The RTX 4080 coming soon is it a good idea to purchase an older, less expensive GPU?

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RTX 4080

We are in the midst of a new generation of graphics cards made by Nvidia and AMD A recurring debate has popped up on the internet – are the older generation of GPUs worthwhile to buy when something better faster, shinier, and more powerful is coming up?

I’ll clarify that for you: yes.

The argument is the same over the last couple of generational releases – it’s useless to purchase a device that is on the cusp of becoming outdated, and the prices are often not reduced enough to justify the cost. There’s logic in this argument, however, it doesn’t be aware of a significant problem that is the GPU market hasn’t followed the logic of the past for quite a while.

But not in the way that matters. In the past, when technology was advancing,  you could go to the local brick-and-mortar computer retailer and purchase a brand new graphics card at a reasonable cost regardless of whether it was an entirely new model with MSRP or the older model that it replaced with a great price, However, the last couple of years have shown that you cannot accurately predict the future of any market, be it GPU or any other.

When GPUs such as the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 first became available at the time, many PC gamers and computer enthusiasts were of the opinion that upgrading from the previous generation could not be justified by the astronomically high costs and it was believed that waiting to see the 3000 series come out was the best alternative – and then the world went into chaos.

History is a repeating machine.

Rare Gundam themed RTX 3080 GPUs being built into a mining rig caused a stir online.
The rare Gundam-inspired RTX 3080 GPUs that were installed in a mining rig created a buzz on the internet. (Image credit: I_Leak_VN)

It was the Ampere collection of cards such as the GeForce RTX 3060 featured the price of the card divided with many deeming it acceptable, while others complained about the demise of cheap graphics cards. A horrible mix of issues with words made them virtually impossible to locate.

The Cryptomarket witnessed a surge in Ethereum which made cards extremely appealing to miners who picked their hands in bulk to use in crypto mining farms and the Covid-19 epidemic led to supply chain issues as well as an issue with chips which affected every aspect of the technology world including computing equipment to automobiles and appliances.

The scarcity of GPUs pushed the cost of GPUs to astronomical prices as the GeForce 3080 RTX achieved an average price for resales that was almost three times its MSRP when it was at the peak of the Great GPU Shortage. AMD had a better time however Team Red was still blighted by scalpers and shortages.

The main difference in how both companies dealt with the issue was with regard to crypto mining. Nvidia finally releasing new models of the entire Ampere series with anti-mining safeguards.

The cards were LHR (low-hash rate) cards that were not completely impossible to crack, but they might have discouraged people from purchasing huge quantities of RTX 3060s.

However, AMD acknowledged the situation and clarified that once a buyer purchases an AMD GPU, they are free to do what they want with the device.

One of the biggest issues is that this shortage didn’t only impact the model of graphic cards but also raised the cost of virtually every GPU in the market. The notion of not waiting till the new generation came out to buy an older, less expensive model or an affordable new model completely vanished immediately.

Your money is yours, and so are your preferences and your decision

cheap graphics card
What makes her so content? It’s hard to say but I’m betting her GPU is doing exactly what she requires it to. (Image credit: Shutterstock)
What if this happens again? It’s difficult to know.

The problem is due to a myriad of issues that occurred simultaneously and if Covid-19 creates further supply chain problems, there’s a good chance that Lovelace or RDNA3 GPUs will begin to increase due to the rising demand.

The crypto market is highly likely to recover due to its volatility, so don’t think we’re done for a while.

I do have a better argument but it’s worth it to buy an entirely new GPU when it’s worthwhile to you.

Older GPUs are still likely to be a part of the marketplace today. It’s only necessary to check out the Steam Hardware Survey to see how many players are using graphics cards that are generations old and, based on the game you play, you don’t require a particularly high-end graphics card. A majority of first-person shooters as well as battle-royale kinds of games keep system requirements minimal to draw many players, for example.

I wrote a piece a few months ago, off the inside of my RTX 3070 Ti, which was receiving low reviews. The price was reduced due to its cost and performance, however, the pleasure it’s given me is more than worth the price.

I’m not ashamed of my choices, given the situation as graphics cards were more difficult to come by as gold dust. Would I have liked an RTX 3090? Sure, but did require one? Absolutely not.

Since the cost of living becomes more expensive across the globe, there’s absolutely no reason to upgrade to the latest and greatest simply for the sake of doing it. Moreover, the Ampere, as well as RDNA2 GPUs will remain useful and efficient for many the foreseeable future.

If you find a particularly attractive price on a graphics card over the next weeks, don’t let the early adopters attempt to make you wait for Lovelace or RDNA3 unless you’re willing to make the decision We don’t even have a clue what the marketplace will be at when they go live.