It’s no secret that the best graphics cards are nigh on impossible to find, especially not at MSRP from a reputable seller due to the prolonged shortage of graphics cards we’ve been experiencing.
For those of us who grew up tinkering with our gaming PCs, we really had our hearts set on setting up an RTX 3080 and going to town on the best PC games, max settings, 4K resolution, works .
Circumstances seem to have charted a different course for us and many of us have found ourselves in the PC gaming wasteland as our older Geforce GTX 1050s and Radeon RX 480s begin to wear out in Old Villedor.
That doesn’t have to be our end, though; there are options, although moving forward often means having to leave something behind.
Buy a gaming laptop
I made the case for gaming laptops earlier this week and heard several readers say they were considering ditching the older gaming rig in favor of a slimmer laptop with a powerful GPU. mobile.
Honestly, sometimes I felt like I was confessing. Well, I’m here to absolve you, child, it’s okay. Change is not only necessary, it is often good as well as bad.
Today’s best gaming laptops are more powerful than they’ve ever been, and even a modest mid-range gaming laptop coming out on a gaming monitor is going to outperform that old one. Analytical Engine you blew under your desk.
Getting the best graphics card you could afford probably meant upgrading your case power and cooling solution so that a $700 graphics card can suddenly become a $1000 card without even touching the rest of your setup. This assumes you can get any card you want at MSRP, which is pretty much a joke.
Do you know what you can get at MSRP? A gaming laptop with the latest mobile GPUs that are damn powerful, so you can upgrade everything in one go and have something you can take with you on the road.
There’s no shame in a pre-built PC
If you’re just not ready to commit to a gaming laptop just yet that will have limited upgrade options at best, there’s another option that might be more suitable for your needs. You’re not going to like this, but hear me out.
I know, I know, a pre-built PC is the kind of thing your parents have to buy because a bus is just something they take to work in the morning.
Well, I’m here to tell you that getting old sucks, but it’s inevitable. Sourcing the latest computer components pretty much means you’ll have to write your own automated bots to fight profiteering botnets on your behalf to even stand a chance of getting a graphics card at MSRP.
You know who doesn’t need to do that? Manufacturers who have existing relationships with board manufacturers to fit into their pre-built PCs. Sorry, the best gaming PC right now won’t be the one you build yourself; that’s just the reality of today’s market, unless you have a bunch of Bitcoin to cash out and burn like the planet is on fire (which is partly due to all that cryptomining).
Yeah, it shouldn’t come to that, but learning to code retail robots is game for youngsters. I’m more interested in gaming, and if that means buying a new computer to get the system I want, then that’s pretty much what we’re left with.
We can rage against fate all we want, but fate doesn’t care, nor do scalpers and Ethereum miners. If you’re going to pay a premium for that graphics card, you might as well upgrade the whole computer while you’re at it.
Streaming is always an option
If you have a decent enough internet connection, GeForce Now is a viable option for games you want to play but can’t run on your current platform.
GeForce Now has an RTX 3080 tier where you can subscribe for $99.99 / £89.89 for six months. That should get you three and a half years of RTX 3080 streaming for the MSRP of the card itself, and you can play from any compatible computer with a fast internet connection.
No, it’s not the ideal solution (although GeForce Now is pretty awesome), but you need a life jacket right now when you’re drowning, rather than needing a boat in a week . Until this graphics card shortage subsides, we all need to hold on to whatever driftwood we can find here.