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In a new report, Jon Peddie Research provides some insight into theimpact that cryptocurrency mining has had on AIB sales (add-in board) for the beginning of this year. It goes without saying that AMD, Nvidia and their AIB partners have benefited enormously from the high demand for the best graphics cards.
The consulting firm estimated that 25% of graphics cards shipped in the first quarter of 2021 went into the hands of cryptocurrency miners. This percentage corresponds to approx 700.000 GPU high-end and mid-range gaming. In economic terms, this is a sum that is around 500 million dollars.
Jon Peddie Research, who has been tracking AIB shipments since 1985, noted a significant drop in the link rate (attach rate) between video cards and PCs. The company noted that this metric dropped to 25% before climbing back up to 50%. The company then used a simple formula where using GPUs for mining equals the difference between the normal rate and the existing one. This formula was created assuming that cryptocurrency miners already have their own dedicated configurations and only buy graphics cards, without buying a new system accordingly.
As the company itself claims, for the most part it is true. On the other hand, however, there are also occasional miners who might invest in a complete system for mining cryptocurrencies. Additionally, Jon Peddie Research said his forecast model is not as accurate as previous years due to shortage of components. This has led to the introduction of bots for purchasing GPUs, which are often then resold on eBay, and the increase in the prices of video cards.
Of course cryptocurrency miners aren’t the only reason for the drastic increase in prices: the pandemic also played an important role. Many factories have temporarily closed, disrupting the supply chain. Many components within GPUs such as GDDR6 memory chips have also gone up in price, resulting in an increase in the total cost of video cards. Jon Peddie Research has estimated an increase of up to 70% at the beginning of the year.
To take matters into their own hands, Nvidia has launched its line Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) dedicated to Ethereum and cryptocurrency mining. At the same time it has included an anti-mining limiter in the RTX 3060, RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti version LHR (Lite Hash Rate). Thanks to these two versions, CMP and LHR, there is a market for both miners and gamers who don’t care about cryptocurrencies. Despite this, however, theand GPUs continue to be depleted everywhere and – when availability is found – the prices are insane. Also onused the situation is not rosy: the latest generation video cards are sold at very high prices, about double the retail price. In short, this is not a good time to buy a graphics card.