PC gamers are paying more for GPUs, and NVIDIA claims it knows why

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070

Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • PC gamers are spending $300 more on GPUs than the graphics cards that they're replacing, according to NVIDIA's Jeff Fisher.
  • The starting prices of high-end GPUs have crept up over the years.
  • The ongoing global chip shortage has caused graphics cards to retail at higher price points than their standard MSRPs.
  • Fisher shared that only (approximately) 29% of NVIDIA gamers have upgraded to RTX graphics.

The best graphics cards are difficult to get your hands on these days, but people who do manage to order them appear to be willing to pay more than in the past. According to NVIDIA SVP Jeff Fisher, gamers are "buying up" and spending $300 more on the new GPU compared to what was spent on the one being replaced.

While the data seems to show that people are willing to pay more for a high-end GPU, the justification for that spending is unclear. A recent statement by Fisher suggests that the graphics cards of today offer a strong value proposition.

"Looking into the millions of desktop GeForce gamers who we know have upgraded their GPU to a 30-series, they are buying up," said Fisher. "The GPU is offering more value than ever. Based on our data, they are spending $300 more than they paid for the graphics card they replaced."

Nvidia Stats

Source: NVIDIA/Valve (Image credit: Source: NVIDIA/Valve)

However, rather than because of any supposed value, PC gamers may instead be paying more for GPUs because they don't have a choice. The starting prices of high-end GPUs have crept up over the years (via PCMag). The NVIDIA GTX 1070 launched with an MSRP of $379 in 2016. When the RTX 3070 launched, it had a starting price of $499, and even that larger number often transformed into $700 or more depending on the vendor.

The ongoing global chip shortage has caused the real-world cost of GPUs to exceed their recommended pricing as well. If a newer NVIDIA GPU is in stock, it's not uncommon to see it retail for well above MSRP.

Fisher noted that roughly 29% of NVIDIA gamers have upgraded to RTX graphics cards. The SVP focused on the fact that there is a large market for growth among PC gamers that prefer NVIDIA GPUs. The flip side of that is that since graphics card prices have gone up so much over the years, people may be willing to hold onto older hardware for longer.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.