Monday, May 16, 2022

Asus says its RTX graphics cards could be up to 25 percent cheaper

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Shreya Christina
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Asus says it cuts the price of its RTX 30-series cards (it lists the 3050, 3060, 3070, 3080, and 3090) by up to 25 percent. To cite a few examples based on Best Buy’s price, a 25 percent price cut would be a Tuf3060 12GB from $550 to $412.50, a Strix 3070 8GB from $825 to $618.75, and a Tuf3080 12GB from as much as $1,500 to $1,125 (note, however, that Asus says the discounts will be until 25 percent, and it hasn’t released details for specific cards).

The company says consumers will see lower prices “starting April 1, 2022” and for “various models” throughout the spring.

Yes, I also narrowed my eyes and frowned when I heard the change would begin on April 1. But Asus cites a specific reason for the price drop: a “tariff increase on Chinese imports by the office of the United States Trade Representative.” In early 2021, the Trump administration began imposing a 25 percent tax on graphics cards imported from China after a exemption that was distributed to them in rates from 2018† At the time, Asus said: The edge that it would thereby increase the suggested retail price of its cards (he mentioned, among other things, the rates).

However, on March 23, the office of the United States Trade Representative announced that it will reinstate that exemption until December 31. Given that it has increased its prices because of the tariffs, it makes sense that Asus would lower prices now that the tariffs are gone (although whether they stay away is another question).

The question remains though: will this make it easier and/or cheaper for me to get a graphics card? The answer is… well, it’s exhausting because of how complex buying electronics can be in 2022. First of all, it’s hard to imagine that this rate change will have a noticeable impact on the chip shortage, meaning suppliers will still be limited will be in how many cards they can actually make. Demand has already outstripped supply, but with lower list prices you may have to compete with even more people who want to buy a GPU and can suddenly afford one thanks to a massive price drop.

It is also worth noting one important thing: if Asus told PC gamer, it lowers the suggested retail price of its cards. MSRP of course stands for manufacturer suggested retail price — meaning unless Asus has contracts to stop them, retailers can always keep selling GPUs at the same price and earn 25 percent more doing nothing at all. Of course, that doesn’t mean they will, but it’s a possibility. And even if we trust that stores have reasonable prices, can we really expect the same from the scalpers and cryptominers who are trying their best to get their hands on as many GPUs as possible?

That said, it’s not all doom and gloom. A retailer predicted we’d see GPU prices move closer to MSRP in April or May, according to a report from TechRadar† With a major graphics card vendor promising to cut its prices by up to a quarter, that could mean really good things for PC builders in the summer — if all goes well, that is. Either way, this drop in price is at least a sign that manufacturers want to make graphics cards more affordable for consumers. Now Asus just needs to make enough of it to make a difference.

MSI, Gigabyte and EVGA did not respond immediately The edge when asked if they also had plans to adjust prices based on the rate changes.

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