If you’re one of the millions of people who have tried—and failed—to purchase a new graphics card this year, you probably already know this tale of tech woe. As the supply squeeze for semiconductors trundles on through the first half of 2021 with no signs of slowing, many buyers simply have no good way to get their hands on a new GPU at a reasonable price. (After all, who wants to resort to renting a bot?)
Supply-side semiconductor shortages, rises in the value of cryptocurrencies, and an overall increased demand for electronics during the COVID-19 pandemic have all converged to send GPU prices shooting far north of their proposed list prices—if you can find certain models at all. So if you’re not content to support the scalping economy (and its absurd prices), until some semblance of normalcy returns you need to know: What tricks and techniques can you use to squeeze the most out of a card you already own?
Let’s check out some of the most common options for gamers who are waiting for that elusive dose of sanity to heal the GPU market. It may take a while.