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Cryptocurrency may be why you still don’t have Nvidia GTX 11 Series graphics

Unnamed sources in the supply chain point to the current overabundance of add-in desktop graphics cards as to why you’re not already seeing Nvidia’s new GeForce GTX 11 Series on store shelves. Nvidia reportedly has around 1 million chips ready for release but is holding back because there is simply no room for the next-generation cards. This is why Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said in June that the launch would be “a long time from now.”

The problem stems from cryptocurrency. Throughout 2017, as values climbed through the roof, miners scooped up every graphics card they could find, leaving store shelves barren. The few cards you could find on the internet suffered crazy overinflated prices due to sellers taking advantage of the product void. To meet the rising demand in the cryptocurrency and gaming markets, Nvidia and its partners created more cards.

But then in 2018 cryptocurrency prices tanked. Individuals and small organizations closed shop while the larger miners cut back on their purchases including the ASIC systems designed specifically for cryptocurrency mining. With all that digital coin digging slowing to a crawl, the market currently has“around several million units” collecting dust on store shelves.

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To make room for new GTX 11 Series products, graphics card prices may be reduced 20 percent starting in July. Prices presented by retailers may get even lower once cryptocurrency miners begin selling their used equipment at dirt-cheap prices. The current overflow likely affects the revenue of every party involved including Nvidia, its partners, the company that actually manufactures the chips (TSMC) and more.

China’s Sichuan province could help with the overstocking issue. This region accounts for nearly 70 percent of China’s mining operations, which recently faced severe flooding that damaged many of its cryptocurrency mining operations. These operators will be looking to replace their damaged hardware including whatever Nvidia-based graphics cards they had installed.

Despite the inventory issue, Nvidia’s GTX 11 Series may still get an introduction during Gamescom in August. Nvidia is sending individuals in the press out to the convention in Germany, meaning the company likely isn’t spending that kind of money just to showcase PC games running on current hardware. There is no reason why Nvidia couldn’t reveal the series at that time if the company has the hardware ready. But a retail release could reside in the fourth quarter, depending on the current-generation stockpile.

Most of the “Turning” GPUs Nvidia reportedly has locked and loaded will ship out to third-party manufacturers while the company will reserve a batch for its own first-party “Founders Edition” cards. Previous reports said Nvidia’s partners would receive the chips by the end of August or early September, putting product availability between weeks or several months thereafter. Mass production of Micron’s GDDR6 graphics memory didn’t even begin until June.

The GTX 11 Series will include both desktop and mobile products later this year, including the GTX 1180 add-in card and the GTX 1160 6GB chip for notebooks.

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Kevin Parrish
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then…
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