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Why is it so hard to buy a GPU right now?

If you’ve been in the market for a gaming pc for the past half-year to a year, you might be asking yourself where the heck all of the graphics cards are. That’s because no matter what budget of PC you’re building or class of GPU you are looking to get your hands on, they are all a part of a graphics card shortage.

And by now you most likely have heard a few different reasons, so let’s dive a little bit into what those are.

1. Scalpers

If you’ve been paying any ounce of attention to what’s been going on you most likely have heard “ohhh the scalpers”, “ef the scalpers” etc. etc.

That’s because there are literally large groups of coordinated people who literally scalp for a living. This isn’t specific to GPU’s or the PC market specifically. And while there are always the guys who try to upsell on your local Facebook buy and sale, I’m actually talking about large groups of individuals who see an opportunity to profit, buy large quantities of such product and drive that market up.

It’s estimated that scalpers have actually raked in an estimated $61.5 million in sales ($15.2 million in profit), according to analysis from data engineer Michael Driscoll in this PCMag article.

2. GPUs are now money making machines

You’ve got scalpers and crypto miners, gamers, and plain ol’ stay-at-home workers and learners. However, gamers and enthusiasts are not the ones driving the demand right now. A strange duality.

Graphics cards at the moment are money-making machines. And money-making machines are going to attract eager beavers to the party until they are no longer money-making machines.

Enter Crypto mining. Bitcoin has hit all time highs in early 2021, and with the Crypto Boom 2.0 so to speak, comes more profits to be has my said miners.

And now that individuals can simply use their current gaming pc rigs to crypto mine for a small profit using their higher-end GPUs, comes easy mining rigs. But that’s not even the tip of this demand, as there are again groups of people buying up huge amounts of these GPUs as soon as they come into stock and literally filling warehouses with them.

See this image of 78 RTX 3080’s garnering more than 20 grand USD a month in early 2021. I mean why would anyone purchase this many RGB GPUs at a premium if it wasn’t worth it?

In February of 2018 Bitcoin fell by more than 65% (the first Crypto bubble burst?) and in the crypto world, right now we could speculatively say we are in a bubble and this bubble is eventually going to pop.

What this means, who knows. And when….who knows. However, it will collapse at some point and until then there’s not much we can do but sit and wait.

3. Further, There is a Worldwide Semiconductor Shortage

There is also a worldwide semiconductor shortage, which is affecting all similar markets, including the auto market. Se this Washington Post article on “What you need to know about the global chip shortage“. And while that article speaks directly to cars, it’s all computers.

Long story short, there is also a silicon shortage to make the raw materials to also make computer parts. Things may not normalize this year, and in fact may take longer, who knows.

The Proposed Solution – Nvidia Tried Limiting Hash Rated on Their Graphics Cards

So then NVidia steps up like the green knights they are and announces they are going to limit hash rates on their (at the time) newly released RTX 3060 GPUs and I actually had a glimpse of hope. And they did do this.

And everyone was screaming, oh no someone is going to hack this anyhow and it won’t affect anything! Well, before it was hacked (I believe) Nvidia lets slip a driver update accidentally unlocking RTX 3060 Etherium mining. Oops.

So there goes that.

Now NVidia has announced they are releasing CMP HX Dedicated GPUs for ‘professional mining’, whatever that means. However, they do would be the economical choice should your goal be to mine, but this doesn’t exactly solve the GPU scalping bubble in my opinion as people will buy as many GPUs as they can while it remains profitable.

So how do you get your Hands on a GPU?

We currently have a vast range of graphics card in stock at the time of writing this and are able to get limited but fairly consistent supply. Prices are still inflated but they are starting to come back down as these problems begin to ease. We hope that GPUs continue to drop the price and return to their normal value so we can provide better value for money for you.

Posted By: LevelUp Gaming

We specialise in custom built desktops including workstations and gaming pc’s. Building high-performance systems for enthusiasts, gamers & professionals. Our team has been building PCs for more than 20 years. All our PCs include 3 three-year warranty as standard.