NVIDIA Cranks-Up GPU Production To Satisfy Gamers And Booming Cryptocurrency Mining Demand
NVIDIA CEO and founder Jen-Hsun Huang during his company's earnings call brought attention to the woes gamers (and cryptocurrency miners) are facing when attempting to purchase a Pascal-based graphics cards these days. "We're working really hard to get GPU down to the marketplace for the gamers and we’re doing everything to advise retailers and system builders to serve the gamers," said Huang.
He also made it a point to try to shift blame away NVIDIA when it comes to the high prices that gamers are facing when they purchase a brand-new graphics card from an online retailer (or even second-hand via marketplaces like eBay). NVIDIA sets the MSRP for its graphics cards, and those prices remain unchanged. Huang instead reminds everyone that retailers hold all the cards when it comes to the jacked-up prices that we are now facing.
"Demand is great and it’s very likely the demand will remain great as we look through this quarter. So, we just have to keep working on increasing supply," he added. "We have our suppliers who are the world’s best and largest semiconductor manufacturers in the world and they’re responding correctly and I’m really grateful for everything they are doing. We [have] got to do a catch up to that demand, which as such is really great."
Huang went on to boast about NVIDIA's sheer size, especially when compared to the competition (namely, AMD) with regards to the GPU market. "We’re just constrained. Obviously, we’re ten times larger [as a] GPU supplier than the competition. So, I don’t know how to explain this right [other than that] demand is just really great. And so, we just got to keep our nose to it and catch up the demand."
Speaking specifically to the cryptocurrency market, NVIDIA Executive VP and CFO Colette Kress chimed in by stating that demand in the sector "exceeded our expectations." She went on to add that "cryptocurrency mining accounted for a higher percentage of revenue than the previous quarter," which is part of what helped to drive NVIDIA's blockbuster Q4. However, she also warns that we shouldn't be too quick to pour too many resources into the cryptocurrency market.
"Our main focus remains on our core market, as cryptocurrency will likely remain volatile." As we've seen with Bitcoin's fall from grace (and to a lesser extent, Ethereum) over the past few months, cryptocurrency mining remains a fickle segment at this time.
Gamers, who have traditionally been the primary purchasers of NVIDIA's GeForce line of graphics cards, have been gut-punched due to the outrageous prices that products like the GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1060 are commanding these days. The former has an MSRP of $500 and is currently selling for around $950, while the latter is commanding prices closer to $450 -- roughly twice the price it was selling for a year ago.