Gaming notebook manufacturers may have found a new ally: cryptocurrency miners. DigiTimes today reported that the ongoing GPU shortage has led miners in China, Taiwan, and South Korea to purchase laptops featuring RTX 30 series graphics.
The lack of available RTX 30 series graphics cards is only part of the reason for this shift, according to DigiTimes, which said the shrinking price gap between a desktop GPU and a gaming notebook has also contributed to the latter’s rise among miners.
Some cryptocurrency miners have reportedly asked manufacturers to combine RTX 30 series graphics with budget components to further reduce that price gap. They aren’t planning to play games with the systems so why pay for other high-end parts?
We already knew that some miners had turned to gaming notebooks, but the efforts to essentially buy a GPU with a laptop for a case are new, and the report suggested that relying on these devices is becoming more popular than originally expected.
DigiTimes said that “notebook shipments were originally expected to slip quarter by quarter in 2021 as the pandemic would be gradually put under control,” but its sources claim “demand from cryptomining may keep the volumes in high gear.”
The problem is figuring out how to serve cryptocurrency miners with as little risk as possible. It’s hard to remember now, but just two years ago both Nvidia and AMD had to contend with an oversupply of GPUs because of the crypto market bust.
So it makes sense to build custom gaming notebooks, or introduce a product line specifically for cryptocurrency miners, while the market booms. But it’s also easy to forgive manufacturers for wondering if these miners are merely fair weather friends.