Now could be the perfect time to get into PC gaming, but newcomers may find it harder than they expect. There's no shortage of good titles, but the same can't be said for the hardware needed to run them.
Last June, we saw GTX 1070 prices spike to up to $700 thanks to cryptocurrency mining, and history is repeating itself. Polygon reports that stock shortages are causing price hikes of up to 80%, mostly in mid-range cards.
Nvidia's GTX 1050 and 1060 graphics cards are also affected, as well as AMD's RX 570, 580, Vega 64, and more. If it's anything like last time, gamers will have to wait at least a few weeks before it boils over.
Crypto-Specific Graphics Cards
Though retailers have been asked to prioritize regular gamers over miners, there's a lot of money in the higher margins. It has caused a push once again for a bespoke line of mining cards to create a more stable atmosphere.
There were previous rumors of both AMD and Nvidia working on this, but nothing concrete has materialized. The idea to is to sell cards without video connectors for a slightly reduced price, separating the markets.
Either way, it's clear that Nvidia isn't happy.
“For NVIDIA, gamers come first,” said the company to Computerbase. “All activities related to our GeForce product line are targeted at our main audience. To ensure that GeForce gamers continue to have good GeForce graphics card availability in the current situation, we recommend that our trading partners make the appropriate arrangements to meet gamers' needs as usual.”
However, for the patient gamer, there's still opportunity. Many used cards are selling well above their RRP. Find the right seller, then wait for prices to go down, and you could buy an upgrade.