Whether you’re building your first gaming PC or upgrading to the GTX 1080, there’s some interesting data available from 2015 that captures trends in the GPU market. As others have pointed out, Nvidia has been utterly dominating the gaming market since the launch of the 700 series in 2014. Current estimates put their market share close to 80%. Purchase history from an Amazon referral product, shows the domination continued throughout 2015.
When one product outperforms and moves toward market domination, you can expect it to be priced at a premium to its competitors. In 2015, however, the prices people paid was only slightly higher on average for a GeForce GPU versus a Radeon GPU.
These higher prices on average are likely due to upgrades to the 900 series and the outrageously priced Titan series. It’s also interesting to note that people were buying far more GPUs in the latter-half of the year, which is likely due to the GTX 950 release in August, 2015 and seasonality in purchasing.
Clusters of pricing is generally the result of manufacturer guidelines on pricing for each sub-category of the series. There are some outliers due to purchases of the 780 and 780-ti that were similarly priced to the 980 in 2015. With subtle differences in performance, it makes sense that the price differential was not significant.
I expect that you’ll see significant behavior changes in purchasing in 2016 with the release of the 1080 and major game titles, like Overwatch. The 1080 pre-orders were sold out in 6 minutes on Amazon, so you can bet a lot of people are making the switch as soon as they can afford to!