We’ve all seen what the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and subsequently the global chip shortage has had on the PC hardware industry. Graphics cards are extremely hard to come by, and when you do, they are extremely overpriced thanks to the shortages, scalpers, and cryptocurrency miners.
However, the impact of crypto miners on the price and availability of graphics cards may not be as significant as you initially think. According to the Jon Peddie Research group, who have been tracking shipments from AIBs since 1985, crypto miners only accounted for 25% of GPU sales in Q1 2021.
That comes to roughly 700,000 graphics cards sold to miners, or around $500 million. Even though it has only accounted for 25% of GPU sales, it still has a significant impact on the prices of graphics cards at the moment.
For instance, one of the main reasons for inflated GPU prices is a shortage of components that includes voltage regulators, capacitors etc. Jon Peddie Research estimated that these components themselves had increased in price by around 70% since the start of the year.
Many have pointed towards an increase in demand for technology as everyone transitioned to a work from home environment, and whilst that is certainly true, JPR argues that it is nowhere near 70%. And so the supply and demand must come mostly from scalpers, speculators, and miners.
The good news is that demand from miners seems to be going down now. Either overall miners are reducing as interest begins to drop for crypto mining, or something else is happening. Either way the trend is slowly going down, and we could be looking at graphics cards starting to return to normal availability and MSRP by the end of the year or early next year.
Then again, some areas of the world are still experiencing terrible pricing and availability of GPUs, with the majority of you answering that things have generally gotten worse compared to a few months ago.
What do you think? Were crypto miners the biggest culprit of GPU shortages and inflated prices? Or was it scalpers or people working from home? Do you think we’ll see GPU prices and availability start to return to normal soon? Or do you think it will be longer? Let us know!