Are graphics card prices finally starting to come down? GTX 1080s haven’t been this cheap since Black Friday

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Is it… is it nearly over? Has the time finally come when I can stand firm, brandish my credit card and… buy a new graphics card? After what seems like months, nay, years of over-exaggerated price inflation due to all of today’s best graphics cards being like sweet, sweet honey to would-be cryptocurrency mining bandwagoners, graphics card prices might actually be starting to drop – and about time, too.

Case in point, you can currently get one of Gigabyte’s Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 cards for a mere £509 over on Amazon today, which, while not exactly is the same as its original RRP, is the cheapest it’s been all year – and certainly the cheapest it’s been since Black Friday when we rounded up all the best graphics card deals. Go forth while stocks last, brave graphics card upgraders.

It’s not just Amazon that are starting to get more stock in at reasonable prices, either, as over the last few weeks Nvidia have been selling Founders Editions of its GTX 10-series cards straight off its own website for the first time in, well, ages. They’re all gone now, of course (and we probably wouldn’t recommend buying a Founders Edition anyway due to the lack of custom cooling and the increased clock speeds you’d find on a proper partner card), but it was the first sign that the status quo might just be about to turn in gamers’ favour.

Indeed, take a quick look at online retailers like Amazon, Ebuyer and Newegg and you’ll start to see a much healthier crop of prices starting to emerge. If that Gigabyte GTX 1080 doesn’t take your fancy, for example, then how about this £495 Palit model or this £500 one that’s also from Gigabyte?

There’s also Zotac’s mini version of the 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 going for £270, and their mini Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070Ti currently available for £429, the latter of which is just £9 more than prices we saw over Black Friday.

Over in the US, you can pick up a mini 6GB GTX 1060 for as little as $290 (around $50 more than it was over Black Friday), or a full-sized version for $330. Alternatively, you can save around $30 by opting for a 3GB model, but really I’d recommend spending the extra for the 6GB version.

You’ll still have to pay a bit of a premium for something a bit beefier, mind, as Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 cards are still around $100 more than what they cost over Black Friday, but the cheapest one I’ve seen so far is this $500 model from EVGA.

The GTX 1080 still costs around $100 more than it did on Black Friday as well, but $620 for a triple-fan MSI model (or even $610 for a dual-fan EVGA) is no doubt a much sweeter figure than it has been in recent months.

However, (there’s always a ‘however’, isn’t there?) just before you rush off into the sunset with your new crate load of GPUs, consider this one crucial bit of information: it’s been hotly tipped for some time now that Nvidia are about to release a new crop of graphics cards in the very near future, which according to the absolutely accurate establishment known as ‘The Rumour Mill’ are currently codenamed Nvidia Turing (although some had them originally pegged for being called Nvidia Ampere, back when they thought we’d already have them by now).

These supposed GTX 20-series graphics cards (i.e: the GTX 2080, or GTX 2070) will no doubt be a lot more powerful than the current 10-series, so now may not actually be the best time to buy one after all. Then again, whenever these graphics cards end up launching – current estimates say around September, October time – there’s an increased likelihood that they’ll cost a lot more than these cards currently do at the moment, so you may well be doing yourself a favour by grabbing a bargain now.

Who knows, basically. It’s a tough call, no matter what you decide to do. Should you buy one now while prices are relatively sane and save yourself the trouble of getting a new Turing card at launch, or is it even worth waiting until Black Friday 2018 to try and nab yourself a bargain then? It all rather depends on how much your current PC needs upgrading, how much cash you’ve got to burn, and whether you can stomach the idea of waiting any longer.

20 Comments

  1. kud13 says:

    I am so happy I picked up a 3 GB 1060 on Black Friday 2016, and so I avoided this entire craze.

    I’ve never been a graphic purist (I spent most of the last decade gaming on Toshiba laptops with integrated GPUs) and as long as my current 27 inch display keeps going strong I see no point in upgrading.

    The 1060 delivers solid “high” performance on pretty much I’ve been playing (given I’m working with a major backlog-clearing project, the most “recent” games I’ve played with it are Witcher 3, Arkham Knight and Mankind Divided), and they all look spectacular.

    Now, let’s hope RAM prices drop, too, so that I can move from DDR 3 to DDR4…

    • Addie says:

      Would agree with that – the price of the 6Gb 1060 was all I could stomach a couple of years back when my 970 died. Still runs almost everything at maximum settings at 1440p – only Witcher 3, The Surge and Nier: Automata want dialling back a bit to high. And some older games want to be limited to about 80 Hz, because running at 144 Hz causes makes the all the system fans cause a din for very little visual improvement. It’s a pretty solid card for anyone with less than a 4K screen.

