If you thought that cryptocurrency mining had stopped causing headaches for gamers the world over when it comes to GPU availability, think again. Nvidia's recent low stock of its RTX 3000 series was partly caused by bots and partly caused by the extreme popularity of the cards among gamers excited to enjoy their high-level performance. But it was also caused by miners. A new report suggests that Nvidia sold almost $200 million worth of graphics cards to cryptocurrency miners in the first few weeks they went on sale.
This report comes from WCCFTech's analysis of a RBC Capital Markets and Barrons outlook, which estimated that from a revenue of $2.27 billion, Nvidia had made $2.1 billion from gaming. That suggests that around $175 million worth of hardware went to miners directly. Who knows how many of the "gaming" purchases from typically enthusiast retailers also went to miners.
This is the downside of the huge performance uplift of Ampere. It makes the cards pretty good for mining. With the added efficiency of AMD's RDNA2 GPUs, however, this problem could only be exacerbated in the coming months. The 7nm architecture draws less power for comparable hash performance on RX 6000 GPUs, so AMD could be in even worse trouble when it comes to keeping its GPUs away from miners.
While it might not care too much initially -- a sale is a sale after all — part of the reason that AMD has such a low percentage of the gaming market is that during the 2017-2018 period, its Vega and RX 500 series graphics cards were very hard to find due to mining buys.
Have you managed to find a new-gen graphics card at a good price this Black Friday sale season?