In the wake of the pandemic, 2021 was a nightmare for the GPU industry due to a global semiconductor shortage. Owing to increased demand paired with considerably reduced available supply to be sold while production lines were halted waiting on chipsets and other processing elements, GPU prices soared and even then stores struggled to keep them stocked.
If you were in the market for a good GPU at any time during the pandemic and well into 2022, you may have given up searching a long time ago. The good news: we’re finally seeing the end of the GPU shortage! Finding a good GPU is about to get a lot easier.
Signs of GPU Availability Returning
As of August 2022, retailers are stocking Nvidia graphics cards. This is great news! This increase in supply is already lowering prices on the secondhand market, and it’s a great sign for the GPU comeback. Some lucky shoppers have even managed to find cards selling just below their recommended MSRP, something that felt like a pipedream over the last several years.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that so far the GPUs that are selling at the best prices aren’t the top-of-the-line hardware you want to run your 4K games at 60 fps or power your demanding 3D applications like Daz Studio. That said, these GPUs doing best in stores seem to be models like ASRock Radeon RX 6500XT Challenger ITX and the Gigabyte Radeon RX 6500 XT Eagle. One report shows that the AMD Radeon 6500 XT was selling below MSRP in Germany. While these aren’t exactly upgrade material for hardware, they are still considered “good GPUs” and would be reasonable starting points for someone who is looking to enter the space in 2022.
What Does This Mean for Most Coveted Hardware?
This means that for everyone who is looking to pick up the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 or RTX 3060, hope is on the horizon. As Gandalf advised Aragorn to look for his coming at first light on the fifth day; at dawn look to the east – so can we expect in the near future to see a return of the most powerful hardware available at MSRP.
Which GPU Is Right for Me? Should I Keep Waiting?
With how expensive GPUs have been, and after going several years with the assumption that finding one isn’t even worth your energy, you may be wondering which GPU would be good for you and whether or not now is the time to pick it up. This depends on a lot of factors and the kind of performance you are looking to achieve with your PC.
There’s no question that the RTX 3080 is powerful and will provide amazing results, but for some users, probably more than would admit it, they actually don’t need that much power. If you think about it this way, say the RTX 3080 performs at 100%, but comparatively, the games you play, or the applications you use only require 60% of that total output. This means you aren’t using 40% of what the 3080 is capable of. If this is the case, you probably didn’t need to fork out the cash for a 3080.
It’s not that the RTX 3080 is going to render your 3D art better than, say, an RTX 2080, in general. What it can do is render faster. The other thing it can do is take on a bigger load at once. This is what causes an improvement in performance. So, to be frank, if you don’t need that level of performance, picking up the most powerful hardware money can buy isn’t all that necessary.
If you’ve got the money, by all means, feel free to buy whatever you want. But, if you want to save money while getting the best upgrade possible, do your research and take a close look at the performance requirements of the games you play and the software you use.
Tips to Find the Right GPU for You
Once you’ve done your research and determined which GPU you think will be best for you, we highly recommend that you sign up for newsletters or email alert lists related to GPU availability. There are plenty to choose from. If you like Twitter, you can also follow some accounts that will provide alerts for restocks and where to find them. If you’re looking for an account to follow for alerts, consider Matt Swider, he is great at alerting restocks, and provides helpful reviews, giveaways, and more.
If that seems like too much work for you, consider making a relationship with a worker at your local tech store. They might be able to give you a heads-up on what they expect to be coming in stock. If you are anxious to get good hardware, then being proactive about your search will make all the difference.
If you aren’t in a rush, sit tight and just check out the hardware section of your local tech shop every now and then. GPUs are returning, and before you know it, seeing a variety of products on those shelves is going to become the new normal.
What Role Does a Good GPU Play in My 3D Art?
In general, having a decent GPU is basically a necessity. When leveling up from there, how good of a GPU you want becomes more of a quality-of-life decision. As we explained before, higher-performance hardware will vastly decrease your render times in programs like Daz Studio.
If you want to use the Iray Render Engine inside Daz Studio, and we highly recommend that you do, you will need an Nvidia GPU. This is an important consideration for new Daz users who want to achieve the professional quality results you can find in abundance in our gallery. To learn more about rendering in Daz Studio and making the best out of your GPU, check out our helpful video resources here.
If you’re pleased with the GPU you’re currently running, we’d love to see what you’re using with Daz Studio in the comments below!