Corsair expects graphics card supply to improve rather sharpish and prices to potentially drop below MSRP. I know it sounds too good to be true after over a year of shortages and soaring prices, but we are beginning to see things improve. As a company that builds PCs and sells components, Corsair probably has a decent idea of what's going on behind the scenes, too.
“During Q1, GPU cards, which are the most expensive item in a gaming PC, were still at a high premium, roughly 150% of MSRP, and even with this premium, we saw gaming PC build activity slightly higher than pre-pandemic and pre-GPU shortage levels,” the company's CEO, Andy Paul, says in an earnings statement.
“We expect that GPU cards will be back to MSRP in the near term, perhaps discounted below MSRP. With GPU and CPU products becoming available and reasonably priced, we expect to see a surge of self-built gaming PC activity in 2H22 and 2023. We see a similar positive trend with Peripherals.”
It's not all doom and gloom for PC building in 2022. But I think we're starting to realise that. At the risk of sounding too optimistic when supply is anything but stable, we have noticed that graphics cards have begun to return to what you might consider 'normal' levels recently. They're not all quite there yet, but AMD's RX 6900 XT is available below its MSRP at $949 at Newegg, and most cards are at least a lot cheaper than they were a year ago, if not quite at MSRP or below yet.
My fingers and toes are crossed for a swift decline in price. If they do come crashing down, the PC building market will actually be in a really good place—what a turnaround that'd make for. It's really only been the lack of GPUs that has made building a PC such a nightmare as of late; we've got a fine selection of CPUs, SSDs, and RAM to choose from in 2022.
Though I must say that not everyone believes we're completely out of the woods yet. Intel's CEO, Pat Gelsinger, still believes things will be tight for the chip market until 2024, which is a little later than he expected. As one of the major global chipmakers, Intel does have its finger on the pulse. Though it must be said that the effects of wider constrained supply might not have such an acute effect on GPU supply as it has thus far. Other factors fed into the GPU shortage: cryptocurrency demand, gradual product ramps for the latest chips, and insufficient bot protection.
I'm choosing to remain cautiously optimistic, anyways.
As for Corsair, it seems pretty optimistic for its own year ahead. It reports that it its first few months of 2022 were down on last year, at $380.7 million, yet says that's still above its pre-pandemic sales.