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Why the GPU shortage problem is still getting worse, not better

Despite warnings from Nvidia and AMD that the GPU supply crunch will last as long as through the first half of the year, we are now learning that the situation is far worse than we had previously believed. Gamers, creatives, and those needing a new graphics card for work or entertainment should be prepared to either pay double or triple the suggested retail price to snag a graphics card now or wait until the third quarter, when supplies start matching the overwhelming demand.

One GPU vendor claims that supplies have actually decreased, rather than increased, in recent months, which is making a bad situation even more untenable. Asus predicted that sales of its own branded RTX 3000 series graphics will fall by 5% to 10% from the fourth quarter of last year due to short supplies.

“On the graphics card question, currently the main issue is the shortage of Nvidia (GPU) shipments, so there’s a supply constraint situation,” said Asus Co-CEO Sy Hsu in a recent earnings call, according to a report from PCMag. “Everyone is scrambling to obtain units.”

Hsu went on to explain that because there is a drought in supply for the RTX cards, prices are increasing. This means that gamers will not only be challenged to find a retailer with a GeForce card in stock, but they will likely have to pay more than the card’s launch price.

Amid the ongoing semiconductor shortage, Asus cautioned investors that it could once again raise prices if supply constraints don’t begin to ease. Earlier this year, the company raised the price of its TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 card from $729 to $1,069 to account for rising manufacturing costs and the U.S. tariff that was reinstated in the final days of the Trump administration.

MSI to reportedly hike graphics card prices amid ongoing CPU shortage. Sadly, that GPU shortage may last throughout 2021, too

MSI is going to increase asking prices for its graphics cards due to continuing production woes and GPU shortages from both AMD and Nvidia, according to a new report.

Assuming the report is correct, DigiTimes (via Tom’s Hardware) says that the chairman of MSI, Joseph Hsu, indicated that graphics card prices will be hiked to reflect ‘tight supply’ – and that this unfortunate situation could last ‘through the end of 2021’.

That’s obviously a double blow in terms of bad news for gamers who are looking to buy a new AMD or Nvidia GPU, and if MSI is being forced to increase price tags, that inevitably leads to speculation about other graphics card manufacturers doing the same (as they are all facing the same kind of pressures – at least on the GPU availability front, and pandemic-related problems).

Hsu made the comments when talking about MSI’s Q4 2020 profits, where the company made less money than expected. Costs were up in the final quarter due to a range of factors that included logistics problems (shipping delays) and Taiwan’s currency strengthening. That said, the chairman was also careful to note that last year still saw a new high achieved in profits.

Global Chip Shortage, Affecting Everything From PS5s To Graphics Cards, Is Becoming A ‘Crisis’

While the supply of chips should be improving now that we’re months out from some of the worst Covid lockdowns and distribution disruptions, things have actually gotten worse because of market changes (we’ve been buying a lot more computers and TVs and consoles while stuck at home) and a huge influx of new products using them, putting further strain on the supply chain. PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X shortages are just the tip of the iceberg. Big phone launches from companies like Apple and Samsung have been postponed, new graphics cards are still hard to find and all over the world car manufacturers are either scaling back production or piling unfinished cars up in parking lots while they wait for the chips needed to power their software systems.

It’s bad enough that bots and scalpers are buying up all the stock of Nvidia’s new graphics cards, but some thieves in China have taken things to the next level and stolen 40 boxes of RTX 3090s, valued at around $US340,000 ($438,736) ($US456,790 ($589,442)), from an MSI warehouse.

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