New research suggests that prices for high-end graphics cards – coveted by both cryptocurrency miners and gamers alike – are falling.
The research was conducted by John Peddie Research, a tech marketing and consulting firm based in California. As tech publication Computerworld reported on Tuesday, the report shows higher-priced products from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Nvidia have dropped significantly from their highs experienced earlier this year.
For example, according to Jon Peddie Research, the price of an OEM 4GB RX 580 six-pack – a top-notch GPU from Advanced Micro Devices – was $3,600, having completely sold out as of April. But that product is available on the market for $2,500, a reduction of $1,100.
"We have predicted a drop in [application specific processors] as [cryptocurrency] prices dropped," C. Robert Dow, manager of digital media at Jon Peddie Research, said in an email to the publication, adding:
"The cost to run the mining rigs is not insignificant, so when the price for the currencies drop..., people will run rigs and choose to dump AIBs [add-in-board] on the secondary market hoping to recover some cost."
Meanwhile, the research's data also show that the number of AIB shipments directly to cryptocurrency miners dropped about 55.5% compared to the same quarter of last year.
From the charts
Additional data provided by a website called PCPartPicker, which tracks the prices of computer components, also indicates that there is a general downtrend occurring for GPUs.
For example, the chart below shows price developments for the Radeon RX Vega 64 – a product hailed by some tech bloggers last year as a premier tool for mining cryptocurrencies. In spite of several short upticks, the price of that product seems to have peaked in early March.
Similar accolades were published for the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti – but it, too, has seen a gradual price decline since around the same time.
Whether this means anything in the long-term remains to be seen – cryptocurrency mining is effectively an electricity arbitrage, where gains are made when the cost of mining (including hardware, energy and labor) is less than the return on the coins once sold.
Given that the cryptocurrency market has declined overall since early this year, demand would, in theory, fall in tandem with those figures.
More answers could come in the form of future financial results from Nvidia and AMD, both of which have made a point to discuss the impact of crypto mining on their bottom lines. While business was great by the end of last year, that state of affairs may be changing, according to these figures.
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