So you’ve been looking for a GPU for months now. You might even already have all of your other components sitting in their boxes, waiting for the only piece of hardware that can truly fill the empty void that is the PCIE slot on your motherboard. Like many gamers, you probably want to get the best GPU on the market. You’re not the only one. Currently the stock for graphics cards is limited, and this won’t be changing any time soon.
GPUs are important for any PC setup, especially for gamers or video editing. Unfortunately, the wait time for GPUs combined with the demand, is the worst its been in years, and it’s likely you don’t have that much time to wait.With only two manufacturing companies making the best chips on the market, TSMC and Samsung, the factories are at maximum capacity.
Both AMD and NVIDIA released new graphics cards back in Fall 2020, which have dramatically increased the performance and quality of video gaming. The price is high, but the price-to-performance ratio blows the last generation of graphics cards out of the water. After all, these are now the best GPU on the market. While we wait for the newest lineup of GPU stock to increase, we may have to get creative in the meantime.
If you’re still determined and ready to get your hands dirty building a new PC, consider these five options for getting a GPU:
Option 1: Camp it Out
If you stay vigilant and prepared for the latest GPU drops, you’ll increase your chances of getting them before new releases are all sold out. We suggest monitoring stock checkers that use visual and audio cues to alert viewers when a manufacturer restocks. Make sure your phone notifications are on, and that you’re ready as soon as the drop happens. As we know from experience, these things sell out FAST.
General tip: Make sure you have accounts with your payment info set up in advance across the various online retailers. That way, when something restocks, you won’t waste any time fumbling around the login screen.
We suggest you set up an account and configure your payment settings on these websites:
- BestBuy – Use Apple Pay for a near-instant transaction on your phone that you can set up well in advance before the next release. It’s the perfect way to be prepared with the tap of a button.
- Zotac Store – If you’re lucky enough to land a GPU in your cart on the Zotac Store website, then props to you. Zotac offers the best GPU on the market, but they sell out practically instantly. The drops are frequent, but the site often crashes when there’s a drop that’s been announced. You’ll want to keep refreshing the page and follow the Twitch Stream and the Discord server to be sure you’re in the loop as soon as the GPUs are released.
Option 2: Settle…for now
Build your PC using Intel’s newest Rocket Lake processors that are equipped with integrated graphics. CPUs can be a great placeholder for GPUs until you’re able to replace them. This method is basically a placeholder until you get a GPU.
Be patient: when supply normalizes or if you manage to get a GPU thereafter, it’s as simple as plugging it into your system! You won’t have wasted a lot of time or money, and you’ll have a system equipped with a lightning-fast CPU ready to take full advantage of your new graphics card.
If you can’t wait, consider purchasing an older GPU that has readily available supply (perhaps even a used model) to hold you over.
Option 3: Go Prebuilt
Take advantage of the increasingly lucrative prebuilt PC market. These manufacturers often receive a preferential distribution of the latest generation graphics cards.
The good news? Prebuilt PCs have gone dramatically down in price. Previously, the industry relied on essentially marking up the price of components and building highly customized systems for crazy prices. This is a great way to save time, money, and avoid waiting for a GPU stock increase.
What’s new? New players have entered the market, such as NZXT, who offer pre-built PCs that you can configure on their website to your specifications for a flat fee. Models such as this have put downward pressure on the industry incumbents’ prices and could be a game-changer going forward.
If all of this sounds like it’s going over your head, consider purchasing a laptop for gaming instead. Don’t feel like you’re settling for less. If you invest in the right laptop to suit your gaming needs, it’ll be worth it in the long run.
Option 4: Take to the Skies!
You don’t necessarily have to get the best GPUs on the market, if you have a rock-solid internet connection. As you wait for new graphics cards, it’s worth considering one of the several cloud gaming platforms such as Ge. These services allow you to tap into the power of the latest-gen hardware by effectively streaming the video output straight to your screen through cloud technology.
Be strategic. This method is not recommended for First Person Shooter (FPS) type games. Even with good internet connection, latency is often an issue. Instead, it’s an excellent option for open-world games that don’t require high reaction time. This is great news as Microsoft recently announced beta testing for Xbox Cloud gaming.
Option 5: Camp it Out 2.0
If you are lucky enough to live near a Micro Center, the computer hardware retailer receives regular shipments of the latest gen processors and graphics cards. Depending on which store you go to, you may need to quite literally pitch a tent, as the store’s GPU supply is no secret.
Check out Microcenter’s discord server for helpful tips, advice, and stock info for your particular store.
If none of these methods seem to be working, try doing some more research before you purchase. Since the hunt for graphics cards can be a time-consuming endeavor, plan ahead and know exactly which GPU you want before buying in a snap decision. This way, you can narrow your search and focus on monitoring the stock more closely.
Don’t give in to paying scalper prices just to get the best GPU on the market, we promise it’ll be worth the wait.
Good luck out there!