Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

High-End Video Card Shortage: Caused by Cryptocurrency Mining?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 19, 2017

This is news to me. Apparently over the last couple of months, high-end video cards (like the NVidia 1070 and 1080) became scarce and their price inflated. Why? Mainly because the extremely powerful GPUs can be used to mine cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, which has skyrocketed in price.

PC World: AMD, Nvidia coin mining graphics cards appear as gaming GPU shortage intensifies

This both intrigues and frustrates me. Frustrates, because it impacts me as a gamer and with my day job. As a gamer and game developer, this will slow the adoption of the high-end VR-capable cards.  And with my day job, it’s going to make sourcing these a bit slower and more expensive. *Grumble grumble*. It’s going to be a frustrating year or two until this bubble pops.

However, this fascinates me because this is full-on cyberpunk fantasy that we could only barely imagine back in its heyday. Cryptocurrency… a cryptographically-protected, decentralized, extra-governmental, hard-to-track method of exchange? Using super-high-end graphics processors to perform the intense calculations necessary to perform the validations on transactions in a massive distributed-economic system? As the line from William Gibson’s short story, “Burning Chrome” goes, “The street finds its own uses for things.” Especially when there’s money in it.

Okay. Cyberpunk was never really a happy place, anyway. And the equivalents of my 1070 card are selling for what the 1080s sold for when I bought it. Ah, well. If you were waiting to jump in on the more powerful cards, you may want to wait a while longer, at least until Etherium starts topping out in price.

Filed Under: Tech - Comments: 2 Comments to Read

  • Darius said,

    I’m glad I got mine when I did. Who would have ever expected a day to come when waiting to buy computer hardware actually meant you paid more.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    NO KIDDING! It’s been a year. I wouldn’t have expected a huge price-drop, but a price spike?