A lack of cryptocurrency miner demand may create discounts on graphics cards

Unnamed sources close to Taiwan-based graphics card manufacturers such as Gigabyte and MSI claim these companies will be forced to slash prices due to a dramatic 40 percent drop in month-on-month shipments starting in April. The plunge stems from a surprising drop in demand from large cryptocurrency mining farm operators and channel distributors who simply don’t need to place additional orders. 

The news seemingly paints a picture of the current cryptocurrency mining “craze” and the graphics card market. The high demand from cryptocurrency miners reportedly took a huge nosedive at the beginning of April, as many now reportedly await Ethereum mining machines manufactured by China’s Bitmain in the third quarter. Even more, Bitcoin and Ethereum values took a sharp decline in early 2018. 

Obviously, this scenario is problematic for companies who enjoyed soaring profits due to cryptocurrency mining throughout 2017. Gigabyte sold 4.5 million graphics cards last year, up one million units from 2016, totaling $67.37 million in profits. The company even surged in the first quarter of 2018 with a 51.38 percent increase compared to the first quarter in 2017, and a 29.9 percent increase over the last quarter of 2017. 

Graphics card and motherboard competitor MSI saw similar profits, earning $3.95 billion in March, up 33.49 percent compared to the same quarter in 2017, and up 27.17 percent from the previous quarter. TUL, another company dedicated to manufacturing graphics cards, also experienced higher revenues for March and the first quarter of 2018. 

But now customers are either halting orders for graphics cards and motherboards, or canceling purchases altogether. That means manufacturers likely have a large supply of hardware on hand, collecting dust and killing profit margins. To move this unwanted hardware off warehouse shelves, manufacturers and channel partners will be forced to offer discounts. Card makers are hoping the market will rebound in May or June, sources claim. 

Bitman’s Antminer E3 is slated to ship around the end of July. It relies on an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) built specifically for mining Ethereum, eliminating the need to purchase a batch of graphics cards. It will supposedly be more efficient in the mining process, but like all other ASICs invading the cryptocurrency market, it allegedly encourages currency centralization and threatens to put the majority of the computing power into the hands of large mining operations. 

With farms looking toward ASICs to do the bulk mining, their focus suggests a less-barren graphics card market for PC gamers in 2018. At least for a year, cryptocurrency miners have scooped up the majority of graphics cards on the market, making the supply extremely scarce and highly inflated prices for the units shoppers manage to find. An abundant supply means “normal” pricing for gamers and general customers alike. 

We have already seen a slight discount of sorts from AMD. The company introduced its Combat Crate program that bundles MSI and Gigabyte motherboards with AMD’s Ryzen 5 1600 CPU and Radeon RX 580 graphics card. Are they simply moving stock at a discounted price due to the low cryptocurrency miner demand? 

Smart Home

Lowe’s offers Presidents Day bargains on Samsung appliances, Nest, and Dyson

Anticipating the demand for DIY makeovers, Lowe's Presidents' Day sale has deals on popular products from Dyson, Nest, and Samsung. If you're shopping for a vacuum cleaner, a stainless steel fridge, or home security devices, head to Lowe's.
Smart Home

Amazon’s Whole Foods raises hundreds of prices, from ice cream to soap

Whole Foods Market raised prices on hundreds of items, citing higher ingredient, packaging, and transportation costs. When Amazon bought Whole Foods, the promise of lower prices attracted customers; that glow may diminish with price bumps.
Home Theater

MGM joins the streaming mega-race with launch of Epix Now service

In a widely anticipated move, MGM has launched Epix Now, a streaming platform that combines all four of its live TV channels, and a huge catalog of thousands of on-demand movies and TV shows.

AMD or Intel? We take a look at the pros and cons of both processors

When it comes to selecting a CPU for your PC, there's no shortage of chips for you to choose from. With Ryzen, Threadripper, and Core i9 CPUs though, the AMD vs. Intel argument is muddier than ever.

Take $250 off the HP Spectre x360 laptop with this Presidents’ Day sale

If you're hoping for something more powerful that will last more than a few months, you'll probably need to invest $1,000 or more. Unless, of course, you take advantage of the Presidents' Sale on the HP Spectre x360 13t.

Think crypto’s dead? JPMorgan to offer first cryptocurrency backed by a U.S. bank

J.P. Morgan Chase is making history by rolling out a trial, over the next few months, of the first cryptocurrency, dubbed JPM Coin, which is backed by a large United States bank.

Opera web browser targets enhanced accessibility with major redesign

The browser wars are heating up. In the latest move for Opera, a new development release pushes it even closer to Chrome with a redesign and overall goal of redefining the modern web browser. 

Breaking: Amazon won’t build headquarters in New York in face of opposition

Amazon has canceled plans for a New York City headquarters afer citizens, civic groups, and politicians pushed back on Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's exclamation of economic joy over Amazon's earlier…

DLSS is finally arriving in games, but how does Nvidia's super-sampling actually work?

Nvidia's new DLSS technology is exciting, but what is it and how does it work? It's not quite anti-aliasing and it's not quite super sampling. It's a little bit of both and the end results can be impressive.

A new Mac Pro is supposedly coming in 2019, but what will it be like?

Our Mac Pro 2019 rumor roundup covers all the top news, leaks, and rumors about the new Mac Pro set to be announced sometime in 2019. Here's what Apple has said, what the experts think, and what's likely to show up with the new Mac Pro.

Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators

You don't have to spend the entirety of your paycheck to become a virtual ace, at least when it comes to flight simulation. Our list of the best free flight simulators will let you unleash your inner Maverick.

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.

Switch your WMA files for MP3s with our quick conversion tips

The WMA codec may be great when it comes to multi-channel surround sound, but unfortunately, it falters in terms of compatibility. Check out our guide on how to convert WMA files to MP3 via web-based or desktop methods.