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Krazychic

Bitcoin Mining Is Driving PC Prices Through The Roof

13 posts in this topic

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If you've got a gaming PC, I hope you like the one you've got. Because upgrading it - or even buying a pre-built one - is going to cost you a veritable fortune right now.

 

Spoiler

Bitcoins and cryptocurrency mining have been around for years, and it's not like this is the first time thirsty investors have driven the price of PC tech up. But over the last couple of months, the growth in all kinds of cryptocurrencies has resulted in an explosion of interest around mining - as well as the PC hardware required to make it work.

 

Like graphics cards.

 

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The above comes courtesy of PC Part Picker, and it shows the average price for a NVIDIA GTX 1060 (6GB model) over the last year. For the most part, prices were fairly stable - and then they took off towards the end of the year.

 

Take the top of the line gaming card, the GTX 1080 Ti. When it first launched, Founders Edition models retailed at a hefty $1099. Those prices dropped a bit once third-party cards came out, and around the middle of last year cards were popping up for closer to $900.

 

But now, you'll be lucky to get a 1080 Ti for its original MSRP. At the time of writing, ASUS, EVGA, MSI or Gigabyte-branded 1080 Ti boards were selling for $1150 or more. Some overclocked editions were retailing for closer to $1300, while ASUS's crown jewel, the ROG Poseidon 1080 Ti, selling for $1495 at a minimum.

 

It's insane, and retailers told Kotaku Australia that the situation isn't likely to get better any time soon.

 

"This crypto stuff is driving up prices like crazy," one vendor, who wished to remain anonymous, said. According to them, prices for some GPUs have risen by as much as 50% in some instances.

 

It's even worse elsewhere, like at Newegg, where overclocked GTX 1070 cards are selling for $1200 or more.

 

Another representative from a major Australian vendor, who asked to remain anonymous, added that they're expecting prices to continue rising. Gamers end up competing directly with cryptocurrency miners for the same hardware, but it's a difficult position because gamers often only want to buy one or two cards, while miners are buying five, six, sometimes up to ten cards in a single hit.

 

"The people I feel most for are our customer service representatives," the vendor said. "[The miners'] argument is that what does it matter if we sell 10 to them or 10 to 10 different people, which of course we all know 10 happy gamers is better for the industry than 1 miner acquiring those cards."

 

And it's not just NVIDIA and AMD gear, either. A shortage in DRAM and NAND shortages has impacted RAM and SSD prices worldwide over the last year, with RAM prices doubling over the last 18 months in some instances.

 

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A chart of average USD prices for DDR4-2400 MHz RAM

 

One positive is that some retailers have negated the impact on prebuilt PCs by maintaining a separate stock of components. That's of little comfort if you're just looking to upgrade an aging GPU, or you need a quick RAM upgrade. It's especially rough if you were looking to get into PC gaming at all, as prices for second hand cards have soared through the roof too.

 

Put simply: if you had dreams of "true" 4K gaming this year, then you'd better win the Lotto. The price-to-performance ratio is completely beyond any realm of sanity right now, and no-one in the industry is expecting it to get better any time soon.

 

Source


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What's dumb is that the card manufacturers are skeptical that mining demand will last, so they're hesitant to produce lots of cards and get stuck holding the bag. Presumably Nvidia is going to launch another set of cards this spring, but I doubt they'll be able to meet demand.

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002 and I have talked about this before, and we remarked how since we've built our computers they've gone up in value. I built my comp a little over two years ago and my gpu and ram have increased in price so much recently that I could sell it used for more than I built it new.

 

I don't know how reliable this claim is, but I've heard that ddr4 ram prices have spiked in part because of demand for phones.

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3 hours ago, WaeV said:

What's dumb is that the card manufacturers are skeptical that mining demand will last, so they're hesitant to produce lots of cards and get stuck holding the bag. Presumably Nvidia is going to launch another set of cards this spring, but I doubt they'll be able to meet demand.

Many vendors are limiting purchases per customer to 1 or 2 cards each to at least slow this down.

 

Also, another possibility that might be even worse: many are worried this "mining bubble" will burst, and if it does, you could have the opposite problem: cards like GTX 1060s, GTX 1070s, and 1080s may flood the secondhand market for absurdly low prices. If a GTX 1170 has the the same or maybe only slightly better gaming performance as a GTX 1070 Ti, but the 1170 is $449 while the 1070 Ti is $350 used, gamers may just get the 1070 Ti.

 

10 minutes ago, Sunstriker7 said:

002 and I have talked about this before, and we remarked how since we've built our computers they've gone up in value. I built my comp a little over two years ago and my gpu and ram have increased in price so much recently that I could sell it used for more than I built it new.

 

I don't know how reliable this claim is, but I've heard that ddr4 ram prices have spiked in part because of demand for phones.

 

Yeah. The 16 GB RAM kit I got for $69.99 is now going for around $220. My GTX 1070 which I got for around $430 is now priced at over $1200. The combined total current price of the RAM and GPU is greater than the total amount I paid for the entire PC in 2016.

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What's dumb is that the card manufacturers are skeptical that mining demand will last, so they're hesitant to produce lots of cards and get stuck holding the bag.

 

This exact thing happened to AMD last time this happened when they ramped up production of hawaii based cards. GPU's cant be whipped up overnight and by the time they are ready to ship them the demand could be long gone.

The longer this goes on the more cards will be in use for mining and as soon as that stops being profitable the card selloff will effectively destroy next gen low/mid-range too.

This really is not sound business for GPU manufactures and the short term sales are nothing compared to what they stand to lose.

 

I went into a local PC store a few weeks ago to look around and they had miners running right in the store. The GPU's were insanely marked up but they seemed happy to sell the ones being used for mining. Completely insane and I did not expect to see this over here. Glad I got a 1080 and 32GB ram when I did.

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4 hours ago, Sceny said:

Oh man. I'm gonna need a small mortgage if I want to upgrade.

higher end parts you may as well sell a car.


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15 hours ago, Vaporeon said:

Glad I got a 1080 and 32GB ram when I did.

Same. I tell myself it was pointless to have gotten 32GB of RAM with how little I do video editing, but now I'm sorta glad. I should also consider selling my 1080 Strix right now for $1,000. I can live off integrated graphics until the next generation or when the 1080 ti drops in price.

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On 1/29/2018 at 3:51 PM, 002 said:

Many vendors are limiting purchases per customer to 1 or 2 cards each to at least slow this down.

Yeah, all the vendors seem afraid to produce enough cards to meet demand. But it looks like Samsung is entering the game:

 

Samsung’s now making chips designed for cryptocurrency mining

 

Bitmain is making WAY too much money designing Bitcoin ASICs, and all that cash might bootstrap them into being actual competition to industry giants. So Samsung is tackling that head-on.

 

Samsung is also looking into designing mining-specific graphics cards. Plus, their GDDR6 process has just about arrived:

 

Samsung is now mass-manufacturing GDDR6 memory for your next GPU

 

Quote

For the first time, Samsung is manufacturing GDDR6 memory in mass quantities. The memory is faster and more efficient than the GDDR5 memory it succeeds, and it will likely appear on PC graphics cards this year. [...] The result should be significantly faster video cards for gaming and other tasks like video processing and Ethereum mining, if you're into that sort of thing.

 

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