It’s not a good time to be a PC gamer in the market for a new GPU. Cryptocurrency miners continue to hoard graphics cards to more efficiently make money through solving computing puzzles. More GPUs means better ROI and enhanced earnings. Unfortunately, for the average gamer, this means prices for GPUs have skyrocketed. And it doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon.
Cards from both Nvidia and AMD have almost doubled in price at some retailers who are simply unable to keep stock on the shelves. Instead of forking out around £400 for a capable GTX 1070, you can spend anywhere up to £600 for the same card depending on where you look. Same goes for a GTX 1080Ti. Gamers don’t have unlimited funds, which makes this an issue for builds with a stricter budget.
In a basic sense, cryptocurrency miners utilize GPUs (sometimes hundreds of machines running at a time) to solve mathematical problems, which helps authenticate payments and release currency. Because of how these systems work, the more coins released, the more computing power required to mine for more. Hence why miners continue to fork out for more GPUs.
It’s not a good time to build or upgrade a gaming PC.
It’s an issue that’s not easily solved. Nvidia has stated that their GPUs are mainly for gamers, but one cannot disagree that there’s a lot of money in it for not only vendors but also retailers. Miners are laying literal golden eggs. It’s also affecting mid-range and more affordable cards for some reason, just in case you thought about saving some money and skimping on performance.
So what can gamers do? Hunt online, visit local stores and compare pricing. Some gamers may be dropping cards on eBay and other classified sites — it’s all about keeping a watchful eye out.