NVIDIA Gaming Revenue Doubled In Q1 While Data Center And Crypto Also Saw Strong Gains

Jensen Huange
NVIDIA is crushing it, and doing it at a time when the supply of silicon—and, by extension, GPUs—is falling way short of demand. The GPU maker raked in a record $5.66 billion in revenue during the during its first quarter of fiscal 2021, the lion's share of which came from gaming sales and the data center, both of which saw massive gains.

"We had a fantastic quarter, with strong demand for our products driving record revenue," said Jensen Huang, found and CEO of NVIDiA.

Calling it a fantastic quarter is an understatement. In terms of overall revenue, NVIDIA saw a sizable 84 percent gain compared to the same quarter from a year ago. Likewise, NVIDIA increased its data center revenue by 79 percent to $2.05 billion. The biggest gain, however, came from its gaming products, which amassed $2.76 billion in revenue, up a whopping 106 percent year-over-year.

NVIDIA Quarterly Revenue Trend
Click to Enlarge (Source: NVIDIA)

All three segments—overall, data center, and gaming—posted record earnings. No doubt the pandemic played a role, particularly with gaming dollars, as people find ways to entertain themselves while quarantined. But credit should also go to the leap NVIDIA made with its GeForce RTX 30 series.

What's particularly interesting about how well NVIDIA's gaming segment performed is that it is incredibly difficult to find a graphics card stock from a first-party seller. Part of the reason is because cryptocurrency miners are buying the same GPUs as gamers. This is why NVIDIA began selling CMPs specifically for professional mining operations.

During an earnings call with investors, NVIDIA's Colette Kress acknowledged that the company expects to see an increase in CMP sales, but that most of its growth will come from the data center and gaming, as reflected in the aforementioned numbers.

That said, NVIDIA is benefiting from crypto-mining—CMP products generated $155 million in Q1, and looking ahead, NVIDIA anticipates that figure to more than double to $400 million in Q2. However, Huang says the production of CMPs "doesn't take away from the supply of GeForce" GPUs, but rather "protects our GeForce supply for gamers."

"I think that the experience we're going through is going to last a while. And so, one I hope that crypto will—the CMP will steer our GeForce supply to gamers. We see strong demand and I expect to see strong demand for quite some time," Huang added.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out, as there are factors at play. For one, China is cracking down on cryptocurrency, which is affecting Bitcoin and Ethereum prices. Granted, specialized ASIC hardware is used to mine Bitcoin these days, but it is not unusual to mine other cryptocurrencies with GPUs and essentially trade them for Bitcoin.

And secondly, Ethereum is embarking on a transition to a proof-of-stake model to generate enormous power savings, and that could make it pointless to hoard graphics cards form mining that specific cryptocurrency.

Regardless of what happens, NVIDIA appears to be in excellent shape going forward.