ASUS says it will cut the price of its RTX 30-series cards (it lists the 3050, 3060, 3070, 3080, and 3090) by up to 25%. To list a few examples based on Best Buy prices, a 25% price reduction would take a Tuff 3060 12GB from $550 to $412.50, one Strix 3070 8GB from $825 to $618.75, and a Tuff 3080 12GB from a whopping $1,500 to $1,125 (but note that Asus says the discounts will be until 25%, and he did not release details for specific cards).
The company says consumers will see the price drop “starting April 1, 2022” and arrive on “various models throughout the spring.”
Yes, I also squinted and frowned when I heard the change was to start on April Fool’s Day. But Asus cites one specific reason for the price drop – a “tariff increase on Chinese imports from the Office of the US Trade Representative”. In early 2021, the Trump administration began imposing a 25% tax on graphics cards imported from China after a the exemption provided for them in the 2018 tariffs has expired. At the time, Asus said The edge that it would increase the MSRP of its cards accordingly (he cited tariffs, among other factors).
On March 23, however, the Office of the United States Trade Representative announcement that it will restore this exemption until December 31. Given that it raised its prices because of the tariffs, it makes sense for Asus to lower the prices now that the tariffs are gone (although whether they remain in place is another matter entirely).
The question remains though: will this make it easier and/or cheaper for me to get a graphics card? The answer is…well, it’s exhausting because of the complexity of buying electronics in 2022. First of all, it’s hard to imagine this price change having any noticeable impact on the shortage of chips, which means vendors will always be limited on how many cards they can actually make. Demand was already exceeding supply, but with lower list prices, you may have to compete with even more people who want to buy a GPU and can suddenly afford it thanks to a huge price drop.
It is also worth noting one important thing: as Asus Told Gamer on PC, it reduces the MSRP of its cards. MSRP, of course, stands for manufacturer suggested retail price – meaning that unless Asus has contracts in place to stop them, retailers could still continue to sell GPUs at the same price and earn 25% more for doing nothing. That doesn’t mean they will, of course, but it is a possibility. And even if we trust stores to have reasonable prices, can we really expect the same from scalpers and crypto miners who do their best to get their hands on as many GPUs as possible?
That said, all is not gloomy. A retailer has predicted that by April or May we could see GPU prices move closer to MSRP, according to a report by Tech Radar. Given that a major graphics card seller is promising to cut prices by up to a quarter, that could mean some really good things for PC builders this summer – if all goes well, of course. Either way, this price drop is at the very least a sign that manufacturers are looking to make graphics cards more affordable for consumers. Now Asus just has to do enough for it to make a difference.
Gigabyte and EVGA did not immediately respond to The edge when asked if they also plan to adjust prices based on tariff changes. MSI hasn’t said if it will lower the MSRPs on its cards, but spokesman Mark Tran said The edge that company had been “working to bring prices closer to MSRP,” and had been since March 15.
Update for March 29 at 8:34 p.m. ET: Added MSI’s answer.