 after rebate. The bundle price is $540, so it's like paying $380 for the graphics card, or $340 if you factor in the rebate. AMD launched the Radeon RX 580 with 8GB of GDDR5 memory at $230. PowerColor's Red Devil features a factory overclock and a custom cooling solution, but even accounting for that, this card is overpriced.
On the positive side, at least Newegg doing something about the situation, even if it's not a perfect solution. But on the flip side, these cards are still overpriced even when you factor in the supposedly free hardware, and the more desirable bundles seem to sell out quick anyway.
Other than bundles, there was a report that NVIDIA has been telling retailers to limit graphics card orders to two models per person. That is not actually accurate. What happened is a German-language website reported on the situation and noted that some retailers have begun limiting orders, some to two cards and others to four cards. It also reached out to NVIDIA for comment.
"For NVIDIA, gamers come first. All activities related to our GeForce product line are focused on our main audience. To ensure that GeForce gamers continue to have good GeForce graphics card availability in the current situation, we recommend that our trading partners make the appropriate arrangements to meet gamers' needs as usual," NVIDIA said.
There is nothing in that statement to suggest that its telling vendors to specifically limit orders to two cards, only that they take "appropriate arrangements." Furthermore, whatever arrangements NVIDIA is suggesting is just a recommendation, not a requirement. The bottom line? It looks like gamers are just going to have to ride this situation out, as crummy as that sounds.