How do video card and PSU makers feel about GPU mining?

Posted on Wednesday, July 05 2017 @ 15:15 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
The cryptocurrency boom of the last couple of months has had a major impact on both the retail availability as well as the pricing of video cards. The massive rise of Ethereum results in a relatively short payback time so miners are buying everything they can find - even at highly elevated prices. Initially, only the most favorable cards were affected but eventually demand for less favorably cards picked up as well as more and more people want to get in on the gold rush.

But how do the video card and power supply manufacturers feel about this trend? Gamers Nexus uploaded a 15-minute video in which they explore the situation. Several industry figures were interviewed but no one wanted to be named so it's impossible to know who said what.

Some split opinions are heard. While companies think it's great for record high revenue in the short term, it creates an uneasy situation as a dry up of demand due to a big cryptocurrency crash could result in a lot of inventory and a flooded second-hand market. Also mentioned by one company is that they see themselves as a gaming company first, so they're disappointed that they can't get the product to gamers.

Additionally, there are secondary effects as miners buy the cards only while sales to gamers may create goodwill and affiliation that can result in ecosystem sales of adjacent products like cases or peripherals. A gamer may become a lifelong purchaser of your brand, while a miner is likely a one-off sale. And there's also the issue of a potential spike in RMAs like what companies experienced in 2013.

Power supply makers say they're cautious about increasing inventory of high-wattage power supplies as large volumes of these units will be hard to get rid off if the cryptocurrency mining boom ends. Computers have become more energy efficient and multi-GPU solutions are getting rarer so there's little traditional demand for all these expensive 1000W to 1500W PSUs.

Some believe it won't hurt PC gaming much, while others think it will likely push more gamers to consoles. You can watch the video below.

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