To address the GPU market supply shortage, NVIDIA has now decided that they are not happy with people that use their GPUs for mining cryptocurrency (e.g. Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.). Trying to make some good PR in the process, they are saying that they (NVIDIA) are for gamers and they are trying to hurt the miner’s bottom line to dissuade them from buying GPUs. I for one don’t think they care about gamers or miners either way, they just want to look good so they can sell more cards (when they can get them in stock) and look better to the public and their shareholders.
So, what is going on? Well, if you have tried to purchase a GPU (a.k.a. video card or display adapter) any time recently, you have probably noticed that they are usually out of stock right away from vendors selling them new. You can find plenty of GPUs on sites like eBay, however, they are selling for up to 300% or more of their value. New GPUs are being bought by miners and gamers yes, but more so they are being bought up by scalpers that buy them only to resell them at a higher price. For example, the NVIDIA RTX 3060 that began selling earlier this year has a MSRP of $399 but is out of stock basically everywhere and folk on eBay are selling them for upwards of $1200 and higher.
OK, to get to the crux of this article, GPUs are hard to come by these days. NVIDIA (and AMD as well to a point) cannot make enough supply to meet the demand and NVIDIA is placing the majority of the blame on cryptocurrency miners. NVIDIA has decided that the best way to fight this, is NERFing their RTX cards at the BIOS and driver level, effectively cutting Ethereum mining performance in half. Note that the ONLY currency they are targeting is Ethereum.
NVIDIA seems to think that cutting back on performance for miners will make them not want to buy the GPUs and make more available for gamers and general consumers. This does absolutely nothing about scalpers. AMD at least is working with retailers and board partners to get more cards physically in stores to combat scalpers and the bots they use to buy cards automatically online rather than just limiting performance of a few cards. It is my opinion that this performance cut for miners is not going to stop them buying the cards. I believe that talented hackers will modify existing drivers or create new ones that will bypass the NERF NVIDIA put in place. I could be wrong though.
The thing I see that I think no one seems to realize is that we live in a free market economy. If you have a product to sell and people want that product, they are going to buy it. And they should be allowed to buy it. If you cannot produce enough supply, and the demand is high, the situation is going to be much like we have now. Let’s face it, if NVIDIA and AMD could meet the supply demands, scalpers would be out of business.
This is just an opinion rant, sharing some facts along the way, thanks for joining me!