Is Buying a GPU Worth it Right Now? (How can you get one for a good price?)

Last updated on May 18th, 2021 at 10:32 am

Buying a GPU for a good price right now can be a very hard thing to do and because of this, people have decided to either sit down and wait for the price to go down, or they decided to sell their kidney so they could get there hands on a brand new 3070.

Right now it can be a very tempting time to buy a GPU, but is it really worth it?

Buying a GPU right now is not worth it if you are paying the retail price, but there are many ways to get your money’s worth if you still want to buy a GPU. Switching to an IGPU, entering the Newegg shuffle, or buying a prebuilt pc can save you money if you are looking to purchase a GPU.

Here are some reasons why you should not purchase a stand alone GPU right now.

Stand alone GPU (RTX 3070)

Why You Should Not Buy a Stand Alone GPU Right Now

Due to the recent Covid-19 pandemic and Bitcoin mining rage that has been going on. The availability of a GPU has gone down and it is very hard to get your hands on one.

Even if you are able to buy GPU it will most likely be for a price that is double or sometimes even triple the price of MSRP. This is because graphics card production was down due to a silicon shortage that has been happening since the pandemic has started.

Also, the demand for graphics cards is also up because everyone is at home and needs a good computer with a good GPU to work.

So, which a low production, higher demand, and the release of NVIDIA’s new 30 series GPU’s. Graphics cards were sold out immediately, and are still sold out due to scalpers who purchased all the GPUs they could get their hands on.

Now these scalpers are re-selling these GPU’s for profit leaving us with a decision to either buy one or wait.

The rise in Cryptocurrency mining also is making this situation worse because miners are purchasing an excessive amount of GPUs.

Unlike us gamers who only need to purchase one or two GPUs in order to be satisfied for the next couple of years. Cryptocurrency miners are never satisfied and keep buying more GPUs so they can make more money.

Prebuilt GPU installed inside a pc

Now, you might think that the only way to get your hands on a GPU is to either buy one right now for an expensive price or wait until cryptocurrency mining goes down again, but there are actually a few ways to get a GPU for a reasonable price.

However, even with these methods, it still might take a few weeks or even months before you get your hands on a new GPU.

Are You Buying or Upgrading Your GPU?

Another thing you should keep in mind is if you are looking to buy a GPU for the first time or if you are upgrading your old GPU to a new and better one.

If you are looking to upgrade your old graphics card into a higher-end card. Then, doing that right now is not worth it. This is because you still have an old card that can last you through the GPU shortage, and you should wait it out.

Not only will your wallet thank you, but if you have the budget to buy an overpriced card now. In the future when prices go back to normal you will not only be able to buy a new card, but you will be able to buy a higher-end GPU than you were going to buy now.

Prebuilt computer with a GPU

On the other hand, if you are building a pc for the first time or your GPU broke, or it is not usable anymore, things can get a bit more complicated for you.

Purchasing a mid-tier 10 series, or 20 series card is your best bet because these cards tend to have the smallest price change in them. However, there is still a good price difference from the original price of these cards.

If you are able to be patient and wait to look for giveaways, entering a buy list, or entering a GPU draw can be a good option.

The thing with these options is that they may take a long time for you to get your hands on a GPU, and there is also a possibility of you not getting one.

Also, if you are buying a GPU for the first time then you should just buy a prebuilt instead. I will explain why in a minute.

How to Buy a GPU for MSRP

As I just explained up there. There are a few ways to purchase a GPU at MSRP, but these may take a long time and there is also a good chance that you might not even get one.

The first way to get one is through a giveaway this is probably the most unrealistic way of getting one, but if you ever see a YouTuber or company like LTT or NVIDIA host a GPU giveaway, what’s there to lose.

You should always keep your eye out for giveaways especially on YouTube because many YouTubers are doing GPU giveaways due to the shortage.

Another more reasonable way to get your hands on a GPU for the original price is to enter a waitlist on the different stores or manufacturer websites likes NVIDIA.

