GPU prices could soon drop below MSRP triggering a ‘surge’ of gamers building PCs

Corsair has said that it expects GPU availability to improve and pricing to be back to MSRP soon, and possibly we’ll see price tags drop below recommended pricing with discounts, as more and more people build their own PCs in the second half of 2022.

The company just revealed its Q1 financial results, with Corsair’s CEO, Andy Paul, observing that the quarter saw “positive underlying growth trends” in gaming hardware, despite some continued headwinds, and the chief exec specifically addressed the situation around both self-build PCs and graphics cards.

As PC Gamer spotted, Paul noted that in Q1 of 2022, GPUs were the most expensive single component in a gaming PC and were riding around 150% higher than MSRP (the recommended price from the manufacturer) on average – but even with that premium, the CEO said that “gaming PC build activity [was] slightly higher than pre-pandemic and pre-GPU shortage levels.”

Furthermore, Paul commented: “We expect that GPU cards will be back to MSRP in the near term, perhaps discounted below MSRP. With GPU and CPU products becoming available and reasonably priced, we expect to see a surge of self-built gaming PC activity in 2H22 and 2023. We see a similar positive trend with Peripherals.”

Analysis: Price prediction seems like it’s on solid ground

Graphics cards being sold at below recommended pricing will naturally be music to the ears of gamers, and there are good reasons to believe that this could actually happen soon enough.

Over the past couple of months, we’ve seen a continued trend of prices drifting downwards, returning to more normal levels, and indeed in some cases we have already witnessed the odd product dipping below its recommended price, like AMD’s flagship 6900 XT for example.

Granted, there may be extenuating circumstances to a degree with that GPU given the supposedly imminent launch of revamped RDNA 2 models including a 6950 XT which will be a step up from the 6900 XT. The rumored launch of those refreshed 6000 series models, if it goes ahead soon as believed, should help to drive down the prices of existing cards from AMD further.

Also, if the current situation at Newegg is anything to go by – with the top 20 best-selling GPUs being entirely Nvidia models, save for one AMD product – Team Red may feel compelled to start getting a bit more pushy with its pricing.

There’s also the wildcard of Intel coming into the market with Arc desktop GPUs perhaps as soon as a few weeks’ time, and while indications are that Team Blue may not attempt to make some kind of grand price undercutting move to get into the market, if nothing else, Arc cards should really boost overall GPU availability (in the mid-range and lower-end to begin with, going by the rumor mill), which will surely have an impact on pricing anyway.

In short, there are a number of forces coming to bear with downward price pressure here. So it would, of course, follow that if the situation with GPU stock and pricing does improve as predicted, folks who have been holding back because they can’t get the graphics card they want – at a decent price, or indeed at all – will likely be going ahead with a build they’ve put off, meaning a ‘surge’ of new PC builds later this year seems a reasonable enough forecast.

At least for now, though we don’t know if issues around the supply chain and lockdowns in China might yet start exerting unwelcome pressures in the opposite direction to pull back this impending continued recovery…

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