Are video cards cheap? Is it time to buy?

Let’s mine the PC Build Wizard data and show you how things have changed!

It’s already a perception of many people who frequently follow the market: video cards seem to be finally getting cheaper. But is this real? Is it affecting all markets? Which ones benefit the most from change, and which have hardly changed?

Let’s go beyond printing and let’s work with data. And for that, we will count on help. Drinking straight from Edno Silva’s data source, software developer and profile administrator PC Build Wizard (@pcbuildwizard), we have large amounts of data accumulated in recent years through automated algorithms eyeing various online retailers.

For this article we will use the data organized as follows. Data from three of the main Brazilian online retailers will be used, which include KaBuM!, Pichau and Terabyte. For each day, the lowest price found for a product equipped with a particular graphics chip is demarcated. It does not take into account other factors, such as single-slot, single-fan models, or any relevant variation of the designs of the cards themselves. The reference is the graphics chip in use.

Data represents information collected between November 1, 2020 through June 24, 2022.

At the end of the article we will have all the boards available for you to “play” freely with the database, but before that, we will show you the result of our data mining. The most relevant information is: prices have plummeted in the market as a whole.

Did the cards get cheaper? How much?

To feel “the violence” that this period was when it comes to price changes, we put the lowest and highest prices recorded. An important point: we use the 99% and 1% percentile technique in order to rule out excessively high or low prices, thus eliminating very localized promotions or even failures in the capture of data that brought data completely out of the ordinary.

The vast majority of cards have varied in price by at least 50% in a window of just two years.

Plates up to R$ 5 thousand

And how did the price variation change the reality of the market? Let’s start some clippings. The first is to see the best options available for those who want to spend up to R$5,000.

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We started in November 2020 with good options for those willing to spend up to BRL 5,000. You can take nothing less than a GeForce RTX 2080 Super, that is, getting close to acquiring the best within Nvidia’s line-up of cards. The budget is also accommodating the Radeon RX 5700 XT, the most powerful card on the red side of the force, at the moment.

But in the window between May and July 2021, things get horrible. On 04/25/2021 we have such a bad scenario that one of the best options is the GTX 1660 Super for R$ 4,880. It is no longer enough to have dropped to much less than the high-end segment, we are already in the lower half of the intermediate segment. In August things improve a little, with the emergence of the RTX 3060 and RX 6600 XT.

But the real leap happened recently. In June, the RTX 3070 Ti and RX 6800 XT began to appear among the cards below R$5,000, again putting options in the high-end segment for those with a limited budget for that amount.

Plates up to BRL 2,500

Let’s take a look at the reality “la da meiuca”, with a ceiling of R$ 2,500.

The November 2020 reality brings options like the RTX 2060 6GB and the Radeon RX 5700 XT, two cards with a good level of performance. But we don’t have to go far to see how this has become one of the most suffered segments. In May, the best option is practically a stunner: the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, which we’ve already raised eyebrows about the fact that it refuses to disappear from the market, was the best card available for an excruciating R$ 2,100. Here is a scenario in which it only makes sense to buy something investing at least R$ 5 thousand, when the RTX 2060 appeared.

From February and March of this year we started to see the situation improving, with the return of the 16 series cards, such as the GTX 1660, providing at least a Full HD/Alto for consumers in this segment. And throughout the month of June, things improve a lot with the return of the RTX 2060 in this price range, the appearance of the RTX 3050 and even the Radeon RX 6600 began to pinch the mark below R$2,500.

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And now it’s time for suffering. Let’s take a look at what you can buy with R$1,500, or how it will be noticeable most of the time, where you can throw away R$1,500.

At the most critical point of prices, we have two speeds: either there is nothing to buy, or basically this meme here:

This situation makes you understand why the GTX 1050 Ti was still so used

Build your chart

In this graphic you choose the plates that appear

Here we have all the models available for anyone who wants to see the variation of multiple models, as well as compare them with each other.

Is it time to buy a video card? Will you download more?

We are in a scenario that has retreated to “pre-pandemic” values. To have a reference, let’s take two cards that are present on the market throughout the entire period: the GeForce RTX 2060 and the GTX 1660 Super.

The pattern is visible: the current values ​​have returned to a level similar to those of November 2020. This shows that the worst moment seems to have passed. But if we go back further, we will find some impressive values ​​(offers found in the Promobit archive):

While the RTX 2060 came to cost BRL 1,300, instead of the current BRL 2,000, the GTX 1660 went from BRL 902 to the current BRL 1,600. It’s still a very respectable 50% difference compared to what was possibly the best time to buy a graphics card in recent years.

Slabs retracted from the worst price (June 2021) and returned to late 2020 levels

And with the current drop, can we wait to see if it goes back to those 2019 values? As this is something that depends on multiple factors, and speaking of predictions, it is difficult to give an accurate answer. But considering the context, this is very unlikely.

One factor that makes this unlikely is the dollar value. With many of the components being imported, the American currency and its value against the Real is a determining factor for the cost of hardware in Brazil. And looking at the variation since 2019, we are in a much worse scenario.

the other factor is that your money is worth less. Inflation means that the same 10 reais that bought a certain amount and bread in 2019, buy much less in 2022. The same happens with your R$ 1,300 that bought an RTX 2060, and even with the aging of this product, which in theory should devalue it, the Real devalued more than it and you need more of our currency unit to buy that plate.

The price reduction has made it viable to buy interesting products in various price ranges, but unfortunately it is very unlikely that we will return to 2019 conditions.

Considering these elements, it is very unlikely to go down to what we saw in 2019. But it’s not all bad news. At least now we have cards with a good level of performance below R$ 2,500, as well as R$ 5,000 are once again enough to pay for high-end cards. The entry-level segment that continues to not help: while BRL 700 has already paid for excellent cards in 2019, in 2022 even the BRL 1,500 budget does not have consistent options for those who want to build a cheaper PC to play with.

About Raju Singh

Raju has an exquisite taste. For him, video games are more than entertainment and he likes to discuss forms and art.

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