However, these waitlists have a massive queue that may take months before your name hits the top, and there are even some cases of people not being able to make a purchase even when it is their turn. There are also, instances where people have missed the time limit where they are allowed to make the purchase.

When you are in these GPU waitlists you should frequently check your email to make sure you don’t miss your time frame because if you miss that time frame you will have missed your opportunity.

Last, the best way to buy a GPU for MSRP is the Newegg shuffle. The Newegg shuffle is a daily draw that happens almost every day.

Newegg made the shuffle so it would prevent bots from purchasing a GPU as soon as they went back on stock, and currently, this is the only way to buy a GPU off of Newegg as well.

Newegg Shuffle showing how they sell GPU's for MSRP

How the shuffle works are that Newegg will post the graphics cards that came into their warehouse that day on their website. Then, you will have a 2-3 hour time frame to select the cards that you want and enter “the shuffle”.

The shuffle can happen at any point in the day usually in the morning though. And you can sign up to their email list to get notified when the shuffle goes live.

You should also keep in mind that many of their GPUs are paired up with a motherboard or extra accessories, so you will be paying extra, but technically still the MSRP for both the accessories and GPU.

Should I Buy an Older Graphics Card Instead?

It still isn’t worth buying an older GPU, even though the prices are a bit friendly than the newer versions.

The reason why some people would recommend an older graphics card is that the prices are cheaper because these cards aren’t as efficient when it comes to crypto mining.

Even still I would highly recommend staying away from all re-sold GPUs unless you find a good deal on one.

However, if you are desperate for a GPU and want to play some games. Then, you should purchase something like a 2060, which is probably the best GPU for the price at the moment, but please remember that it will still be overpriced and there are better ways.

Is it Worth Buying a Prebuilt Just for the GPU?

If you are new to pc gaming I am sure you’ve heard that having a custom-built Pc is better than a prebuilt one, and sure that has been true in the past, it’s different now.

It’s good to build your own pc because you will know how to upgrade it or fix it when something goes wrong in the future, and you won’t have to build a labor fee to get it built.

Also, in the past companies would charge around 20-30% more for the parts you have in your pc, on top of paying a build fee for them to build it for you. However, companies such as CyperPower will not charge you extra for the computer parts (including the GPU), and will only charge you for a $100 build fee.

Credit: JayzTwoCents

This too me looks like a steal because most aftermarket GPUs are selling for hundreds of dollars more than the original price.

On top of that, your computer will come with a warranty, and depending on what company you bought it from, live support can walk you through any troubleshooting you have.

Therefore, if you are new to the pc community I would strongly suggest buying a prebuilt for the time being and when it’s time to buy a new computer in the future. Then, that is when you should build your computer.

Should I Buy an IGPU Instead?

Buying an IGPU is a really good idea if you want to build your own functioning computer. With an IGPU or integrated graphics, you will be able to run programs and play a few less demanding games while you wait for GPU prices to go down. Not only that, but you will be able to invest more money into your setup, while you have a longer time to save for an external GPU.

Here is a good video explaining how integrated graphics work vs and external graphics card.

credit: Gamingscan

Here is a quick little rundown on how they differ.

The CPU works both as a CPU and GPU. It shares its memory from the RAM plugged into your motherboard which is a bit slower than your normal GPU because it is taking it from an external source.

Also, opposed to a GPU that has thousands of mini cores, the CPU has to share its 4 – 16 cores between graphics and functions, therefore dedicated graphics are a lot slower.

However, at least your computer will be functional and will give you a good option to upgrade in the future without spending very much money.

When Will GPU Prices Go Back to Normal?

GPU prices will go back to normal when cryptocurrency mining slows down, which will eventually happen. However, it is hard to find the exact time when this will occur. If you are looking for a GPU for a decent price their are many different ways to buy one, other than wasting your money on a scalper, but GPU prices are going back to normal it’s just a matter of how much time until then.

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