Computing giant Asus says demand from cryptominers for consumer graphics cards is ‘disappearing’, even though it expects its desktop PC shipments to drop 10%, motherboard shipments and graphics cards down 10-15% from the previous quarter.
As reported by The Register, Asus co-CEO SY Hsu said on the company’s first-quarter earnings call that the drop in demand was likely caused by the company’s intent. crypto industry to move away from GPU-based mining to Ethereum, the second most popular cryptocurrency in the world behind Bitcoin.
“Because the demand for cryptocurrency mining on GPU shipments is slowly decreasing, the demand for graphics cards in the market is normalizing,” he said.
The lack of interest from miners likely has very little to do with the current crypto market crash (Ethereum price fell to $1,770 this week from $4,600 in November 2021), though it may also provide some benefits for PC gaming and community building.
Existing mining farms might be looking to sell their existing hardware to recoup some cash, so we can expect an influx of cheap and used graphics cards to flood the market, although it’s usually a buy risky given the intensity of their operation during mining.
Still, even without used GPUs flooding sites like eBay or the Facebook Marketplace, we can expect PC gamers to encounter less competition from cryptominers in the coming months, which should help getting the GeForce RTX 3080 you might be looking at.
Graphics cards are back on the shelves
Mining Ethereum using trade cards is no longer as viable as it used to be now that the cryptocurrency has started to transition to proof-of-stake, from the previous proof method previously used by Bitcoin.
Simply put, proof-of-work is a method of validation where computers compete to be the first to solve complex puzzles, which left room for miners to use warehouses full of consumer graphics cards to solve these puzzles. The winner can update the blockchain with the latest verified transactions and is rewarded with crypto as payment.
Proof of Stake instead uses validators to find a block based on the number of tokens they hold, eliminating the need to solve these “puzzles” so when it was previously profitable to mine Ethereum , it will soon be inefficient to do so then.
micro_center_stock from r/pcmasterrace
Huge improvements have already been seen in the global GPU market in recent months, with stock readily available on shelves and often around MSRP. That’s a far cry from last year, when people had to line up around several blocks if they wanted to try and buy a card at a physical store.
With the market stabilizing, we could see a flood of used GPUs and the anticipation of next-gen Nvidia Lovelace and AMD RDNA3 graphics cards driving prices down further, so while you might find cards like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 are even more expensive than they should be, they are becoming more and more affordable with each passing month.
Analysis: We are not quite out of the woods yet
It was nearly impossible to find most of the best graphics cards available for purchase over the past two years due to global chip shortages, a wider supply chain crisis in ports around the world and demand for consumer technologies putting even more pressure on the availability of semiconductors. that AMD and Nvidia need for their products.
Cryptominers certainly haven’t been the biggest problem, but they have caused competition over what little stock is available, with some buying the available stock in bulk using bot software. Ultimately, Team Green has implemented measures to make its consumer graphics cards less desirable for those hoping to use them to mine currencies such as Ethereum.
The biggest risk here is that there are still other currencies available that use a proof-of-work system, and while these don’t share the same value as ETH last year, it’s enough that the one of them is skyrocketing for mining to become viable again.
Earlier this week, we saw that the LHR (low hash rate) versions of Nvidia’s RTX 30-series graphics cards were finally fully unlocked by mining software called Nicehash, restoring each card’s respective mining capabilities. . with the limiter as a deterrent.
For now though, many of the previous issues that caused the big GPU drought have been resolved, with production and supply improvements reducing the need to fight for a small pool of available stock. If you want to pick up a graphics card at its expected retail price (or in some cases, lower), now certainly seems like a good time to do so, before the next generation of GPUs see a surge in demand again.