The great GPU shortage of late 2020 to early 2022 is a disaster we hope not to repeat. It was caused by a perfect storm of supply chain issues, shipping deadlock, closed factories due to the pandemic, increased demand from gamers, and the nefarious crypto boom. Since Bitcoin is only minable on dedicated ASICs, Ethereum was at the forefront of outrage related to the gaming graphics card scarcity. Fortunately, we should never have to worry about Ethereum mining getting in the way of graphics cards ever again.
The long-anticipated merger is now in effect, meaning GPUs are effectively worthless for mining the second largest cryptocurrency network in the world. Ethereum users now must follow an entirely different system to profit. We are a gaming-centered site, so that’s the extent we’ll speak on the change.
Frankly, we couldn’t receive better news ahead of the upcoming RTX 40 Series and AMD Radeon 7000 Series announcements. You can definitely breath a sigh of relief at this point. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that other cryptocurrencies can still be mined on GPUs. Ethereum was definitely a major culprit though for the GPU shortage that took place. That was due to the particularly inflated value of the currency during the height of the crypto boom. The crypto market is in a depression right now, though, so we should still be in the clear when next-gen graphics cards launch.
And we finalized!
Happy merge all. This is a big moment for the Ethereum ecosystem. Everyone who helped make the merge happen should feel very proud today.
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) September 15, 2022
The crypto crash and oversupply aftermath
A quick look at today’s graphics card prices will show you that crypto definitely had a lot to do with inflated prices. To be fair to AIBs, there were and still are real factors pushing production and delivery costs higher. It’s pretty clear though that companies were fine with selling to the highest bidders for as long as possible instead of honoring MSRPs. It’s also clear that manufacturers pushed as hard as possible to sell greater volume while demand was through the roof.
It apparently caught Nvidia and AIBs off-guard when the crypto market suddenly crashed in early 2022. This has led to a double whammy of sorts that’s greatly impacting graphics card prices. Aside from the massive decrease in demand from miners, there’s also decreased demand from consumers now. The work from home rush combined with economic uncertainty appears to have further impacted volume sales.
There’s one last major factor to tack on now, though. Ethereum crypto miners have not only quit buying graphics cards, they are selling the used cards, too. There are some rock-bottom prices out there, and we’ve noted used RTX 3070s not even selling at Buy it Now prices of $410 USD on eBay.
If you managed to weather the graphics card pricing apocalypse, you should now feel relieved. Anyone in the market for an upgrade has affordable options across wide price ranges between the new and used market. Furthermore, Nvidia and AMD now have to contend with the saturated market once the RTX 40 Series and Radeon 7000 Series launch.