Asus is making GPUs cheaper in the UK

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Graphics card prices have risen steadily in the UK since the introduction of the RTX 3000 series, which can be attributed to factors such as a global shortage of chips, as well as several shipping issues and material shortages that the industry has experienced more than in recent years. Unfortunately, if you want to get one of the current graphics cards from both AMD and Nvidia, you’ll still have to pay more than the MSRP for the card, across both brands. However, ASUS is looking to start cutting those costs in the UK, and pass the savings onto the customer, which means great news for users who want a powerful dedicated graphics card.

This information comes directly from an ASUS representative, who posted on Linkedin that they are ‘lowering prices’, and pointed to a listing of the 3070Ti in Overclockers UK. This listing has lowered the price of the RTX 3070Ti TUF models from £829.99 to £749.99, saving around 10% for the coveted AIB model.

That’s still a bit higher than the MSRP of £529.99, but panel manufacturers like ASUS have to consider the costs of designing their panels, as well as the cost of manufacturing, fitting and shipping for their custom cooling solutions. The cards that will end up at the MSRP are probably more base cards than a model from ASUS like the TUF or STRIX line, which are among the most desirable AIB models of GPUs on the market. As a result, ASUS will be able to add its own graphics for the work performed in addition to the reference models that Nvidia has provided for it. Other manufacturers may be able to meet the MSRP soon with semi-reference cards, but that remains to be seen, as the current situation evolves.

Asus RTX 3080 12GB 4

However, the pricing of these high-end products lies not only on the cost of the manufacturer, but also on raw materials, shipping costs and of course the supply of cards already arriving in the UK. We’ve already reported that GPU prices are set to drop from their previous prices at the beginning of this month. We mentioned that prices will drop by about 11%, and that appears to be paying off with ASUS’ new pricing of GPUs in the UK. New pricing kicked in over the weekend, and while supply looks to stabilize, the outlook for consumers who get these cards is getting brighter.

Why are GPUs getting cheaper?

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GPUs are getting cheaper because more inventory is being produced in factories and directly to consumers. This can be attributed to the reduced demand for cryptocurrencies due to the market crash, which makes mining more unprofitable for those looking to use consumer-focused cards, along with the blanket ban of cryptocurrencies in China. However, prices in the UK are also dictated by currency exchange fluctuations, with the British pound becoming weaker than the dollar over the past few weeks. On the other hand, as the epidemic eased, and factories reached peak performance again, they increased raw materials and production and allowed a more stable flow of cards to British shores.

This is part of a broader story around the world about GPUs, where you might expect to find cards for cheaper than they would at retail locations around the world. It’s great news for gamers, but there are still doubts about the production of graphics cards that can be attributed to the raw materials required to produce the cards.

Raw materials in GPUs face difficulties between disputes in Europe

The raw materials involved in the manufacturing process of consumer graphics cards are at risk of instability, as we previously reported that neon gas prices remain volatile. Ukraine currently supplies more than 90% of the world’s semiconductor-class neon. The main cities involved in its production are Odessa and Mariupol, both of which are flashpoints of intense conflict in the country.

Another concern is the production of palladium in Russia, which currently produces 40% of the world’s total supply. Though, concerns have since subsided in the palladium market, falling by 14.2% in the market after rising due to concerns about sanctions over Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, which has repercussions for the global economy, and indeed GPU and semiconductor production. The relatively unstable market environment could mean that we could see more hurdles in terms of lowering graphics card prices, as demand begins to decline for the first time in years.

Another point of contention is the volatility of container prices, which in 2021 rose to dizzying levels before stabilizing again. The current global political situation means that we are likely to see some reservations with the pricing of shipping containers from China and neighboring regions to the rest of the world, which is also subject to high volatility and is directly affected by the pricing of oil, which has been flat. It rises throughout the year.

container pricing
Caption: Shipping Container Pricing from TradingEconomics

What does this mean for future GPU launches?

Crypto market crash GPU pricing

We have a new batch of GPUs arriving later this year in the form of Lovelace and RDNA3, but the supply and success of these versions will depend entirely on how well the returns from these chips are. Naturally, any new segment will undergo a process of steadily increasing yield as the respective production and manufacturing processes mature, and pricing will also be determined by all the factors we mentioned above. As of now, there’s a lot of riding on the release of both products simply to cancel or delay them, so we might even see an MSRP of higher than usual.

Nvidia and AMD are now used to these adjusted market prices because consumer demand for GPUs over the past few years has shown them the prices consumers might want to buy high-end discrete graphics cards at, which could cause a slight MSRP boost. (MSRP). GPU prices won’t go back to what they were before 2016, and the sooner the market accepts that we may have to live with a slightly worse price-performance ratio, the better. It’s not good news, but when considering global forces beyond our control, plus inflation, it really might be the only way forward for GPU manufacturers.

The market threat is the growing popularity of cloud gaming with services like Amazon Luna, which has remained a relatively niche. With more powerful graphics on board as seen in the Ryzen 6000 series processors, we may also see more gamers than ever before not actually using any type of graphics card, instead opting for solutions like integrated graphics.

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