Skip to main content

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.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

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
Image used with permission by copyright holder

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.

Editors' Recommendations

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…
Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti vs. AMD RX 7900 XT: Two odd choices for your next GPU
The RTX 4070 Ti graphics card on a pink background.

Nvidia's RTX 4070 Ti is here, which means that the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT has a direct competitor now. Comparing AMD to Nvidia is never overly straightforward, but it can be done. Benchmark results speak for themselves, and we've got plenty of those, all based on our own thorough testing of both cards.

While the RTX 4070 Ti and the RX 7900 XT are not some of the best graphics cards on the current market, they certainly fill important roles by offering gaming at a more affordable price -- at least in theory. Below, we'll talk about which of these GPUs is the better option if you're looking to upgrade your PC.
Pricing and availability

Read more
AMD RX 7900 XTX vs. Nvidia RTX 4090: the ultimate flagship GPU battle
RX 7900 XTX lying on a textured background.

AMD's latest Radeon RX 7000-series is Team Red's response to Nvidia's RTX 40-series. For Nvidia, the current reigning leader of the pack is the RTX 4090, an expensive, but immensely powerful GPU. In the case of AMD, we have two cards sitting near the top -- the RX 7900 XT and the RX 7900 XTX. How does AMD's new headliner, the XTX, compete with Nvidia's flagship?

If you're wondering which GPU will reign as the best of the best, you've come to the right place. We've tested both cards extensively and we know the answer.
Pricing and availability

Read more
How Nvidia tricked everyone into buying a $1,600 GPU
The RTX 4080 logo on a pink background.

Nvidia's RTX 4090 is intensely powerful, but at the first glance, it's hard not to call it overpriced. Spending upwards of $1,600 on a graphics card is a lot, especially if you consider that you can build an entire gaming PC for the same amount of money.

Of course, the flagship RTX 4090 only sounds like a rip-off until you look at the $1,200 RTX 4080. Has Nvidia really managed to trick us into thinking that a $1,600 GPU is a great deal?
Nvidia's RTX 4090 is a beast with a scary price

Read more