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GPU Prices Are Falling Due to Crypto Winter

Due to the declining crypto market, prices for graphics have dropped considerably. Graphics cards are becoming more affordable for their intended function.

Over the past six months, prices of GPUs which are frequently used for mining Proof-of-Work cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, have dropped significantly.

The most recent models from the RTX 3000 series by Nvidia and the 6000 series by AMD have seen a 50% decrease in price since the year’s beginning, per completed listings data, gathered from eBay. One of the best consumer-grade cards for mining Ethereum, the RTX 3060ti, cost purchasers upwards of $1,000 in January. The same card now sells for about $492 on eBay.

Other cards’ secondary sales exhibit comparable patterns. In recent months, Nvidia RTX 3070 and AMD RX 6800 XT cards have both experienced price drops of more than 50%. Furthermore, more potent cards, like the RTX 3080 and 3090 models, have greater reductions in comparison to their more effective competitors. The most substantial price decline has been experienced by the RTX 3090, which was previously the most potent card in the RTX series. Its price dropped from up to $2,788 in January to an average of $1,106 today.

The RTX 3080 and 3090 models’ prices dropped more dramatically than other models, which may have been due to additional premium pricing unrelated to their use in cryptocurrency mining. While the demand for graphics cards from cryptocurrency miners has driven up prices over the past two years, less mining-efficient graphics cards are also trading at extravagant rates as a result of scalpers taking advantage of shortages in semiconductor supply brought by COVID-19 lockdowns.

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In order to translate computer code into images that can be viewed on a monitor, graphics cards are a crucial component. High-end GPUs enable players to play well-known games in great detail and with cutting-edge effects, but the processors that produce these high quality visuals are also proficient at solving the difficult equations required for some cryptocurrencies’ cryptocurrency mining. Demand for graphics cards skyrocketed in late 2020 as the cryptocurrency market roared to new highs. Cards purchased at the main sale retail price in 2021 may be repaid after around three months of Ethereum mining, when mining would be at its most profitable.

Falling cryptocurrency prices, and hence mining profitability, have now brought relief to the GPU market. Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin, has been the most popular coin to mine using consumer-grade GPUs for years. Since the beginning of the year, the value of Ethereum has plummeted from over $3,600 to just over $1,000, a decline of more than 70%.

Furthermore, in a long-awaited upgrade called “the Merge,” Ethereum will soon convert from a Proof-of-Work to a Proof-of-Stake consensus process, ending the use of GPUs to validate the network and replacing energy-hungry computations with a greener currency staking mechanism. The switch to staking is expected to cut Ethereum’s carbon footprint by a factor of 100 while reducing coin emissions by approximately 90%.