Be wary if you’re browsing hardware deals with an eye toward upgrading your gaming PC. Many of the “sales” we’re seeing on graphics cards and desktops aren’t really deals at all, and if you’re not careful, you could wind up spending much more money than you should to get the performance you want.
That’s because the new Radeon RX 5700 series and GeForce RTX Super graphics cards released in early July drastically realigned the value proposition for all high-end graphics cards. You can get a lot more for your money with high-end GPUs than you could a scant few days ago. The $400 GeForce RTX 2060 Super delivers performance on par with the original $500 RTX 2070, while the $500 RTX 2070 Super is almost as fast as the original $700 RTX 2080. The Radeon GPUs, meanwhile, outpunch Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 duo at the same price point.
Back to the non-deals. The non-Super version of the GeForce RTX 2070 needs to be on sale for under the RTX 2060 Super’s $400 price point to be worthwhile purchase in this new GPU landscape, and the original RTX 2080 under the RTX 2070 Super’s $500 mark. That’s not happening. Here are the sort of prices we’re seeing as “ deals” instead:
- Zotac RTX 2070 AMP Extreme for $499
- Zotac RTX 2080 for $693
- Asus ROG Strix RTX 2070 for $492
- EVGA RTX 2080 XC Gaming for $665
And so on. Some of these would have been okay deals just a few weeks ago but avoid them like the plague now. Buy one of the new Radeon or RTX Super cards instead to get similar performance for much lower prices.
And watch out when you’re buying gaming desktops, too. We’re seeing prebuilt PCs being sold with GeForce RTX 2070 and 2080 non-Super GPUs at prices that don’t make sense anymore. Laptops are safe, though, as mobile variants of the new paradigm-shifting GPUs haven’t been released yet.
Nobody likes being a sucker. Read our guide to the best graphics cards for gaming if you need to brush up on the new normal, and stay tuned to PCWorld as we surface truly great deals when we see them. There are some worthwhile graphics cards available for cheap. You just have to dig deeper than usual and avoid the misleading sales on GPUs you really shouldn’t buy anymore.
Editor’s note: This article originally published on July 15 as a warning against shoddy Amazon Prime Day deals. We’re still seeing these non-deal “deals” regularly so we updated the article language to remove the Amazon references.