One of the most interesting things to happen at CES 2022 from a PC gaming perspective was that both AMD and Nvidia finally revealed this generation's sub-$250 graphics cards. While we're still waiting for more specs and performance details about Nvidia's RTX 3050, there are some depressing things to note about AMD's Radeon RX 6500 XT, most especially when you compare it with the $199 Radeon RX 480 AMD launched back in 2016.
The performance increases we've seen in graphics cards over the last few years has been astonishing. We've been treated to the most powerful GPUs ever to grace a PC, slices of graphical silicon capable of pixel-pushing feats we could hitherto only dream of. But that's come at the expense of affordability with even today's third-tier graphics cards costing upwards of $700.
When you put the twin mood-killers of a global pandemic and a global chip shortage into the equation you also get a situation where it's not financially prudent to create lower-priced GPUs that will be in high demand. Not when you can just make expensive products, which are in just as high demand, and watch those fly off the shelves anyway.
So we've had to suffer higher-priced GPUs and an obvious lack of mainstream graphics cards for the normal humans unable to spend their entire bank balance on a new card.
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