This quarter, graphics card shipments are expected to plummet by anywhere between 30 and 40 percent, claims a report on Digitimes. Apparently, because BitCoin mining is losing popularity, especially GPU-based mining, demand for graphics cards is dropping to a point where shipment levels are too high for the current market.
This situation could have multiple factors contributing to it. Not only is there less demand for graphics cards, but due to the reduced interest in GPU-based crypto currency mining, many cards that have been used for doing so are getting offloaded for bargain prices on the secondhand market, making it very difficult for a lot of buyers to justify buying new hardware for gaming.
Normally, with this kind of a shift in the demand curve, we would expect the prices for graphics cards to cool down a bit due to the new equilibrium price, but that is not what seems to be happening. AIC and AIB vendors have been asking for AMD and Nvidia to cool down the prices, however, it seems that AMD and Nvidia have instead reduced supply, forcing the vendors to sit on their inventories and keep selling the cards at the current price levels. Hopefully, that won't last forever, and hopefully, this is the end of Crypto Currency miners inflating graphics cards prices. Regretfully, we do have to say that we fear it will take a while for the market to recover.
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Do you have more specific information on what the $50-$75 and $100-$125 segments are doing? Cards in these ranges are able to play any game, even if on lowered settings. With the economy as it is, I wouldn't expect kids asking for "gaming" cards to get any better than this; as you say, those wanting more are probably finding second-hand deals.
should be unlawful...
The key to reduced GPU prices is to buy them used.
Once 4K gains more adoption and prices start to drop then I will pick up whatever card is equivalent to my 570 in the lineup that can push 4K at decent settings. Maybe a GTX 970 in two years or so? That is going to be an expensive year for my computer... new monitor, new GPU, and a new core system for Skylake processors. I typically like to space out my upgrades, but this time it is looking like everything is going to hit all at once.... it's going to hurt and my wife is going to hate me in 2016-17
Mark my words, this kind of pricing is going to become the norm going forwards. Computer parts are finally hitting that point of 'good enough' to last more than a year or two, and the PC market is fairly saturated. Companies still need the income, but customers will not need the units. Rather than dropping $250 on a new GPU each year we will be dropping $500 every 2-3 years. We may not need the yearly upgrade, but they are still going to need the income, so we are going to pay it one way or another. I am half surprised we are not seeing this in other parts of the PC market already.