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Graphics cards are one of the most essential computer components we need for our day-to-day lives. From gaming to video editing to Artificial Intelligence, all these use cases are dependent on the existence of a graphics card. When it comes to choosing various components for our pcs, such as gaming monitors, gaming chairs and gaming mice among others, It is always necessary to understand why they are priced the way they are priced. In this article, we will cover why graphics cards are expensive.

But what exactly is a graphics card?

What is a Graphics Card?

A graphics card is a computer component that renders images on the screen of a computer and supports the display functions. It is also used to support video games, 3D rendering and other graphical applications.

Graphics cards are typically used in computers, but they can also be found in gaming consoles and mobile devices. They are made up of many components including memory, processors, integrated circuits, power supplies and cooling systems.

Why are Graphics Cards Expensive?

Graphics cards are expensive because they are complex and intricate products. They require a lot of time and effort to design, manufacture, and market.

Their pricing is going up due to the rise in demand for high-end graphics cards. This is why it’s important for consumers to be aware of how much a graphics card costs before they buy one.

Top 10 Reasons Why Graphics Cards are Expensive

Graphics card prices have been on the rise for a while now, and it is hard to find a graphics card at a reasonable price. We have compiled a list of the top 10 reasons why graphic cards are so expensive.

1) Chip Shortage

Graphics Cards:Chips
Photo by Brian Kostiuk on Unsplash

Chip shortage is one of if not the main reasons why graphics cards are expensive. They are made of multiple components with the chip being the most important of them all.

Taiwan holds 53% of the global chip market and due to its recent tension with China(its neighbour) it only means that the production of chips will decrease and this will adversely affect the Graphics cards

2) The demand for these cards is high due to the popularity of PC gaming

The next reason is the high popularity of graphics cards characterised by PC gaming. Most gamers perceive them to be one of the key factors for a good gaming experience. This is why most gamers will always look for the best way to fine-tune their graphics card in order to get the maximum performance for their games.

3) Problems with supply chains

Photo by Pixabay

The other obvious reason is the problems with supply chains across the world. The Covid-19 pandemic brought a lot of disruptions in the supply and logistics industries and as a result, it is expected to negatively affect the prices of graphics cards hence why they are expensive.

4) Graphic card makers are driving up prices in order to protect their margins

Due to the huge external factors such as inflation, and chip shortages among others it is only logical for graphics manufacturers to drive up their prices to protect their margins. With most of these graphics card companies being public, the companies have to increase their prices so as to attain their financial earning targets. This makes the graphics cards expensive for common users.

5) New products are being released with increasing frequency(Shorter lifespan)

Graphics Cards’ shorter lifespan is characterised by the demand for new and better features from their users. Gamers always want the best performant cards, video editors want the best cards that render video in 4k or 8k. With all these demands, manufacturers will produce cards that have a shorter lifespan so that when the next card comes out, it seems better than its predecessor so as to justify the higher prices.

6) Graphics Cards have a high-profit margin(Scalpers)

Scalpers have been on the rise in recent times because of how high the profit margins of graphics cards are. A scalper is anyone who buys a product at a low price and then resells it at a higher price. A simple search on eBay can reveal just how many people are reselling the cards and as a result, this makes them expensive

7) Graphic card use cases have increased(AI/ML and Cryptominers)

Graphics cards have gained a lot of interest from other industries because of how fast and efficient they are. One of those industries is Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Software Engineers have discovered just how efficient and fast it is to train a model with graphics cards. This has made the demand for graphics cards increase as it has decreased the time meant for training a model to almost half.

Another use case that has gained popularity over the years is crypto mining. Graphics cards have been one of the main hardware used in these crypto mining systems.

Due to these use cases, they have only grown in demand and this has translated into an increase in their prices.

8) Many people believe that graphics cards improve the performance of computers

It is a common theory/philosophy that most people think that a graphics card increases the performance of a computer. This has made the consumer market focus more on graphics card features as opposed to the other hardware components making the demand for newer versions of graphics cards to be high hence the high prices.

9) Graphics cards take up to 10 years to research and develop before reaching the market

Graphics cards research and development take a lot of time to reach the market. This is because consumer demands are always high and as a result, a company would want to ship a feature if it is only an improvement. This translates to higher prices when the graphics cards reach the market so as to cover the costs of research and development.

10) Graphics card prices are controlled by the graphics card manufacturers

The graphics card industry is dominated by big players such as Nvidia and AMD and thus they can control the prices of graphics cards. These companies can decide to raise the prices of graphics cards and there is nothing the average consumer can do other than to buy the graphics cards at the current market price.

Graphics Card Pricing Explained by Age and Power Consumption

It is important to note that the graphics card prices vary according to the age of the computer. The more powerful and energy-efficient graphic cards are more expensive than older models.

How Does Speed Impact Graphics Card Prices?

Graphics card prices are influenced by the speed of the PC. The faster a PC is, the more likely it is that it will have a graphics card.

Graphics cards are usually considered an investment. They have a high price tag and they require a lot of power to run. When PCs get faster, graphics cards get faster as well, which means that they become more expensive.

5 Key Considerations in Choosing Your Next Graphics Card

Choosing your next graphics card is a big decision. There are many factors to consider when you are looking for the right card. These include performance, features, and price.

The following are five key considerations in choosing your next graphics card:

1) Performance

You want the best performance you can get for your money. You also want to make sure that you have enough power to drive the latest games at high settings without any hiccups.

2) Memory

This is one of the most important considerations when choosing a graphics card. Memory speed and size will determine how quickly and smoothly games run on your PC or laptop.

3) Connectivity

This includes things like the number of ports, display connectivity, and bandwidth support that will help you choose a graphics card that meets all of your needs.

4) Size

It is important to make sure that your graphics card will fit into your case. This might not seem like an important consideration, but it can be quite problematic if you’re short on space.

5) Power

This includes things such as wattage and amperage so you know how much power the graphics card uses when in operation on your desktop or laptop.


In this article, we have discussed the different factors that you should consider when choosing your next graphics card. We have also covered the reasons why graphics cards are expensive. It is important to note that different graphics cards suit different needs and as a result keeping into consideration all your needs will help you choose a well-priced but powerful graphics card for your needs. What other reasons do you think constitute making graphics cards expensive?

If you enjoyed this article, you can read some of our other articles here.

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