Graphics card prices have fallen about 60% from their peak in 2021 when crypto mining activity slowed.
At the beginning of December, a series of graphics cards (GPUs) returned to the shelves at Dospara, a computer parts store in the Akihabara district, where Tokyo’s famous electronics are concentrated. This is a far cry from the early days of 2021 when those shelves were mostly empty.
GPUs are very important computer components for data-intensive activities such as gaming and video editing. Their ability to handle large amounts of computation at once also makes them well-suited for cryptocurrency mining. The sharp increase in cryptocurrency prices in 2021 drives greater demand for GPUs but affects gamers and other popular customers because they have little choice and have to buy goods at low prices. High.
Nvidia has responded to this situation by producing GPUs with lower hash rates like the GeForce RTX 3060 released in February 2021 to reduce the possibility of cryptocurrency mining. At the same time, the company also launched products specifically designed for mining operations. But that was also when the cryptocurrency started to plunge. According to CoinDesk, one Bitcoin was priced at around $17,000 at the end of December 2022, about 80% below its all-time high in November 2021. The value of Ethereum is also down around 80%.
“There is little benefit for miners at the moment, cryptocurrencies are losing value even as the cost of mining increases,” said Takeshi Kamada, CEO of price comparison website Kakaku.com, said.
Mining has also faced growing criticism on environmental grounds. According to Nvidia, Ethereum, the main driver behind crypto-related GPU demand, switched to a mechanism to eliminate the need for mining in September 2022. The downsizing of crypto mining means the industry will have less impact on the graphics card market.
Nikkei quoted data from price comparison platform Aucfan, showing that graphics cards sold for an average of 18,737 yen ($144) at online stores in November 2022, down about 60% from May 2021. . The number of cards being auctioned also decreased by about 40% over the same period, to 5,379 cards.
“Incoming shipments will be more stable. We can recommend many options for gamers and video creators, which makes our job easier,” said Shoki Hisasue, Dospara store manager, with relief.
Meanwhile, a representative of another computer parts store said that “people who like to play computer games can buy a graphics card now”. According to Dutch research firm Newzoo International, the global gaming market will expand by about 10% between 2022 and 2025, to $211.2 billion.