More than 3 million graphics cards have been sold to cryptocurrency miners in 2017, with sales reaching $776 million, a new report revealed. According to a major manufacturer, prices of GPUs will continue to increase in 2018, despite expectations of decreasing demand in the mining sector.
Rising Mining Costs to Slow Down Demand
Over three million Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) have been sold to cryptocurrency miners last year, Jon Peddie Research announced in its latest report. The total sales of video cards have reached $776 million, according to the market research firm, which does not expect prices to go down in the near future.
The study covers data from the top three producers of GPUs — AMD, Nvidia and Intel. Recently, Advanced Micro Devices acknowledged shortages of its Radeon cards because of their use in mining applications. The company plans to increase their production.
AMD’s main competitor, Nvidia, admitted the demand by miners had exceeded its expectations in the last quarter of 2017. In an attempt to guarantee that gamers would be able to get their share, the company asked retailers to limit the number of graphics cards that can be purchased at a time. Miners usually buy the latest GPUs in bulk, leaving empty shelves.
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has said that the company is working to address supply issues. It has been reported that Nvidia may reveal a new “Turing” card dedicated for mining. GPUs are mainly utilized in mining altcoins like Ethereum and Monero, as Bitcoin requires more powerful, specialized hardware.
The report also says that overall GPU shipments in Q4 have decreased by 1.5% from the previous quarter and 4.8% year on year, mainly due to lower sales in desktop and notebook applications. However, the indicator is still above the ten-year average of -3.40%. While the market shares of Nvidia and Intel have shrunk by 6% and 2%, respectively, AMD has seen an 8.1% increase.
GPU Prices to Go Up This Year
According to the president of the market research company,
“gaming has been and will continue to be the primary driver for GPU sales, augmented by the demand from cryptocurrency miners.” Dr. Jon Peddie expects a decrease in that demand, as margins drop with increasing utilities costs, while the prices of GPUs go up because of short supply. He also said that gamers can offset those costs by mining when not gaming, but prices will not drop in the near future.
Nvidia has also stated that GPU prices will continue to go up in 2018, according to some publications. The hardware marketplace Massdrop claims the manufacturer informed them to expect prices to continue rising through the third quarter of the year, as reported by many tech sites.
The availability of memory for the graphics units is another major factor that can influence supply and price rates. Shortages of RAM have already been reported. AMD has announced it would work with suppliers to overcome the deficit, as the two main types of memory used in its RX cards, GDDR5 and HBM2, are in short supply.