Nvidia’s run of sky-high financial results on the back of soaring GPU prices has come to an end. The company pre-announced second quarter 2022 revenue of $6.70 billion, versus the $8.10 billion the company originally forecast. While bad news for Nvidia, it’s a very hopeful sign that the prices of graphics cards will continue to fall.
Specifically, Nvidia said that revenue form the company’s gaming division fell 44 percent sequentially and 33 percent from the same quarter a year ago, to $2.04 billion. Other segments, including its OEM/prebuilt PC division (down 66 percent, year-over-year) reported mixed results.
“Our gaming product sell-through projections declined significantly as the quarter progressed,” said Jensen Huang, chief executive of Nvidia, in a statement. “As we expect the macroeconomic conditions affecting sell-through to continue, we took actions with our Gaming partners to adjust channel prices and inventory.”
Nvidia will write off approximately $1.32 billion of charges, primarily for inventory and related reserves, based on revised expectations of future demand, the company said. In other words, it’s sitting on a lot of unused GPU inventory. The company said that it had been forced to pre-pay for existing production commitments, which made sense when demand for GPUs was sky-high during the worst parts of the pandemic.
“The significant charges incurred in the quarter reflect previous long-term purchase commitments we made during a time of severe component shortages and our current expectation of ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty,” said Nvidia’s chief financial officer Colette Kress, in a statement.
How Nvidia’s woes benefit PC gamers
What does this mean for you? Nvidia’s choice to write off inventory-related losses means that that the company is likely assuming that a significant portion of its existing inventory at its customers will either not be sold or sold at a significant discount. To help those partners out, Nvidia is working with its partners to either accept lower prices or drive up the value of those cards via bundling, such as with games or peripherals.
In fact, Nvidia is saying as much: “In addition to reducing sell-in, the company implemented pricing programs with channel partners to reflect challenging market conditions that are expected to persist into the third quarter,” the company said in a statement.
So far, it appears that premium graphics cards are receiving the most discounts — as PCWorld’s executive editor Brad Chacos noted, EVGA slashed the price of its GeForce RTX 3090 Ti by a whopping one thousand dollars over the weekend, down to (a still astronomical) $1,149. But most of Nvidia’s midrange GeForce cards aren’t seeing those types of discounts, unlike rival Radeon GPUs. That being said, Nvidia’s spectacular RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition is currently available for its $400 MSRP at Best Buy and has been for an extended duration, something that hadn’t happened previously.
Even more interesting is the fact that rival AMD did not suffer from the same price pressures, apparently. AMD’s revenue in its gaming division climbed 32 percent to $1.7 billion, though the company’s gaming division includes both revenue from semi-custom processors for game consoles and PC GPUs — and while the former increased, the latter did not. It’s fair to say, though, that right now AMD’s presence in the console market is insulating it from the overall downturn in the PC market, which Microsoft said “deteriorated” in June. Intel, of course, recorded an unexpected net loss, too. That said, AMD’s rival Radeon graphics cards have also returned to MSRP (or less) over the last several weeks as demand faltered.
While it might seem unfair to dance to the downturn of the technology industry, it’s also true that, for years, chipmakers enjoyed record profits while their products were snapped up by scalpers and cryptominers. It now seems that the pendulum is swinging back to favor the average tech enthusiast. Check out our roundup of the best graphics cards if you’re looking to finally pick something up without a painful price premium attached.