Graphics card prices may rise again as global chip shortage has now reached a crisis point

Written by Chad Norton on Tue, Mar 23, 2021 10:22 AM

Semiconductor chips are the brain of every electronic device and so chip manufacturers tend to be in really high demand, and that was before the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic affected everyone across the world. Now, under extreme stress and demand, the global chip shortage has now reached a crisis point, says analyst.

Chips are everything,” said Neil Campling, a Media and Tech Analyst at Mirabaud. “There is a perfect storm of supply and demand factors going on here. But basically, there is a new level of demand that can’t be kept up with, everyone is in crisis and it is getting worse.

That is certainly true, as demand for electronic devices has surged in lockdown. Anywhere from brand new TVs, to next-gen gaming consoles, 5G smartphones and of course, all new graphics cards, have all seen a major increase in demand. 

Previously, an analyst at J.P. Morgan said that “semi companies are shipping 10% to 30% below current demand levels and it will take at least 3-4 quarters for supply to catch up with demand and then another 1-2 quarters for inventories at customers/distribution channels to be replenished back to normal levels.

The initial issue started when the pandemic hit, as factories had to close down temporarily to avoid spreading the virus. But since then, not only have semiconductor companies had to catch up, but they’ve also seen an increase in demand as mentioned above.

Even Apple, who are the largest buyers of semiconductors (who recently bought up all of the 3nm process nodes at TSMC for this year) had to delay their much anticipated iPhone 12 last year by 2 months due to the shortage in chips.

Car manufacturers like Ford and Nissan have reported projected losses of $2 billion or more in profits this year due to the shortage in chips alone. Both Sony and Microsoft have also been hit with the chip shortage because of their new consoles. Sony says they won’t be able to hit their sales target this year, whilst Microsoft said their issues with supply will last until at least the second half of this year.

Samsung, the second-largest buyer of semiconductors in the world (behind Apple) as well as the second-largest producer of chips for their own products, had to postpone their launch for their high-end smartphone earlier this week.

It is incredible that Samsung sells $56bn of semiconductors to others, and consumes $36bn of them itself, finds it may have to delay the launch of one of its own products,” Campling said.

Apparently, according to Koh Dong-jin, the co-Chief Executive at Samsung, there is a “serious imbalance” when it comes to who is getting prioritized for the limited amount of available chips. Car manufacturers especially have been hit the worst as they are at the bottom of the list, despite spending a total of around $37 billion per year on chips.

The worst affected have been autos because they were last to the party; if Apple is spending $56bn a year and growing who are you going to keep supplies going to first?” said Campling.

The worst part is that the shortage in chips is going to last for a long while still, and so semiconductor companies are looking to raise prices for their chips for the second time in less than a year:

There is no sign of supply catching up, or demand decreasing, while prices are rising across the chain,” Campling warned. “This will cross over to people in the street. Expect cars to cost more, phones to cost more. This year’s iPhone is not going to be cheaper than last year.

All this means we may be looking at another price rise for graphics cards and PC hardware for the RTX 30 series, RX 6000 series, and the Ryzen 5000 series, even if supply seems to be getting better for the latter. Once again, all the more reason that 2021 is not the year to upgrade your PC.

What do you think? How do you feel about the global chip shortage at the moment? How do you feel about raised prices for PC hardware again? Are you happy to wait longer for hardware to reach normal MSRP? Or will you have to bite the bullet and spend more? Let us know your thoughts!

Are you going to bite the bullet and buy new PC hardware this year?

How long do you think until prices will return to normal?

How much extra would you be willing to pay for new hardware this year? In percent

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10:18 Apr-03-2021

That moment when an off te shelf gaming laptop might become cheaper than building your own destkop. Wtf

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junior admin badge
01:49 Apr-04-2021

The crazy times we live in.

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06:53 Apr-01-2021

20 series owners who bought their GPU at launch MSRP price, turn from being mocked to be one of the luckiest PC Hardware orwners just after those of 30 series launch MSRP prices buyer.

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20:52 Mar-29-2021

Can't believe that I got my 3060 ti when it was $500, when now it is $1000

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junior admin badge
01:08 Mar-30-2021

If you were the patient type you could sell the 3060 ti for $1200 probably, bank $700 in profit and when the market returns to sanity buy an even better GPU, or one that's at the same lvl.

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13:47 Mar-24-2021

Surely it can't get more expensive, when a 3070 costs 1000$, when it should be half that price


Although, these days...

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06:24 Mar-26-2021

3060 is $900 here

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01:09 Mar-30-2021

I've seen 5600XT go for $1000 USD, so prepare for the worst.

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02:15 Mar-24-2021

I'm a patent person, because I don't need luxury items... but ffs this is ridiculous. I know it's not important, but jeez we need a break from this.

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06:25 Mar-26-2021

It's not important? If my GPU breaks I'd have to quit gaming with these prices

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10:09 Mar-26-2021

If prices keep up like this, I think companies that sell online gaming subscriptions will be in for a win. Oh, and also the consoles, because those always have a reasonable "initial" price. Sucks that you have to pay to play online though.

