Over the past couple of months, PC gamers are at a rage as the market saw a sudden drop in graphics card availability. Many PC enthusiast and gamers found it quit difficult to get or buy even the entry-level graphics cards from known brands.
The reason for this is the sudden boom in cryptocurrency mining. Specifically that of Ethereum or Ether.
From April to June this year, Ethereum has become so popular that it more than doubled its price in the market. From a mere $150 at the start of April, the cryptocurrency skyrocketed to nearly $400 per ether. Unfortunately, immediately after that, the price of Ethereum dropped dramatically.
What is Ethereum and how does it affect supply of graphics cards?
As mentioned, Ethereum is a new kind of cryptocurrency. Similar to Bitcoin, Ethereum exist only in the digital world and can be mined by a computer. However, the thing that makes it different from Bitcoin is that it is immune to application-specific integrated circuits that are used to mine Bitcoins. In short, it uses a different mathematical model.
In case many of you are wondering, Ethereum is designed to perform best on standard processors like the ones from Intel and AMD. Furthermore, the calculations for mining Ethereum also relies very much on the number of physical cores of the system as well as the size of the memory. This is the main reason why many computers nowadays are being used to mine Ethereum. This is also the reason why there is a shortage of video cards in the market.
Months before the boom of mining for Ethereum, cryptocurrency miners discovered that common graphics cards are best used for mining the digital currency. What is more, the better your graphics card is, the more you can earn in mining.
This discovery led to a new “gold rush” as more and more miners setup Ethereum mining rigs with off-the-shelf graphics cards. As an effect to this causality, the market is now experiencing a massive shortage of graphics cards. Something that gamers are so mad about these days.
Fortunately, this is about to change and soon too.
Ethereum value on the decline
After June, Ethereum saw a massive drop in price. This made it quite unprofitable for miner to operate their graphics card mining rigs. At the peak of the mining craze, a decent mining rig can earn as much as $5 a day. Now, miners are getting less than $2 per day on Ethereum; with electricity cost considered. In addition to the drop in price, mining for Ethereum has become quite difficult since the start of July. Some graphics cards have experienced noticeable performance loss as the size of Ethereum Directed Acyclic Graph file increased.
This sudden slump of Ethereum price is what is driving miners to sell their rigs as early as possible. This is done so they can still recover their investment while there is still time.
Because of this, PC gamers should expect a sudden influx of graphics cards in the market, albeit second hand. Nevertheless, anyone thinking of setting up a gaming rig with an AMD Radeon RX 580 graphics card will be able to do so in the coming months. This goes for other graphics cards as well. Expect to see an AMD RX 480 or an NVIDIA GTX 1060 in the secondhand market in the next few months.
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