Declining Cryptocurrency Prices Are Making Graphics Cards Affordable Again

The falling price of ether has pushed down graphics card prices.



About a year ago, graphics card prices started to go crazy. Then in early 2018, things got even crazier. The price of a Radeon RX 570—a mid-range graphics card popular for cryptocurrency mining—soared from under $200 in April 2017 to over $450 in February 2018. Over the same period, a high-end RX 580 soared from around $230 in April 2017 to as much as $540 in February 2018.

But since then, graphics-card prices have been falling steadily, according to data collected by PC Part Picker. An RX 570 fell to around $350 by the end of April. And you can now get one for a bit more than $300. An RX 580 now goes for around $330.

When I visited my local Best Buy back in January, the store was asking for $529.99 for a Radeon 580 with 8GB of memory—and the store didn’t even have them in stock at that price. By late April, the same card was available from Best Buy’s website for $419.99. Now, the same card is selling for $339.99.

These cards still have room to fall—they’re still well above the prices of early 2017. But the steady downward trajectory suggests that the insane price increases of late 2017 and early 2018 are over.

A similar pattern can be seen with Nvidia’s GeForce graphics card lines, according to data from PC Part Picker. Nvidia’s high-end GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card peaked at more than $800 in February. It has since fallen to around $600—about the same price as it sold for in early 2017. Similarly, a GeForce GTX 1070 has fallen from around $700 to around $500 over the last five months—just slightly above the $450 or so these cards fetched before the cryptocurrency boom began in mid-2017.

Unsurprisingly, this has come at the same time that ether, the currency of the Ethereum network, has been on a steady downward trajectory.

Ether is only the second-most valuable cryptocurrency, worth far less than bitcoins. But bitcoin mining isn’t economical with graphics cards because the bitcoin mining market has long been taken over by energy-efficient ASICs. So for the last year, the value of graphics cards has been largely driven by the value of ether.


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Author: TIMOTHY B. LEE
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Get Them While You Can Gamers, Graphics Cards Prices Have Crashed

As the exchange rates for all cryptocurrencies declined this year, so did the attraction of GPU mining using graphics cards. As a result, the prices of cards that can be used for both gaming and mining have been cut drastically and levelled off, bringing them back into more affordable territory.


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Bargain Bin

Gone are the days of graphics cards being snatched up in bulk at premium prices far higher than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. The cost of a new card is now tens of percentages lower than they were at their peak just a few months go, and some can even be found at below the listed price.

Looking at the real-time average price charts for representative dual-use cards on trackers like pcpartpicker, we can see that the spikes of the beginning of the year have been almost completely eroded, and prices are now very close to their levels before the craze. For example, the average price of Geforce GTX 1070 Ti went from around $900 at its height to just about $550 today. And if you go looking for bargains you can even find some cards that have dropped by over 50%.

GeForce GTX 1070 Ti (Average price in USD) pcpartpicker.com

 

Manufacturers’ Fears Materialized

While gamers might enjoy seeing miners finally stopping to crowd them out of the market, this must look totally different for GPU manufacturers and their shareholders. Although the major companies repeatedly tried to reassure their traditional gaming customers that they remain their main focus, even going as far as asking retailers to limit the number of graphics cards they sell to miners, hardware manufacturers were riding high on the crypto wave.

According to an analysts report, the top three producers of GPUs (AMD, Nvidia and Intel) have sold more than 3 million graphics cards to cryptocurrency miners in 2017, with revenues reaching $776 million. This is a significant share of their business, and it now appears that they were right to fear that decreasing demand from miners can affect sales this year. Their next quarterly results reports will probably shed more light on the impact.

This Radeon RX 580 card used to go for above $600 just a few months ago, now it’s even below the listed price

Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Avi Mizrahi
Image Credit Shuttershock