Cryptocurrencies are driving up the price of GPUs
If you’ve been paying attention to the graphic’s card market lately, you may have noticed a frustrating trend. Starting in about December of last year, the price of GPUs started to go up while supplies dwindled. Mid-range cards such as the GTX 1080 normally go for around $500, but many online retailers are selling it and similar cards for more than twice that price. The reason for this price increase is simple supply and demand and driving that demand is the recent cryptocurrency boom.
The current leader in the cryptocurrency market, bitcoin, requires specialized hardware to efficiently mine tokens some of the smaller coins such as XRP and Etherum can be mined with standard GPUs. This has led to cryptocurrency miners buying up large supplies of GPUs often driving up the price for gamers seeking to upgrade or build their own PC.
In the short term this boom might seem like a good thing for AMD and Nvidia, the companies know that their main customers are gamers. As such, Nvidia recently spoke out regarding the price gouging and requested their retailers to prioritize gamers over cryptocurrency miners. One of the ways in which Nvidia recommended retailers curb rising prices was to limit sales of GPUs to two per customer. Of course, ultimately Nvidia has no power to force retailers to obey its recommendations.
That being said, there are rumors that Nvidia and AMD may take more drastic steps to address this problem. Of the proposed solutions is the release of miner-focused cards. These GPUs would be sold at a lower price point than traditional GPUs, but would feature no display connectors. This would make the cards useless for gaming, but they would be perfect for mining cryptocurrencies and might help curb the steep prices we’re seeing.
For now, though, such cards remain rumors, but hopefully, something will be done about the high price of GPUs as it is getting to the point where it is cheaper to buy a computer than build your own.
Eric is an avid tech junkie, gamer, and comic fan. When he's not working on his PC, you'll find him at your local comic book shop.