The rise in adoption of the console has always kept many away from the ever-popular world of PC gaming. Triple-A game developers’ push for uniformity in their production of cross-platform games, away from console exclusivity, has enabled the PC to be the favorite among varying styles of gamers.The PC offers the highest possible resolutions at the highest frame rates using the most advanced (and expensive) peripherals, hence its popularity. PCs however, vary in power, capacity, and components, which allows for rigs to vary widely in price.
One of the most sought out as well as costly PC components is the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU); manufacturers such as AMD and NVIDIA mass produce GPUs for the use by the major gaming demographic, with varying trims and price. In recent years however, there has been a rising trend known as cryptomining. Cryptomining is the use of GPUs to “mine” cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum that also have been part of their own boom in both popularity and sky-high selling prices. The practice of cryptomining has created an unprecedented extreme demand for high-tier graphics cards. The demand has mainly affected avid members of the PC community, particularly those who build custom gaming PCs. Custom PC building is a popular practice among the community and the demand for GPUs from cryptominers has caused prices to skyrocket to over double their regular selling price.
Both manufacturers and retailers are almost always sold out or backordered. People who cryptomine tend to buy GPUs in bulk, usually as part of a large investment for potential promising returns from the cryptomining. The remaining available cards are usually sold by third-parties such as resellers or customers selling them after the cards’ value rises after the time of purchase.
Nonetheless, the cryptomining boom is seen by the gaming community as a temporary bump in the road, hoping demand lowers over time, returning GPU prices to a relatively stable state.