Evetech recently released its pricing for Nvidia’s newly announced RTX 30 Series graphics cards, with the cheapest GeForce RTX 3070 starting at R15,500.
Performing a direct conversion from Nvidia’s recommended retail price of $499, even factoring in South Africa’s value-added tax of 15%, results in Evetech’s prices being over R5,800 more expensive than expected.
The disparity between the US dollar recommended retail price and the local list price in rand is more notable on the more expensive GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 cards.
It should be noted that Titan-Ice has also released pricing for the new GeForce 30 Series cards, which is in line with Evetech’s prices.
This raises several questions, such as whether graphics cards prices have increased and if retailers are price gouging on the first batch of RTX 30 Series cards to land in South Africa.
To investigate these questions, we compared the launch prices of several major Nvidia (and 3DFX) graphics cards over the past 22 years.
These prices were adjusted for inflation, using data from Stats SA.
For additional comparison, we also adjusted historical prices by the annual change in the rand-dollar exchange rate.
The cheapest variants of each GeForce 30 Series card listed on Evetech are as follows:
- GeForce RTX 3070 – R15,499
- GeForce RTX 3080 – R20,599
- GeForce RTX 3090 – R39,499
Prices for graphics cards released between 1998 and 2014 are sourced from the NAG magazine archives.
Nvidia graphics card prices vs inflation – 1998 to 2020
The chart below shows the inflation-adjusted prices of Nvidia graphics cards over the years. Lines begin in the year that a card was released.
This chart is useful for comparing the prices of graphics cards while taking into account the effect of inflation.
For example, if you ranked Nvidia graphics cards only by their South African launch price then newer cards would generally outrank older cards.
However, if you adjust the launch price of older cards by inflation to get an estimate of how much that GPU would cost today then a different picture emerges.
The chart shows that GeForce RTX 20 Series and 30 Series cards are the most expensive Nvidia GPUs in real terms since the launch of the GeForce 8800 GTX in 2006, the GeForce 2 Ultra in 2000, the GeForce 4 Ti in 2002, and the GeForce 9800X2 in 2008.
Nvidia graphics card prices in South Africa vs US dollar and inflation – 1998 to 2020
The chart below plots prices that have been adjusted for inflation and annual fluctuations in the rand-dollar exchange rate.
For the purposes of this comparison, we used the ZAR-USD exchange rate on the last available day of the year in the data kept by the Reserve Bank.
This comparison serves to illustrate how much more expensive the GeForce RTX 3080 is than expected, since it has the same recommended retail price as the GeForce 1080 Ti when it launched – $699.
When the GeForce 1080 Ti launched in South Africa in 2017, it sold for around R13,000 at retail. Adjusted for inflation, and even taking into account the significant weakening of the rand in 2018 and 2020, that comes out to around R17,800 today.
The RTX 3080 is set to be at least R2,800 more expensive than these adjustments would predict, with the ASUS TUF GAMING GeForce RTX 3080 selling for R20,600 at Evetech and Titan-Ice.
While the rand has weakened since the launch of the RTX 2080, and Nvidia has increased the price on its Ti models since the 1080 Ti in 2017, even when these factors are taken into account, the listed retail prices of GeForce RTX 30 Series cards in South Africa are disproportionately high.
MyBroadband asked Evetech about its pricing on RTX 30 Series graphics cards, but the company did not respond by the time of publication.