If you’ve been shopping around for a new graphics card over the last few weeks, you’ve likely had a very hard time finding any in stock. And if you do find one, it’s probably priced well above the MSRP on a re-selling site like eBay or Craigslist. It turns out that graphics cards, especially the high-end type, are in short supply all around the globe, and PC gamers have the rapidly rising trend of cryptocurrency mining to thank.
The reasoning is fairly simple to understand: since the value of Bitcoin has shot up to new heights in recent months, those fond of mining cryptocurrencies have turned to other types of digital money, like Ethereum, with the hope that they too will see their values skyrocket in the coming weeks. And high-end GPUs are simply the best at mining, with some models able to generate several dollars per day.
The result is that the top of the line graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia are sold out just about anywhere you can look. Usually all that can be found are cheap, low-end GPUs, the kind that just aren’t powerful enough for cryptocurrency mining.
These shortages are creating a situation where aftermarket prices are rising sharply, and even used, good condition graphics cards can be sold for well above their value. Of course, this is making many PC gamers upset, as they’ve found themselves out of options when it comes to building new rigs or upgrading their current machines.
Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060, a graphics card popular with miners, have risen in price from around $275 to $400 in the second half of 2017, but in the current cryptocurrency boom sell for much more. The GTX 1070 has gone from $425 to over $600. Some hobbyists are even making money simply by flipping GPUs themselves, grabbing them used for as cheap as they can and then turning around and marking them up by $100 or more.