A Chronological History of the Catastrophic GPU Shortage


It’s a challenging time to build a gaming PC. Although constructing a PC yourself can typically save you loads of dollars, the continuous surge in component prices makes it nearly impossible to assemble a machine at a reasonable cost. Rising prices are not a new phenomenon for PC components. However, this time, the problem is different. Even though things are getting better, the issue is far from over.

To understand how we got here, here’s a brief history of the GPU shortage.

A dose of context

Before delving into the GPU shortage that’s currently happening, it’s essential to look back. This isn’t a novel problem for the GPU market. The difference today isn’t the shortage, but the fact that several factors have prolonged and intensified it.

The primary culprit at the time was a problem with GPU supply chains, which was exacerbated by increased demand within the region. Prices increased by about 15% in certain parts of the world, though they quickly returned to normal.

The two major GPU companies, Nvidia and AMD, don’t actually manufacture that many graphics cards.

An AMD rx6900 GPU.

This model performs well, offering users various card options for different types of computers. For instance, you could select a liquid-cooled card for a high-end gaming PC or a slimmed-down card that doesn’t require external power for a stealthy build.

However, it carries some issues, making the target price largely irrelevant, particularly when the component prices are high. This is crucial to keep in mind when considering the GPU shortage happening today.

AIB cards are available after the fact and normalize supply, as well as providing more options to the market. The difference now is that the PC gaming market is growing at an alarming rate, and a pandemic was about to confine people indoors for over a year.