At the end of 2020, Nvidia and AMD released their newest line of graphics cards which are made up of the RTX 3000 series from Nvidia and the RX 6000 series from AMD. These new releases were positively received by many fans due to how much faster they ran than the previous generation’s GPU models. However, one thing was always clear when it came to prices for these newer cards: they are always well above what you would expect them to cost in real life considering manufacturing costs.
AMD had successfully reclaimed its spot among the most powerful competitors in the graphics card market since they released their new line of Radeon RX 6000 series cards. This came about because these new generations matched or exceeded the power and quality of Nvidia’s RTX models, despite being priced lower than them for quite some time. This success wasn’t fully realized, though, as supply problems made it difficult for anyone to purchase an RX card even when they wanted one at all.
Graphics cards are always in high demand and it is not unheard of for them to sell out quickly. Normally, there would be enough supply for both consumers and manufacturers; however, when the graphics card launches reached new heights, this rule was broken. In mere seconds all graphics cards were sold out from all major online retailers – and many people never even had the chance to buy one! With such limited inventory available it became a big problem that would only worsen with each passing day- unlike how things usually go when a new product launches.
As of the time of writing this article, which was published in late April 2021, there has been no improvement whatsoever from where we started. In fact, if anything the situation continues to worsen day by day. Most could argue that things have gotten worse since my first article about a month ago- and I would agree with them at this point. Graphics cards are still scarce and constantly running out of stock; even when new inventory is found- supplies quickly run dry because people know how difficult it will be to find these products again anytime soon. There isn’t just one cause behind the shortage- instead dozens of problems which combined together make things much worse than they were before as far as availability goes. Some of these causes are more serious than others- and we discuss them below
One of the most crucial reasons for the ongoing shortage is that manufacturing itself is slowing down. Past graphics card releases have seen high demands, but when it comes to this recent release – there just aren’t enough out there. There were also reports that many retail stores went on the record about how few cards they had received in the days following launch, which can be quite shocking considering how many places are experiencing shortages.
Nvidia and AMD produce very few GPUs themselves, which explains this. With such a phenomenon, there are many factors at play here. The industry is severely affected by a global silicon and memory shortage, which is a major issue in this situation. Another factor could be the switch over from TSMC’s 16nm to Samsung’s 8nm for manufacturing – as it is well-known that Nvidia may not have been satisfied with their yield rates when making RTX 3000 series graphics cards. If these yield rates were indeed lower than expectations, then there would likely be supply problems throughout all stages of production sequences – which would consequently lead to less product availability across retailers.
Scalping and Bots
Scalping has been given some notoriety because it happens so often in the market. Basically, scalping refers to what happens when someone buys up a bunch of products (like video cards), and then resells them for way more than they paid for them just because there is such high demand for those items right now. Scalping has definitely increased lately because people are desperate for graphics cards that are hard to find or expensive to buy due to how much people want them now.
It’s been hard for single people to find one graphics card when they go shopping online due to these shady scalpers who use bots and scripts to buy up all the product before the average person can. It doesn’t matter how many protections companies put in place – no one seems to be able to stop these jerks from making their own set of rules so they can live lavishly without working just because they were lucky enough to nab some products first.
There are many reasons why prices for PC components such as graphics cards have skyrocketed recently. One of them is due to cryptocurrency miners who eagerly snatch up whatever available graphic card they can find and may buy them in bulk to increase the scarcity. Miners also employ bots or scripts which reserve their new items right off the bat on release day from popular retailers. Even those who just want to sell secondhand products are feeling the impact – buyers no longer want these pre-owned items because they’re mainly interested in what’s newer with higher hashing rates (which makes it difficult for gamers).
In addition to impacting the used market, cryptocurrency mining is becoming an increasingly popular activity amongst gamers who use the latest graphics cards, such as those in Nvidia’s RTX 3000 and RX 6000 series. In order to combat this spike in crypto-mining activity, Nvidia plans to release new graphics cards that will artificially limit their performance when they’re running code designed specifically for cryptocurrency mining. Nonetheless, miners have already figured out how to circumvent these limits with an unofficial driver leak from Nvidia themselves.
Finally, there is the factor of an ongoing global pandemic which has caused significant changes in many industries. The PC hardware industry is among those affected. Although the direct effects of the virus and travel restrictions on this specific industry have been minimal, they have had a major indirect effect as well.
A pandemic has left many people around the world with little to do. The more idle people become, the more they turn to gaming to pass the time. In response, game developers have created new games to keep these bored gamers occupied during their hiatus from work and school. This spike in video game playing has been mirrored by an increased demand for computer equipment; never before have there been so many high-end electronics available on store shelves than right now – just not enough!
This terrible situation was made worse when the world experienced a shortage of silicone, an essential component in every computer. Global supply was down and demand rose exponentially, making it difficult for both Nvidia and AMD to fulfill orders promptly. The problems don’t stop there, either – since silicon is integral to so many other industries (such as the automotive industry), production ground to a halt across the board when manufacturers could no longer get the necessary equipment they needed. Reports show that hundreds or thousands of cars have been abandoned on assembly lines because they couldn’t be manufactured without enough processors!
It is hard to predict the future due to a number of factors. One factor could be if there were a drop in Cryptocurrency value, forcing miners to quickly sell their old inventory on the secondhand market – something that benefits gamers from time-to-time. But this isn’t the answer either; in order for this problem to be solved, we need both AMD and Nvidia to increase their production capabilities so there are enough safeguards against scalping and bots. This way, people who play games would finally have access to new graphics cards without any hassles when going onto various retailers’ sites.
The graphics card shortage is a very controversial phenomenon. There are many factors and speculations as to why this is happening. Some of the most common causes are cryptocurrency mining, demand for higher resolutions and display technology, and the rising popularity of virtual reality. We hope this blog post was able to provide some clarity as to why we are still dealing with a graphics card shortage. If you want to learn more about this topic, please visit our website at ___.