In an effort to address the recent hike in GPU prices due to shortage, Nvidia has asked retailers to stop selling its graphics cards to crypto miners. The company is also taking measures it sees fit to ensure the graphics cards sold directly on its website land in the hands of gamers instead of miners.
High-end GPU Prices Now well above MSRPs Thanks to Record high Mining profitability
Cryptocurrency mining has been an ongoing problem for PC gamers ever since it became the craze last year. The past week saw another surge in mining profitability, leading to shortage of popular graphics cards once again. GPU prices have reached all time high, particularly those of the mid and high-end cards.
High-end graphics cards offer a faster rate of mining so they become the best way to mine Ethereum and other ASIC resistent cryptocurrencies. Nvidia’s GTX 1080 Ti models are regularly out of stock through online retailers, or are selling well above the original MSRP. Even Nvidia itself is running out of supply for GTX 1080 Ti and other cards, including the 1080 and 1070 Ti.
The situation is even worse on the AMD side of things. The Radeon RX 570/580 and RX Vega cards are all priced insanely high – two to three folds over the original MSRPs. In fact, RX Vega cards have barely hit the AMD suggested pricing ever since their launch in July last year.
Nvidia wants to sell to Gamers Not Miners
Nvidia is well aware of the current situation of GPU prices and availability. The company has recommended its retail partners to limit orders to two cards per person. In a statement provided to ComputerBase.de, Nvidia said (Google-translated from German):
For NVIDIA, gamers come first. All activities related to our GeForce product line are targeted at our main audience. To ensure that GeForce gamers continue to have good GeForce graphics card availability in the current situation, we recommend that our trading partners make the appropriate arrangements to meet gamers’ needs as usual.
It should be noted that Nvidia can only recommend retailers – it can’t force them to operate their businesses the way it wants. It will be entirely up to retailers whether they follow or ignore Nvidia’s recommendations.
But the real question is, when will GPU prices and availability go to normal? To be fair, we don’t know. It is something that is directly related to the death of the cryptocurrency hype and there is no indication if it’s happening any time soon.
Even at the inflated prices, most graphics cards would be able to pay off in only four months. That paints a pretty bleak picture right for graphics cards availability, and so for those wanting to buy one for gaming. If you’ve any such plans, better put them on hold until the market settles down.