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GTX 1070 Prices Soar Alongside The 'Ethereum' Cryptocurrency

The rise of a new cryptocurrency, Ethereum, is giving system builders and gamers a case of deja vu. Graphics card prices are once again soaring as people rush to invest in the new platform, just like they did when the Bitcoin-mining gold rush reached its peak back in 2013.

Currently, the middle of the GPU market has been most affected. A key example of this is Zotac’s GeForce GTX 1070 AMP! Edition (opens in new tab), which ran on sale for around $330 roughly three weeks ago. The price tag has now jumped to $530 on Amazon. A few GTX 1070s from other OEMs have seen smaller jumps, such as Asus’ GTX 1070 Strix (opens in new tab), which currently retails for $430 after mail-in rebate, but most now sit above $500.

Nvidia’s high-end GPUs, such as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (opens in new tab) and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, currently remain unaffected. This puts Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070 dangerously close to the company’s GTX 1080 in price--Asus (opens in new tab), Gigabyte (opens in new tab), MSI (opens in new tab), PNY (opens in new tab), and Zotac (opens in new tab) all have GTX 1080 cards that retail for between $500 and $520. Several GTX 1080 GPUs currently cost less than many GTX 1070s, which effectively removes any reason to buy a GTX 1070 at this time.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPUs have been somewhat less affected by the resurgence of cryptocurrency mining, but nonetheless, their prices have also jumped by roughly $100. Lower-end cards, such as the GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti, have been unaffected thus far. The price on some of AMD’s RX 570 (opens in new tab) and 580 GPUs (opens in new tab) has also increased, but by a much smaller margin. This matters little, however, as many retailers are completely sold out of both AMD GPUs.

Although low-end GPUs from both companies have not been affected  yet, this could change soon due to the GTX 1070's rising prices. Mid-level GPUs are often the most attractive for cryptocurrency miners because they balance efficiency and performance in affordable packaging. Now that prices have increased so much, however, new cryptocurrency miners are likely to grab low-end cards as inexpensive alternatives. This could lead the price of those cards to increase as well.

(Image credit: CoinMarketCap.Com)

Anyone who's been in the PC industry for at least a few years will recall a similar event happening when Bitcoin reached its peak. Ethereum, which started back in 2015, has really taken off in the last few months, as it climbed from a value of $10.86 per Ether on February 2 to $340.33 per Ether on June 22. It's not hard to guess why more people might buy GPUs to mine Ether now than they would have back in February.

As there are so many similarities between these two events, we suspect that it may take quite some time for prices to stabilize. Due to the recent increases in price and supply shortages, we recommend postponing GPU upgrades until prices have returned to normal if possible. Unfortunately, due to the nature of cryptocurrency, it is unpredictable how long it will take for prices to drop.

Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.
  • joz
    Went to Microcenter yesterday to get a break from the horrible traffic on the highway...

    Walk in, browse around - stop by the GPU isle, see the $500 GTX1070s', get angry and walkout and sit in traffic.

    1080's are a bloody <mod edit> $500....

    <Moderator Warning: Watch your language in these forums>
  • bloodroses
    Looks like no GPU upgrade for me this generation. :(
  • dstarr3
    I haven't done the most research in the world, but I'm pretty sure that if you're dropping $500 on each GPU and paying for your own electric bill to power them, cryptocurrency mining is not going to generate a profit. Or at least in the time it would take for it to become profitable, the currency du jour will have become worthless.
  • tunaphish6
    The shocker is how fast the prices went up--got a $360 GTX 1070 on a whim at a local Micro Center. Without fail, had buyer's remorse the next day and took a look at their inventory--the very next day, all but the most expensive cards were sold out. The next week, they came back in stock but with a hefty $50-100 premium. Want more than two cards? That'll be $1000 each.
  • hannibal
    How on earth those fake money have any value? I could just print Donald the Duck money much cheaper. I don't get it. What backs up the value of these fake moneys?

    This Also means that Vegas in the autumn and Voltas in the next year Are even more expensive. Well... maybe next editions after those come after this buble has come down again.
  • redgarl
    It is not Nvidia who are driving the prices up, it's the store... at least, I hope... they better not playing Intel.
  • why_wolf
    hmm looks like even my little Gigabyte 1070 mini has gone up $100 on newegg.
  • InvalidError
    19854716 said:
    How on earth those fake money have any value? I could just print Donald the Duck money much cheaper. I don't get it. What backs up the value of these fake moneys?
    What backs the value of your bank account's balance, the value of a $100 bill that costs $0.10 to print or a bank check? Nothing more than trust. Trust is the only thing that gives currency its value. Break the trust in a currency, such as a country defaulting on debt, and its value collapses. The same is true for crypto coins, they'll retain their value until someone manages to break trust.
  • Scary_Terry
    Bought my 1070 for $360, I sold it on ebay yesterday for $500 lol
  • hannibal
    So my donald duck money would work if everyone just would believe to it... Nice ;)