2021 hasn’t been the best year to be building a new PC. There have been chip shortages and rising prices throughout the market on pretty much everything. and we still have 8 more months to go. Current demand is expected to keep pace throughout the year and at this point, I don’t expect the manufacturers to catch up until the beginning of 2022. Hopefully, by then the prices will start to decrease when stock becomes regularly available.
But what are you going to do in the meantime? if you can’t get your hands on a new ampere card or upgrade much-needed components. How are you going to be able to play especially during covid? Some of us have been lucky and have been able to purchase a new card or already have a pretty decent system. So upgrading isn’t necessary.
I want to go over some of the do’s and don’t of buying a new graphics card or gaming PC in 2021.
Don’t Buy Used Hardware.
With the current crypto prices, GPUs even in the used market are being bought up like crazy. While it is still possible to find used graphics cards especially if you are looking for a mid to low-end card. The prices have gone up considerably and you are better off waiting for a new ampere GPU than trying to find a cheap 2000 series. Nvidia has been trying to get out as much as possible. There are even online stock trackers to see when cards become available on major retailers. Meaning you can wait for the right time and keep checking to see if a new ampere card has become available.
So I would either try to wait it out or make sure you are getting a good price before you buy. If you are buying used try using the Facebook marketplace, Craigslist, or buy, sell and trade apps. In hopes that the seller isn’t up to date with the current prices of there GPU’s
Generally during a shortage buying used is a good way to go. Just in 2021 the price of bitcoin reached all time highs. Miners are buying everything up at insane prices due to the fear of missing out. The used market right now is selling old gear way above the MSRP when it was released a few years ago.
Look Into Getting a Prebuilt.
Now I am personally all about building your own pc. From picking and choosing all of your components to piecing everything together. Generally I wouldn’t even recommend going the prebuilt route unless you really don’t want to be making your own. But right now it might actually be a cheaper option.
A RTX 3070 has been seen reaching up to $1,500 on ebay as scalpers consistently up the pricing. While pre-built systems with a RTX 3070 are going for around $2,000. Which is a lot more bang for your buck. Then trying to source just the RTX 3070 on its own. Especially considering you are getting a whole computer.
That is just an example if you are looking for a recommendation on a pre built system please leave a comment below.
Now this method is also subject to availability. Stock issues do plague the pre-built systems but they are less likely to be sold out compared to sourcing a card on your own. So even going the prebuilt route might not be the best option but at least you are getting more value for your money compared to getting a used card.
Try Cloud Computing Services
Services like Shadow Allow you to stream video games directly to your computer. With 4K at 60 FPS or 144 FPS in full HD without the need to purchase a graphics card. All the rendering is done through their cloud system. The main requirement for this is having a stable internet connection at 15 Mbps. The streaming service starts at around $11.99 per month. Making this a viable option for anyone with a solid internet connection to stream games with high definition graphics.
There are other services other than shadow such as Vortex, Loudplay, and Nvidia Geforce Now, As Well as playstation and xbox both releasing a version of their own. Each service has different games available and price points. But all generally offer the same benefits of being able to game on the go. Normally this would be my suggested route but with how things currently are it might be the best option for some.
Wait out the Storm.
For some this might not be an option, but to save you from overpaying on hardware it might be best just to wait out the storm. Maybe by then you can get an RTX 4000 series. 2021 has been a year for the books with the perfect storm of the corona virus and rising crypto prices that have put a huge strain on manufacturing. This doesn’t just stop at the Chip industry but even Boba has been hit with a shortage.
We are looking at at least 6 more months before things start to get to normal. So if you can wait it out. I would suggest doing so as navigating through this crysis. Might not be worth the inflated prices and stress involved in actually tracking down a new GPU.