Well, 2020 is over and 2021 is supposed to be a new, better year for all. But, not if you’re looking to find NVIDIA RTX video cards for a cryptocurrency mining rig, gaming PC, machine learning rig or a render farm. There’s all but no RTX video cards available that are worth buying. And when they are been surfacing, the markup is ridiculous.
Just about all graphic card prices are heavily inflated
At the time of writing this article (mid January, 2021) graphics cards are being sold with what could be best described as incredible price gouging. Why? Because there is almost no supply to be had. With GPU mining once again a highly profitable activity, prices are extremely inflated.
Why? Someone is will to pay that price.
A note about building a mining rig with RTX cards
Our guide on how to build a 6 GPU Mining Rig works (all steps) if all you do is substitute 1070s for RTX 20xx or 30xx Nvidia video cards. Do note that you may need more power from your power supply depending on how many you are using.
We are launching courses soon, and we will be doing a full RTX mining rig build, step-by-step. Well, assuming we can find six RTX GPUs!
Example RTX video card prices vs. actual retail value
Surfing around today looking for 6 Nvidia RTX 30xx series cards, here’s the few we found. Get ready for sticker shock! And, you’ll quickly see that shopping around can save you A LOT of money.
If we cannot find realistic retail prices for video cards out there, we will use the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for comparison purposes (MSRP is all but always higher than retail value).
This is the beast with 24GB of RAM. The manufacturer recommends you have a 700 watt power supply if you’re building a gaming rig with one of these cards! On its own it requires 300 watts, so I’m not sure how they arrived at that number.
Prices for a single RTX 3090 GPU
- Price Amazon (PNY RTX 3090): $2,500+
- Fair retail estimate for this video card: $1,599
If a 3090 doesn’t make sense, a 3080 might fit the bill. The 3080 is a step down from the 3090 of course, but not far. A 3080 is a workhorse that can be expected to deliver just north of 14 hashes per second (14.2 h/s). A bit of tuning and over clocking and you can inch more toward 15 hashes per second
The power required for a single RTX 3080 is around 250 watts.
Prices for a single RTX 3080 GPU
- Price on Amazon (EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3): $1,799+
- Fair retail estimate for this video card: $849
Shopping Nvidia’s 20xx series isn’t much better. Sometimes it is worse! The only 2080Ti we found today was asking way more than its street value. Don’t let the 20-series designation fool you. A 2080Ti is no slouch. In fact, we were specifically shopping for 2080Ti’s when we saw all the pricing lunacy we decided to share in this post.
You can expect 10.8 hashes per second (10.8 h/s) or better. Power draw is rated at 220 watts. And, before you ask, yes the price we have below is real. This seller is asking $200 more for a 2080Ti than you can buy an (also ridiculously priced) 3080.
Prices for a single RTX 2080Ti GPU
- Price on Amazon (MSI GAMING RTX 2080Ti): $1,985
- Fair retail estimate for this video card: $749
A 2080 is good for over 9 hashes/second (9.1 h/s to be exact) out of the box, and there’s more available with even limited tweaking. We death-pushed a 1070 black notoriously hard to see how long it would take to kill it. The answer was we still don’t know. That 1070 is still punching way above its weight.
That tempted us to overclock all our cards – hard – but we kept sane and mined in the normal operating window. Here’s the jaw-dropping price the 2080 in question was commanding.
Prices for a single RTX 2080 GPU
- Price on Amazon (EVGA Black RTX 2080): $1,549
- Fair retail estimate for this video card: $699
Where to find deals on NVIDIA RTX video cards
Well, deals might not be the right word. But, you can find more realistic pricing on RTX video cards a few places.
First, try BestBuy if you are in the United States. BestBuy often price matches and does not have a marketplace that allows individuals or small retailers to hyper inflate prices. We didn’t look today, but when BestBuy does get cards do know that they won’t last long.
NewEgg is also worth checking. Unfortunately, we have found that the marketplace enables the same level of gouging that we see on Amazon.
One well known tactic is to purchase a complete gaming computer new, take out the card you are looking for, and replace it with another card you own. Then you resell the gaming computer at a fair price, but have gotten a good deal on the GPU. That may sound like a lot of work, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do!
Here is an example. We are buying this computer, removing the EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 card, replacing it with two used GTX 1070s (SLI connected). If the computer isn’t available, it is brand new, and they are asking $2,349 for it.
When we’ve pillaged the video card, we will resell it on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. In the end, our effective price for the 3070 will (hopefully) be right around what retail should be and the computer will still be a hell of a gaming rig. Even if the card costs us more than retail, it’ll be a lot cheaper than buying a card standalone from Amazon. We may also selfishly keep the liquid cooled i9 and swap it out, too.
Tell us about your GPU buying experiences!
Where are you finding the GPUs for your mining rigs? How much are you paying, and was it worth it to you in the end? Let us know in the comments below!