Back last month, we reported on a curious case of huge graphics card price increases. GPU prices soared under a resurgence in cryptocurrency. Customers mining the currency Ethereum led to a supply and demand issue. Manufacturers did not have enough cards on the market, so graphics card prices went high.
There is now evidence of market normalization and prices even starting to come down. GPU prices are still high, but they are moving in the right direction again. Whether this means the mining boom is over, or whether Ethereum traders are waiting for a lull before another onslaught, remains to be seen.
However, it does seem as though falling prices coincide with a general decline in the value of the cryptocurrency.
A Ethereum mining craze severely damaged the GPU market. Not least for gamers and other customers who make graphics card a normally niche product. Ethereum has been growing in popularity and value for years, but it has exploded in 2017.
|GPU||Starting Price||Cheapest Available Model|
|AMD Radeon RX 550 price||$80|
|AMD Radeon RX 560 price||$100|
|AMD Radeon RX 570 price||$170|
|AMD Radeon RX 580 price||$230|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 price||$110|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti price||$140|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB price||N/A|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB price||$250|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 price||$379|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 price||$500|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti price||$700|
For example, the price of the currency rose from $10 in January 2017 to a peak of $400 in June. The 4000% increase in value meant more people were mining. GPUs or CPUs can be used to extract (or mine) the currency, but most people prefer the former simply because they perform better. With the price of ‘Ether’ increasing, so did the demand for GPUs, causing a market pinch.
Now, Ethereum is on a downward trend towards normalization. There are no signs this is a boom and bust cycle, but merely the currency returning to where it should be. Since the peak $400 value last month, an Ether has slipped in value to around $189 by July 14. Still high yes, 1800% above January in fact, but enough to have an impact on GPU prices.
Reasons for this are many, but laying the finger at over speculation and the increased difficulty of mining Ethereum is a good start. As in the case of Bitcoin, the more Ethereum units are existing already, more computational and thus GPU-power is needed to mine additional ones. In the beginning of July a huge spike in Ethereum mining difficulty took place, accelerating the ongoing price-decline even more.
We are in an odd situation where the GPU market seems to be moving in relation with Ethereum. At the peak last month, Graphics card prices went through the proverbial roof. As we pointed out, it was possible to sell off a previously purchased GPU for more than its original price. Yes, you could make money of graphics cards.
This was obviously fantastic for retailers selling the processors, but less so for normal customers (such as gamers) who wanted to buy them.
Like Ethereum, GPU prices are now declining back towards normalization. They are certainly not there yet, but signs are showing across major online stores that prices are coming down.
Graphic Card Prices Coming Down
Last month, eBay because a place reminiscent of the Gold Rush. Customers were rushing to bid on GPU auction and were paying well over the odds to get old or used cards. While ‘Buy it Now’ prices on eBay remain the same, we are seeing some auctioned GPUs go for less than that dizzy peak a month ago. Ebay Germany has seen a huge increase of GPU-auctions in the last days which could be a sign that wanna-be Ethereum-miners have started to jump off.
At the moment, it is market prediction, but there is enough evidence to show that Ethereum’s gradual slide back to normalcy will allow GPU prices to fall. Once again, graphics cards will become a niche product.