  2. Cvnk says:

    How about:

    1) Wait until next fall for new cards to come out

    2) Watch smugly as insane cryptominers scramble for them to get a leg up in their stupid arms race

    3) Offer to take old cards off cryptominer’s hands for pennies on the dollar

    4) ???

    5) Prophet

    • Movac says:

      Buying cards that have been running full blast 24/7 for months with who knows what ventilation… Seems like maybe not the best idea. Maybe if you can get several cards extremely cheap and swap them out as they fail.

      • Sleepery says:

        Yeah, the whole cryptomining thing has pretty much guaranteed I won’t buy a second-hand card for a long, long time.

      • Cvnk says:

        Yeah that has occurred to me and yeah, buying multiple cards would be advisable. Assuming this scenario even materializes and these miners are willing to sell their used cards for very cheap.

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        I’ve only ever bought one second hand card, but it’s sill running strong, in fact it’s lasted longer than the brand new one that it’s replaced.
        Now I just cross my fingers that it lasts another 6-8 months or so, so that I can afford a replacement without having to sell off any organs.

        (I just checked, another secondhand R9 290, which came out three years ago and wasn’t even top of the line then, will still set me back £150. That’s a depreciation of about £50 from what I originally paid. Bloody hell)

      • Zanchito says:

        Actually, cards used in crypto are usually undervolted, as the efficiency per watt decreases sharply with higher wattages.

      • JagdFlanker says:

        actually it might work the opposite of what you think – my theory is a user will often turn their computer off when they’r done and turn it on when they need it, which means boards heat up and cool down and over time chips might loosen, etc due to the stress of temperature variation

        if you leave the computer on 24/7 (which i personally do) the temperature remains constant which causes much less stress on parts

        admittedly i do this more for my hard drives so they are always running instead of going through the stress of spinning up and spinning down

        it’s just my theory though so i might be wrong but I’v had great luck with hard drives never failing so i’m sticking with it lol

    • brucethemoose says:

      I mean, that’s exactly what I did the last 2 generations. I got my 7950 and 980 TI for disguistingly low prices, and my 7950 went UP in value years after buying.

    • something says:

      I really want more deets on step 4. Just a rough outline of how you plan to use a bunch of old graphics cards to infer the will of God. Are you going to cast them on the ground and read secrets in the patterns they make? Or will the glitches that emerge as the fans fail carry His divine word? Honestly, it wouldn’t be the worst basis for a new religion.

  3. HiroTheProtagonist says:

    I landed a 1070 on Black Friday 2016, thank god. Since then, I bought a 1080p/144hz monitor for it, and that’s arguably a better value than trying to run 1440p.

    But realistically, this is about as low as we’re going to see the 10xx line drop. GPUs don’t tend to drop in price after the next generation comes out unless you buy used, and I’m guessing the used market is going to be flooded with ticking time bombs priced at around $200 apiece.

    • Cederic says:

      My 1070 is playable at 1440p, although more recently it’s struggling a bit on some games.

      Certainly puts me off getting a 4k monitor, the 1080ti isn’t sufficiently better than the 1070 to cope with that many more pixels.

  4. DThor says:

    I almost never recommend waiting for cheaper tech prices – if you need it now, buy it now. There’s too many variables out there (like newer tech and supply and demand) that make sitting on your ass using something old and frustratingly pointless. Life is too short.
    Having said that, sometimes there are market forces, like floods in the east or bloody crypto miners, that make an exception. If you can stand to wait a few more months, you’ll probably save yourself a couple hundred. I’m chomping at the bit, myself, I’ll cave eventually.

  5. Kittim says:

    The crypto currency block chain has a dirty secret.

    Child porn links have been embedded into the block chains for currencies like bitcoin or ethereum.

    And, because of the very nature of how the block chain works, it can’t be removed.

    That means that anyone using a crypto currency block chain has, unwittingly got links to child porn on their PC. Classified as illegal in any western society.

    If I were a hardware manufacturer who’s products facilitated, in any way, shape or form the spread of child pornography. I’d want to distance my product and my company as far away from that as I could possibly imagine.

    Over to you GPU manufacturers…

  6. Stickman says:

    I think they bottomed out about a week and a half ago. Now that *coins are up (a little bit), 1080 ti prices seem like they’re on their way back up. Stateside I saw several cards in the $600-$700 range last week, but it’s all over $750 now.

  7. amphore says:

    thanks to ASIC/bitmain/antminers/etc.. for the price drop!

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