Your gaming on your PC and you notice your Video Card just isn’t cutting it for the latest games out there. I’m playing Assassin’s Creed Origins with a GeForce GTX 950 at the moment. I have to lower the graphics a bit in order to play at a more crisp resolution on my 4k television. Wanting the most out of my games, I begin to look into getting a newer graphics card that can handle the workload I need. I look online and the prices are through the roof! But why? Why are prices for mid to high end graphics cards shooting through the roof? Many of us on PC have asked that question and discovered why. Crypto Miners.
Cryptocurrency Mining and Graphics Cards
Cryptocurrency can be purchased with real money online. However, you can also earn Bitcoin, Litecoin, etc. through “Mining.” Now, this isn’t digging with a pickaxe like in Minecraft. To put it as simply as possible, your computer is helping to solve an equation of sorts with other people who are “mining.” The processing power from your Graphics Card (GPU) is more suited for mining cryptocurrencies than your Central Processor (CPUs like Intel i7). Because of this, Crypto Miners are buying up high-end video cards to build “Mining Rigs” to increase their “hash rate.” They try to find that sweet spot that balances Hash Rate with energy cost. Graphics cards can’t be made fast enough to meet demand. Thus, supply and demand kick in and prices increase.
Nvidia and AMD should make more cards then, right?
One would think that Nvidia and AMD would just increase production of their graphics cards. Perhaps they could just build up their infrastructure to enable them to make more cards. Well, the problem is that they don’t know when demand will stop suddenly or slow down. They don’t want to invest millions, if not billions of dollars on more manufacturing infrastructure. Then, risk the demand for graphics cards suddenly crashing and leaving excess manufacturing machines and even entire factories that will no longer be needed. For some time now, people have tried to come up with a way to fix this problem. It seems that a solution may be on the way.
Crypto Mining Specific Graphics Cards
Crypto Miners are buying all the Graphics Cards that are being built for Gaming PCs. So, lets make a GPU specifically intended for Crypto Mining! Nvidia and AMD are working on Graphics Cards indented for Crypto Mining only. Nvidia has already releasing the P102-100. No excess hookups and additional bells and whistles. Just a card focused on a fast GPU with efficient power consumption. It’s hoped that this will draw Crypto Mining demand away from Graphics Cards intended for Gaming PCs. If this strategy works, prices for Graphics Cards should hopefully fall down to reasonable prices.
Intel’s Bitcoin Mining Hardware Accelerator Chip Patent
Intel has also joined in to fill demands for Crypto Mining hardware. Intel filed a patent around September of 2016 focused on Bitcoin Mining. This chip would be a configurable SoC (System on a Chip). It would offer low-power general purpose processor cores with hardware accelerators specifically intended for mining cryptocurrencies. This chip could also help meet supply and demand for Crypto Mining Rigs. This would free up Graphics Cards for gamers who are looking to upgrade or build their own Gaming Computer.
Graphics Card Prices Will Hopefully Return to Normal
With luck, these Crypto Mining Specific cards and chips will be coming out as soon as possible. Hopefully, Crypto Miners will buy these and inventory for Graphics Cards will return to normal. With this, hopefully the prices will return to normal and we can buy Graphics Cards at a reasonable price. Nvidia “allegedly” estimated that prices may hopefully begin to fall around the 3rd Quarter of 2018. Until then, we’ll just have to save up money to buy overpriced cards or wait it out. So, I guess I’ll just have to wait to upgrade to that GeForce GTX 1060 or better.