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10:54 Mar-26-2021

GPUs are not food and water. It would suck, but have some patience.

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16:53 Mar-27-2021

It's going like this for like 3 years

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20:50 Mar-27-2021

There was no shortage in 2019. It only really started in late 2020 I think.

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01:11 Mar-30-2021

@Dragos363 Q1 in 2021 should see prices return to more reasonable lvls.

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01:24 Mar-30-2021

@Gankutsuou I think you meant 2022.


Q1 2021 has passed already. Almost.

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00:30 Mar-31-2021

Ups, you're right.
My bad.


Guess my brain is still in 2020.

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23:29 Mar-23-2021

Nah, I can wait, no need to rush upgrades. Before all this happened, I was thinking about it, but I am not overpaying for hardware, I am not yet doing that badly, at least not for 1080p. As for normalization, I think this will hugely depend on mining and how long current bubble lasts or how quickly ASICs can take over again. Which may be harder this time with component shortages.

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23:31 Mar-23-2021

But as soon as mining crashes and miners start mass selling, I think supply could quickly fix itself, since a lot of demand will get satisfied with used cards. Which will help new supply to catch up and that will cause prices to normalize, because once again, they will need to compete for attention and compete against underpriced flood of used cards. Just ask AMD, it nearly killed RTG last time.

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23:34 Mar-23-2021

When they couldn't move RX500 supply and had to stick to higher end cards to wait out for supply to sell out, hence why Vega had no lower end model and even with RDNA1, they were in no hurry to release RX5500XT. But we need to get there, usually mining crisis last for about a year. So I would say I expect things to normalize in about a year or bit more. Time will tell, I guess.

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21:25 Mar-23-2021

Im so glad I preordered my strix 3080 in september at my local shop. It took 7 weeks to get to me, but still.. I received it with MSRP + my country VAT.

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22:03 Mar-23-2021

One of the lucky few.
May it bring you years of fun and joy.

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21:16 Mar-23-2021

I managed to secure my RTX 3070 before things got crazy so I'm good to go! I won't be upgrading for a very long time

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22:04 Mar-23-2021

No question about that.
Have a blast with the 3070.

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18:49 Mar-23-2021

I was so so lucky to be able to buy an FE 3070 on launch day. 5 months and it's been amazing for my gaming needs.


The 3070 ti specs are better, but won't be out until May and it did take a big spec hit from the past rumors. GDDR6X but the same amount of 8 gb memory rather than the 10 GB

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19:32 Mar-23-2021

I'm glad to get a RTX2070 before Christmas :D

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17:12 Mar-23-2021

My laptop is starting to fail on me. Been wanting to build a desktop, and may need to build it soon, but I'll have to wait a while to put a GPU in it. Good thing APU's are starting to come into their own.

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22:06 Mar-23-2021

What's the problem with the laptop?
Is it the dedicated GPU?

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01:42 Mar-24-2021

The HDD is failing, the wi-fi card is failing, the battery is failing, and I can't add more RAM. The GTX 1060 is still going well, but I also need a stronger CPU for work. I know an APU isn't ideal, but it's a temporary solution.

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21:48 Mar-24-2021

All of the parts you mentioned can be replaced (should you wish to do so).
The only challenge might be finding a compatible wi-fi card.


What's your occupation BTW?

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11:42 Mar-24-2021

Well Asus laptops is not as good as it used to be, last good Asus laptop I had was X52S series I bought in 2008, had no problems whatsoever and when I decided to upgrade in 2015 to a newer Asus X555L laptop I started to have issues with it just after half a year after issues like screen flickering on battery power, no sound (glad I had wireless headset)... and it only lasted 2 years until it died

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11:54 Mar-24-2021

If you want good laptop look at used workstation/business class ones, because how well they are build.


My suggestion is to get something like Lenovo T520/T530 (T520 can support ivy bridge with bios mod) they are build like a tank and could be upgraded, like replace CPU to something like i7 3940XM (similar or better performance as your laptop) and use any desktop GPU over expresscard expansion

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16:49 Mar-23-2021

It seems I should get a PS5 instead of a new graphics card, I know the chances of getting a console is still fairly slim but the stocks are getting better since launch and the fact that I could get it for the same MSRP vs a GPU nowadays.

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16:53 Mar-23-2021

Ya, very hard to actually get your hands on one. But if you happen to come across one in a store, it will be at msrp, which is a big deal!

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16:46 Mar-23-2021

And yet they continue to put out incremental upgrades year after year. It's the same with phones. Consumerism is F***ed. Bye-bye sand, it was nice knowing you.

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15:48 Mar-23-2021

how unexpected...anyway

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17:14 Mar-23-2021

were you planning on upgrading this year? i was but im not so sure anymore

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12:56 Mar-23-2021

In other news water is wet.

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12:07 Mar-23-2021

...Oh, boy!

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11:04 Mar-23-2021

i wonder how good new AAA games will work on old hardware if nobody can get new cards. I guess good optimisation is back. :D

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11:36 Mar-23-2021

I too was once a young boy with big dreams...

