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A week ago, Asus warned that its graphics cards and motherboards were about to receive significant price hikes due to “increases in cost for components, operating costs, and logistical activities plus a continuation of import tariffs.” Now, other GPU makers are following Asus’s lead—one overtly, and the other quietly.
Like Asus, EVGA isn’t hiding the fact that it’s increasing prices on its popular graphics cards.
“Due to ongoing events, EVGA has made price adjustments on the GeForce RTX 30 Series products. This change was necessary due to several factors and will be effective January 11, 2021,” a notice at the top of EVGA’s graphics card landing page reads. “For those who are currently in the EVGA.com Notify Queue system or Step-Up Queue, EVGA will honor the original MSRP pricing through April 16, 2021, if your purchase position is processed before this date.”
PC gamers struggling to find stock of the hotly desired cards no doubt winced reading that, but EVGA deserves kudos for being upfront about the change, and especially for honoring the original pricing for people standing in line in EVGA’s excellent, consumer-friendly Notify Queue system. Sifting through the site, the pricing on most models have seemingly increased by about $70.
On the flip side of the coin, Zotac appears to have quietly increased prices for its GPUs not once, but twice, the Verge discovered after digging through product listings in the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. Its price hikes were even more severe, adding $90 to $100 to the already steep cost of most Zotac graphics cards, and over $300 to the price of the flagship Zotac RTX 3090 Trinity. The Trinity originally sold for $1,580, an $80 premium over Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition, but now costs a whopping $1,900 or more.
Ouch. The gloomy news continues for PC gamers hoping to upgrade their rigs during the stay-at-home era. If your aging gaming PC is struggling in today’s games, you might be better off buying an Xbox Series X (if you can find one) or streaming your PC games from the cloud with GeForce Now instead and waiting for the insanity to settle down, as painful as it is to say that.
The price hikes make you wonder if Nvidia’s just-announced $329 GeForce RTX 3060 will wind up launching anywhere near that cost when it hits store shelves in late February, or if board makers will need to add the significant markups being announced over the past week. Both EVGA and Zotac deal exclusively in GeForce GPUs. It also makes AMD’s Radeon near-no-show at CES feel less disappointing—for now.
Fingers crossed this madness sorts itself out sooner rather than later, or 2021 could be a bleak year for would-be PC gamers, during a time where at-home distractions are more needed than ever.
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Senior editor Brad Chacos covers gaming and graphics for PCWorld, and runs the morning news desk for PCWorld, Macworld, Greenbot, and TechHive. He tweets too.