It's a terrible time right now for gamers and DIY PC enthusiasts who are looking to build up a new gaming PC. The problem isn’t that the hardware available now is sub-par; we have some fantastic CPUs and GPUs on the market. Unfortunately, as it has been widely reported, the problem is that cryptocurrency miners are gobbling up all the graphics cards, leaving many gamers unable to find a card for an even remotely reasonable price. When you can find a graphics card, the prices are usually multiple times higher than MSRP. The problem is that supply right now isn't meeting the demand and there are several reasons why, according to a retailer that spoke directly with NVIDIA on the matter.
A buying manager at Massdrop called B.Hutch has offered up some details on what is going on with retailers and NVIDIA behind the scenes. B.Hutch wrote, "NVIDIA was here at Massdrop HQ a couple of weeks ago re-confirming what we already know. There is a couple of reason why there is a shortage and also such a high demand
The first reason relates to a shortage of memory for video cards right. Apple and Samsung, along with other smartphone makers, are consuming the same type of memory for smartphones and tablets as NVIDIA needs for its GPUs. The catch is that Apple, Samsung, and these other smartphone makers are willing to pay more for the memory, leaving less for graphics card manufacturing. That shortage means fewer video cards can be made by all NVIDIA partners including MSI, Gigabyte, Asus, EVGA, and others.
The other reason cited for the shortage is one we've already talked about at length here -- cryptocurrency mining. Ethereum, Bitcoin and other miners are gobbling up all the cards, thus driving up demand and prices overall. Massdrop also says that NVIDIA shared some detail on how long it thinks this shortage could last.
B.Hutch wrote, "While NVIDIA was here they also let us know that the pricing in the market will continue to go up through Q3 of this year most likely before we start seeing any type of relief. So,
This calls into question speculation on when exactly NVIDIA might launch its next generation consumer GPU, code-named Ampere. It was previously rumored that Ampere would be arriving around the April time frame, which doesn't coincide with the "Q3" commentary here that allegedly came right from the horse's mouth. Perhaps Q3 is when we might see a Volta consumer variant based on HBM2? It's anyone's guess but the commentary that Q3 will bring some pricing relief is interesting to ponder.
Regardless, Massdrop also promises to continue to list all the video cards that it can sell to the community. The company also warns that pricing will likely be above MSRP, but the merchant is only marking them up enough to "barely cover
B.Hutch wrote, "Why should Massdrop offer these cards above MSRP? Well, there are still customers who want to build computers now and not wait 6, 9, 12 months for the market to stabilize. So as long as I can bring them a better deal than what is currently available I will continue to do so. That being said MSRP is kind of out the window at this point so keep your eye on market price VS Massdrop as you will not see any cards out there anywhere close to MSRP for a while to come. "
While the high demand and short supply are bad for gamers and might frustrate NVIDIA, the demand has been a good thing for Team Green's bottom line. NVIDIA absolutely destroyed its earnings goals in the most recent quarter thanks in part to high demand for its consumer GPUs.