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13:25 Mar-23-2021

That hit hard man.

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10:58 Mar-23-2021

Slow Clap.

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10:58 Mar-23-2021

Well to me this was kind of expected especially given how many people want me to build the new a new PC. I really need to replace my GTX 980 its almost 5 years old and its clean but its getting a bit hotter than usual and its really showing its age with the newer titles. I guess its a good thing I don't game all that much.

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15:37 Mar-23-2021

What am I supposed to say with my 280x?
Anyway, if I had a gtx 980, I'd probably stick with it at least another 1-2 years.

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10:57 Mar-23-2021

Wow! My current card (GTX 1660 OC 6GB) is retailing for $785.00 CAD + $99.00 Shipping on Newegg.ca Link

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17:08 Mar-23-2021

woaah that's some insane pricing over there..
here we have GTX 1660S at 500 USD (After conversion)
RTX 3070 is 1100$ (insane)

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17:51 Mar-23-2021

My cousin built his first rig and was able to snag a 3060 for just under CAD600 (plus taxes/shipping).. both a steal and a tragedy

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10:39 Mar-23-2021

I have to say - what a first world problem to have lol. Oh noes, shiny new luxury products can't be printed out fast-enough! CRISIS!!!
I can't take it seriously... And cars! Why won't someone think of those poor poor car manufacturers?? Their 2019 and 2020 models are obsolete and crashing all the time...and don't even get me started on those 2018 models that have their wheels flying off already - what will we do without those brand new cars???!


What a joke...

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10:47 Mar-23-2021

People had to wait for the new luxury iphones for TWO extra MONTHS! That's got to be violating human rights and the Geneva Convention!
Oh lord, I'm gonna cry... those poor poor people waiting for their luxury products...and CARS! We all know cars only last about 2 months before you need a new one... :(


Honestly, this article... it hit me in all the wrong places. I got slapped by the extreme levels of consumerism in the world here. Incredible...

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13:02 Mar-23-2021

To be honest, I literally expect suicide rates to skyrocket over this, because people were basically trained into buying on release..I don't know whose fault this is, but this is one wheel that cannot sit idle, it either spins or breaks.

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14:25 Mar-23-2021

Sounds like the Darwin awards.

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14:59 Mar-23-2021

Life in eastern Europe taught me patience and to value things other than luxury toys, so I really can't say that I feel bad for the poor poor people that just can't sit still with money in their pockets... Nor can I feel bad for those poor poor companies making things that literally nobody needs. And I mean it. An older car is fine. And older phone is fine. They didn't suddenly become obsolete - especially the damn cars it's flippin 4 wheels and an engine in a metal box that gets you from A to B - nothing has suddenly changed.

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15:03 Mar-23-2021

As a side note, the environmentalists should be looking into the amount of tech and cars being manufactured every year. There's literally more stuff out there than people can possibly buy. There's no need for all that stuff to be manufactured day in and day out, trying to weasel people into buying it all because the specs sheet promises a tiny performance boost that almost nobody can feel anyway without a direct benchmark comparison on hand...

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16:34 Mar-23-2021

Shhh..
Just enjoy it dude.. the consumer lifestyle fuels the economy and ultimately makes your salary what it is.
The biggest winners are obviously those who sell the stuff, but those who dont buy the stuff also get to live a materially better life than if everyone else spent their money wisely.

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18:26 Mar-23-2021

Yeah, but I have a short fuse for BS and I'd like to strive for the "greater good" rather than personal gain. I do believe that if people managed their finances better - the world would also be a better place overall, in many ways. And, perhaps, we wouldn't have the "green" scams about the climate that make companies more money at the cost of regular people. It's crazy.

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10700 8-Core 2.90GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 720p
Pentium Dual Core E6300 2.8GHz GeForce 210 3GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB 8GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 7 2700X GeForce RTX 3060 Ti MSI Ventus 3X OC 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i7-2600K 4-Core 3.40GHz GeForce RTX 2060 MSI Gaming Z 6GB 16GB
| Ultra, 1080p
Core i3-9100F 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1070 Gigabyte Windforce OC 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz GeForce GTX 1060 MSI Gaming X 3GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Radeon RX 570 XFX RS Black 4GB 8GB
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Core i5-2310 2.9GHz GeForce GT 1030 8GB
| 30FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz GeForce GT 1030 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 Radeon RX 570 Sapphire Pulse 4GB 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 Radeon RX 570 Sapphire Pulse 4GB 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1440p
Core i7-8700K 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2080 MSI Gaming X Trio 8GB 16GB
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Athlon 3000G 2-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 550 2GB 6GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i3-10100 4-Core 3.60GHz GeForce GTX 1650 16GB
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i7-4710MQ 4-Core 2.5GHz GeForce GTX 960M 2GB 16GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen R5 PRO 1600 Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Asus Dual OC 6GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
Core i9-10900KF 10-Core 3.70GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super MSI Ventus XS OC 8GB 64GB
75% Yes [4 votes]