For buyers looking to build a new gaming PC, high SSD and RAM prices are a pain, but the futility of searching for a graphics card on sale for less than double its suggested price is even more crippling. If you're after a whole new machine, you might be in luck, as long as you live near a Micro Center. The US PC gamer's favorite brick-and-mortar retailer has announced that it will sell graphics cards at prices "well below the market" if you're buying a whole system's worth of parts simultaneously.
If you're not familiar with Micro Center, the electronics retailer is known for offering big discounts on its already-low prices if you walk into a physical location and buy a couple of parts together. Unlike a lot of retailers, you don't have to buy a pre-made bundle. For example, Micro Center will give you $30 off of almost any CPU with a compatible motherboard. In this case, buying a CPU, motherboard, RAM, and power supply along with your graphics card will net you a sharply-discounted price on your pixel-pusher.
PC Gamer reports that it contacted three Micro Centers and was told that customers can expect "MSRP or close to MSRP" pricing on their graphics card when purchased in this manner. The site goes on to say that making such a purchase will require approval from the store manager due to the large discount involved. Micro Center's regular graphics card pricing is more or less in line with the rest of the industry right now. That is to say that something like this EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB card will run you nearly $400.
Folks interested in getting such a deal will have to hope that their local Micro Center actually has cards in stock. Reddit's hardware subs have been flooded recently with photos of empty shelves at stores like Micro Center, Fry's Electronics, and other retailers. It's unclear if Micro Center is still upcharging graphics cards when purchased in bulk. We contacted the Houston location and are waiting on a call back. We'll update the story if we hear more.