AMD, Nvidia coin mining graphics cards appear as gaming GPU shortage intensifies
28 June 2017 | 0
It’s near impossible to buy a reasonably priced graphics card right now. First AMD’s Radeon cards disappeared, then GeForce cards began to dry up too. The culprit? Cryptocurrency miners chasing price bubbles in Bitcoin, Etherium, Zcash and others. But new mining-dedicated graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia’s hardware partners might help ease the dearth of gaming hardware.
Maybe? Hopefully? Probably not.
A swarm of coin mining cards have hit online e-tailers over the past few days, as AnandTech reports. Most are based on AMD’s more mining-friendly Radeon Polaris GPUs, but you’ll also find a couple of cards based on Nvidia designs. Notably, those use GP106 branding – that’s the name of the GPU itself – rather than being called GTX 1060 cards.
The new gear looks similar to traditional graphics cards – almost. Since you don’t need to hook mining hardware up to a monitor, many of the cryptocurrency-dedicated cards ditch display connectors completely, while others limit themselves to a single DVI port. That should make it easy to spot these gaming lemons if unscrupulous folks try to pass them off as proper graphics cards whenever the mining bubble bursts.
That’s the million dollar question. Inflated prices have made it impossible to build a budget gaming PC, or to buy anything but extremely low-end or high-end graphics cards right now.
Don’t expect these mining cards to be a saviour, though.
Miners are gobbling up all the hardware they can find right now. These new coin mining cards are just more food for that hungry maw. And while the limited warranties and display connections probably let PC vendors create cards from GPUs that failed quality assurance for consumer hardware, the intense specialisation might make them less attractive for hardcore miners. Cryptocurrency mining is all about the return on investment, and reselling graphics cards after bubbles burst is a big part of that calculation. No gamer would want to buy these used.
IDG News Service