You can actually afford Nvidia GeForce graphics cards now

Game on.

nvidia geforce gtx 1080 ti
Gordon Mah Ung/IDG

Good news, gamers! Graphics cards are starting to become affordable again thanks to shake-ups in cryptocurrency markets, a fact that Nvidia’s touting with a new Made to Game promotional campaign. While prices still haven’t returned to pre-crisis levels, and a fresh generation of GeForce cards are expected to ship this summer, you can now buy gaming hardware at a bearable premium rather than an outright price gouging.

The best prices come direct from Nvidia, which replenished stocks of GTX 10-series Founders Edition cards on its website today at MSRP after tweeting a “supply run” picture on the GeForce Twitter account last night. Currently, the GTX 1080 Ti is sold out, but every other Founders Edition GPU and the Titan Xp remain available at a limit of two per customer.

nvidia supply run Nvidia (via Twitter)

Nvidia crafted the Founders Edition hardware with fine detail, but it’s still a blower-style reference card best suited for PCs with small cases or multiple graphics cards. Many gamers prefer the enhanced cooling solutions found on cards from EVGA, Zotac, Asus, and others. Following the third-party links on Nvidia’s Made to Game page shows customized graphics cards selling for $30 to $50 more than their Founders Edition counterparts. That’s much higher than you’d normally see for 2-year-old hardware, but still a breath of fresh air after months of graphics cards selling for hundreds over MSRP.

The GTX 1080 Founders Edition retails for $500, for example. Right now, you can find customized versions from Zotac, MSI, Asus, and Gigabyte selling for $550 on Newegg and elsewhere. Moving down the stack, you can find 6GB GTX 1060 cards (MSRP $260) from EVGA, MSI, and Asus going for $300, though these models tend to have very basic cooling solutions. You can also find 3GB GTX 1060 and GTX 1050 Ti graphics cards selling $230 and $199, respectively.

Again: Those all cost more than they should, especially at this point in their lifecycle. But the prices aren’t unreasonable any more, especially when you consider that the price of VRAM has skyrocketed since these graphics cards first launched in 2016.

geforce gtx 1070 ti 7 Brad Chacos/IDG

Well, the prices aren’t unreasonable for GeForce cards at least. AMD’s Radeon cards hold the edge in compute abilities, making them more attractive for cryptocurrency miners, so Team Red’s prices haven’t eased as much. The 4GB Radeon RX 570—ostensibly a $170 card—still sells for $300-plus on Newegg, while the $200 Radeon RX 580 currently goes for $310 and up, aside from a lone Asus model offering a $30 rebate to come in at $280. The 6GB GeForce GTX 1060 makes more sense at those prices unless you’re looking to pair a Radeon GPU with a FreeSync monitor, since FreeSync monitors cost much less than Nvidia’s rival G-Sync displays.

If you’ve been holding out for graphics cards to return to sane prices, you can finally upgrade your PC without feeling like a sucker—though if you’ve waited this long, you might want to hold out a few more months to see if next-gen GeForce hardware arrives this summer. In a pinch, Nvidia’s GeForce Now game-streaming beta for PCs could tide you over in the interim. Either way, our guide to GeForce graphics cards can show you what sort of gaming performance to expect from each of Nvidia GPUs.

This story, "You can actually afford Nvidia GeForce graphics cards now" was originally published by PCWorld.

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