Why Is It So Hard to Buy a Graphics Card in 2021?

Nvidia GTX1080 Ti + Ryzen 7 1700x

Here’s why it feels impossible to shop for a graphics card in 2021.

Prices Are Soaring and Availability Is Dropping
Graphics processing units (GPUs) or graphics cards are an important component for many folks that use a PC. They’re liable for creating the display output of your PC, allowing you to look at multimedia content, and rendering complex 3D graphics in modern video games. They’re also vital for creative professionals, as they permit computers to run tasks like graphic design, video editing, and 3D animation.

In marketplace websites, like eBay, prices for resold or second-hand GPUs are several times above their original suggested retail price. This has forced many to get old models from a decade ago, spend thousands of dollars on the used market without a guaranty, or use the inferior integrated graphics that include their processor.

The Global Chip Shortage
These two companies form up nearly all dedicated GPUs found in desktop computers and laptops. Nvidia is that the leader of the pack with its GeForce GTX series, while AMD creates the Radeon RX series.

The biggest reason for the shortage of supply is an ongoing global shortage of silicon chips. Computer chips, also called semiconductors, are mostly made of parts called silicon. Thanks to the pandemic, the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturers, like Samsung, were forced to slow or halt production entirely. This stoppage in production, let alone the rising demand for consumer electronics like computers and gaming devices also driven by the pandemic, has made it difficult for manufacturers to fulfill that demand.

While the semiconductor device shortage has had a severe impact on the graphics card market, it’s not the sole industry tormented by the availability issue. a good range of consumer products, from computer-powered cars to game consoles just like the PS5 and Xbox, have faced severe availability issues and inflation. Major products, like Apple’s iPhone 12, were launched delayed thanks to concerns of stock availability.

Cryptocurrency Miners
However, graphics cards seem to be even harder than other electronic products, like cellphones and even CPUs. the opposite big reason that the demand for GPUs has increased within the last year is cryptocurrency mining, which is that the process of using the facility of a computer chip to introduce new tokens into circulation. Mining for crypto often utilizes the processing power of a graphics card, and thus, a mining rig may have multiple graphics cards that aren’t running on a desktop setup.