Last year saw the release of AMD’s and Nvidia’s hotly anticipated new line of graphics cards. Whilst many were excited for them, they did not realise just how good of a product they would prove to be. From gaming to mining, these cards were excellent in every aspect. However, soon after release, things took a turn for the worse. When the aspiring graphics card owner would go to purchase one of these, any model for a matter of fact, they would not be able. The world would soon find out that cards from both companies were out of stock virtually everywhere, and it soon was revealed that this was because AMD and Nvidia simply did not produce enough to meet demand.
Some people take to activities like online gambling for fun, you can find a list of slots here, while others take a penchant to build their own computers from scratch. These enthusiasts were the ones most affected by the shortage of graphics cards as they could not build a functioning computer without one. Granted, APU’s exist that integrate a micro-GPU into the chipset, but that is a band-aid solution and does not help those who need the raw power a top-of-the-line card offers.
One reason for the shortage could be argued to be the recent pandemic. As factories were forced to close, the ones that made the all-important silicon for GPU’s were not able to produce these for those companies that rely on it to make their products. Combine this with the colossal demand for the new line of graphics cards and you have a perfect storm. Taking these factors into context, it is easy to see why cards are seemingly impossible to buy. Well, not impossible. The situation has led to unscrupulous people and even businesses buying cards in bulk when they ship and aggressively marking them up in price. At the height of the crisis, an innocent trip to eBay could reveal cards inflated by 400% of their original value.
Fortunately, things seem to be simmering down as stock levels are steadily creeping up. The German graphics card market in particular offers hopeful signs of recovery. Prices have gone from three times their asking price in May to nearly double the retail value which means that while the cards are still massively inflated, their value is dropping fast and buyers without a huge bankroll may soon find on them in their hands.
The same kind of slump can be found on eBay, where scalpers have been forced to reduce their prices to compete with increased stock and consequently lowered prices. As the pandemic is showing signs of slowing and business return to usual operation, we can expect to see the production of silicon increasing to its levels before Covid and therefore a higher number of graphics cards produced. It will come to the delight of many that the worse of the situation is behind us, and it can only get better from this point on.