Brand new graphics cards are in short supply at the moment, thanks to an unprecedented amount of demand and low supply. The RTX 30 series for instance is expected to continue seeing major GPU shortages until further into 2021, according to Nvidia themselves. One speculated reason for the shortages is a recent boom in cryptocurrency mining, and someone has shared their very own mining rig that apparently makes up to $21K a month.
Codenamed Berta 2, this mining rig consists of a whopping 78 RTX 3080 graphics cards. It’s estimated the entire rig cost around $93,522 considering prices of 3080’s can range anywhere between $699 and $1,199 per GPU.
Taking into account electricity costs, as well as the current prices of Ethereum, the entire rig is estimated to make anything between $15K and $21K per month - given the volatility of cryptocurrency prices. This would mean investments could be recouped in as little as 7 months for the worst case scenario here.
That’s a pretty significant chunk of change for someone, but it does beg the question: is this where the new GPUs are going? It’s long been rumored that the new graphics cards are getting sold straight to miners who would be happy to pay a premium in order to bag themselves some of the new cards. And if that’s not the case, then they surely would be more than happy to pay scalpers a premium on the cards considering the ROI (return of investment) wouldn’t be that long.
What makes the RTX 30 series so favorable among crypto miners especially is not just the massive performance increase over the last generation of GPUs, but mostly down to the performance per watt ratio.
Unfortunately, as long as cryptocurrencies continue to remain popular and make money, this problem won't be going away anytime soon. So maybe hardware manufacturers should just give in and make crypto mining-specific GPUs as to let those who want to game with them have them. However, I'm sure we would still run into the same problems as mining GPUs run out of stock and miners get their hands on traditional cards. So it really seems like a lose-lose scenario for us.
Just like with cryptocurrency prices, it’s extremely hard to predict what the GPU market will be like in the future. However, judging by the amount of demand for the new cards and the surge in crypto prices recently, we can't see the shortages getting any better for a long time now. In fact, it may even be better at this point to wait for the RTX 40XX series instead, and hope that stock issues won’t be as prevalent then.
What do you think? Will graphics card shortages continue due to crypto mining? How do you feel about crypto mining in general? Is there a way to combat this issue? Or is this going to be the GPU market for the foreseeable future? And is it worth waiting for RTX 30 stock? Or just wait for the next generation of RTX 40 GPUs instead? Let us know your thoughts!