We have just received word that NVIDIA has informed AICs of a decrease in its cost basis which it will be passing on to AICs and who will be passing it on to SIs (system integrators) in return. In other words, this lowering in cost of 8 to 12% is something that gamers can expect to happen in the next few weeks (after adjusting for inventory buffers of retailers). This is something that hasn't happened in years (well, pretty much since the recent crypto boom began) and is a significant indicator of the first real price-easing since 2020.
NVIDIA lowering the cost of GPUs by up to 12% for AICs, which will pass on the savings to gamers
GPU prices have been steadily declining in the wake of the lackluster cryptocurrency market capitalization and with Ethereum contemplating the shift to Proof of Stake later this year. We have seen a month-on-month decline for almost three months now and NVIDIA is about to bring the price drop even more. While price declines so far have been dictated by the demand side of the equation, we have received word that NVIDIA has informed AICs that it saw a lowering in its cost of manufacturing by around 8 to 12% which it will pass on to AICs. AICs in return will pass this saving on to SIs where it should eventually end up saving a few dollars in the gamer's pocket.
Keep in mind that a lowering in cost of GPUs does not mean that the supply will necessarily be improved simultaneously. GPUs are still very hard to find as cryptocurrency mining does remain profitable (and will continue to remain profitable), but there are several factors that will continue to bring down GPU prices throughout this year.
- Yields at Samsung are improving and NVIDIA is exploring the option to tap both TSMC and Samsung simultaneously. If it chooses to go down this route, it will mean both the RTX 30 and RTX 40 series existing in harmony and basically twice the amount of wafer allocation (and supply). This will quite obviously help with the supply issues.
- Intel Alchemist GPUs are launching this year as well although the exact supply situation on that front remains to be seen. It is clear, however, that a third player in the market can only improve the prevailing under-supply situation of the market.
- Ethereum's merge is now tentatively scheduled for Q2 2022: "On its official roadmap, the Ethereum Foundation states that the Merge upgrade will be shipped by the end of Q2 2022." This will more or less kill the demand for Ethereum mining although another coin could rise to be the successor. In any eventuality (whether or not a viable Ethereum alternative exists), this will result in a significant decrease in cryptocurrency mining demand for GPUs.
However, the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine could result in unforeseen price hikes once the foundries buffers of Neon (and other compounds) run out. It is worth noting here that all of the big players have a *lot* of Neon stored so unless the conflict enters a protracted stage (think months), this should not be a real issue.
All things considered, it does seem likely that GPU prices are going to keep coming down over the remaining year and we are going to see a massive influx of cheap second-hand GPUs and relatively-cheap new GPUs. If you are a gamer that wants to go with a DIY build, it might pay to wait a few more months for the prices to come down more.Continue Reading