Despite the silicon shortage, graphics card shipments recorded a 25 percent increase this year, raising questions about the impact of scalping and crypto mining
A report by Jon Peddie Research raises serious questions about the ongoing global silicon shortage and the current pricing situation for consumer graphics cards. According to the JPR report, AIB graphics card shipments increased by nearly 26 percent between 2020 and 2021, with NVIDIA and AMD shipping over 12.7 million cards, over a million more than last year.
This news comes at a time when pricing for cards like the Ampere GeForce RTX 3080 and RDNA2 RX 6800 XT remains at 200-300 percent above MSRP, depending on the market. The significant growth in GPU supply hasn't been accompanied by reduced consumer level prices, raising questions about exactly where those cards are going.
Both scalpers and cryptocurrency miners have alternatively been blamed for keeping prices up, and it is possible that, despite a reasonable supply of GPUs from foundries, the lion's share of AIB boards are being snapped up by miners or resellers. Sapphire's recently uncovered move to sell RDNA2 GPUs at reduced rates to miners is indicative of what might be happening to GPUs that could've otherwise ended up in consumer hands.
With cryptocurrency mining remaining hugely popular despite pricing volatility, the issue with the consumer GPU market might not be due to silicon availability at all. It could be because miners have replaced PC gamers as the target market for AIB cards.
Update yourself on GeForce RTX 3080 availability here on Amazon.