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Thanks, GPU shortage: A bottom-barrel graphics card is now an Amazon bestseller

While getting one of Nvidia’s best graphics cards has been nearly impossible this year, the shortage forced many PC users to consider trying out a different GPU: The GeForce GTX 1650.

Despite being slightly dated, the graphics card is currently the best-selling GPU on both Amazon and Newegg. Is this because it’s just that good, or does the unexpected success stem from the ongoing GPU shortage?

Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card inside a PC.

Finding the GTX 1650 on a list of bestsellers is certainly a surprise. The card is 2 years old, and even back when it was first released, it wasn’t the best the market had to offer. When compared to some similarly priced cards from AMD, the GTX 1650 wasn’t as competitive as one might expect.

Whether Nvidia’s GTX 1650 is a great GPU or not is almost beside the point at a time when graphics cards are so scarce. One of the reasons why the GTX 1650 has been so successful is definitely the fact that compared to other cards, the market is relatively saturated with this Turing GPU.

Nvidia and its partners currently produce four different versions of the card, including models with GDDR5 or GDDR6 memory. The GDDR6 models are obviously superior thanks to much greater memory bandwidth, but surprisingly, this isn’t always reflected in the price. Nvidia also utilizes three different dies in the GTX 1650 models that it releases, including TU117, TU106, and TU116.

Branching out into using different dies likely allows Nvidia to produce the GTX 1650 on a much larger scale than some of its other units. As a result, more cards make it to the market, and that alone ensures they will be selling in greater quantities than the newer cards that are so difficult (and expensive) to get.

Although it was never part of Nvidia’s latest and greatest, the GTX 1650 still manages to fill a void in the GPU market left behind by the seemingly never-ending chip shortage. For everyone but the most demanding gamers, it can stand its ground in modern titles, and it is perfectly sufficient for 1080p gaming. However overpriced thanks to scalpers, the GTX 1650 continues to be an affordable way to build a gaming PC without waiting for months on end just to buy an Nvidia RTX 30-series graphics card at 300% of its MSRP.

Zotac GTX 1650 ITX

Nvidia’s GTX 1650 started with an MSRP of $150, so it was quite affordable from the get-go. It’s not surprising that right now, its price is considerably higher. Customers need to be prepared to spend around $300-$400 in order to get a GTX 1650 for their new build. For example, there’s this Asus TUF model with 4GB of GDDR6 memory on Amazon for $399 and this MSI Ventus GTX 1650 on Newegg for $350, which is Newegg’s current #1 bestseller.

The card’s market success was first reported on by Tom’s Hardware. The publication also pointed out that there are graphics cards currently for sale that offer better value for the money, but they do require a larger initial expense. One such example is this Radeon RX 6600 graphics card on Newegg, priced at $560, which is far more powerful than the GTX 1650.

Whether it currently offers great value or not, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 definitely offers something that other Nvidia cards do not: It’s available right now, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to buy, and it can play many games on decent enough settings. Perhaps in the dire times of the GPU shortage, that is all it takes for a 2-year-old card to conquer Amazon and Newegg.

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Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
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