Yesterday, we saw yet another graphics card launch characterized by scant stock and disappointed gamers. On top of the pandemic driving a lack of resources that makes supply of the best graphics cards and other electronics scarce, the growth of cryptocurrency mining means gamers also have to fight cryptominers for GPUs. This has brought “frustration” to the folks at Sapphire Technology, according to Edward Crisler, North American PR representative.
During The Tom’s Hardware Show (opens in new tab) on Thursday, Crisler said the graphics card market was made by PC gamers and, thus, graphics cards should go to them, not shoppers looking to cash in on cryptocurrency.
AMD released its latest graphics card yesterday, but, as we easily predicted in our AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT review, the card is already widely unavailable. A quick look at popular online retailers today, like Newegg (opens in new tab) and Best Buy (opens in new tab), results in a river of “OUT OF STOCK” messages. eBay, meanwhile, hosts almost 200 cards over MSRP, with prices as high as $2,700 (opens in new tab)for the reference card. We've been keeping track of where to buy the RX 6800, RX 6900 XT and other RX 6000 series cards too, and the story's the same.
Part of the reason for the scarcity is the resurgence of cryptomining adding more demand to already-pressured supplies. Both cryptominers and PC gamers are going after the latest graphics cards — or, really, any card they can find at a reasonable price. But Crisler was clear that Sapphire wants gamers to buy its Radeon RX 6700 Nitro+, not cryptominers.
“It’s very frustrating to many of us at Sapphire that the cards don’t end up in the hands of gamers. Because we built the card to give somebody a great gaming experience,” he said.
Ed added that many PC gamers today feel abandoned by the graphics card market but argued that that’s not the case.
“It’s not that the market abandoned us. It’s that everything changed, and the market is still trying to figure out how to deal with this,” Crisler said.
We recently saw Nvidia attempt to deal with the crypto-craze for gamers by limiting the hashing abilities of its RTX 3060, only to accidentally break the anti-mining lock on its own. For its part, AMD has said it won’t be limiting its cards’ mining prowess, PC Gamer reported.
Sapphire itself has released some mining-targeted cards in the past, like the RX 570 16GB HDMI Blockchain Graphics Card and RX 470 Nitro Mining Edition. But Crisler doesn’t believe making cryptomining graphics cards is the answer.
“There’s a couple of problems with that. First, you just pulled from the GPUs that are available for gaming cards … Second, when you sell out of the mining cards, they're just gonna go buy the gaming cards,” he said. “So developing a mining-only card isn’t necessarily a great idea because it doesn’t solve the issue for the gamers.”
For the full discussion, see the video above or check out The Tom’s Hardware Show on YouTube, Facebook, Twitch or as a podcast.
Let me be plain. this is stupid. and I am sick of seeing these articles, Linus comments, reviewers comments, etc.
I have been for 15+ years and will continue to be a PC GAMER first and foremost. and I love gaming and playing wow, COD, and many other games. Overclocking, tinkering with rasberry devices, yeah I am a tech geek or whatever you want to call us. probally very similiar to a lot of readers of this site whether we sign up on the forums or not.
ALSO, I am a fan of a FREE market economy, and when I buy something, I can DO WHATEVER I WANT WITH IT, within the law and reason of course.
SO a LOT of people including myself have been hearing about mining and while I don't take it SERIOUSLLY, It does interest me as someone who went to school for electronics, and then programming.
SO GUESS WHAT. I downloaded nice Hash Miner thanks to reading about it on Toms Hardware and when I am NOT gaming, at night when my computer is just sitting there doing nothing and has zero other use besides being a paper weight, I am using the hardware that I PAID FOR to do some mining.
right? topic almost seems comical to me as a educated, and free thinking human being. my computer still runs cool and quiet and is liquid cooled. and the fan even at 40% keeps my 5700 nice and cool under 70c and quiet while I sleep. why wouldn't I want an extra 2-3 bucks a night after electricity cost?
Why does Sapphire or anyone else for that matter care what I do with the hardware they I PAID FOR, and supporting their business with. Next you can tell me i can't se my video card to run architecture programs because its made for gamers? or i cant encode 4k video or stream using my video card cause its made for gaming? or maybe i can't use it to run multiple monitors for work cause its a gaming card.
come on. this whole argument and bias against miners is a joke. yes there is a higher demand for a prodict. so be mad at nvidia and amd for not making nearly enough for a product that is in demand.
my 2 cents and have a great day everyone
It won't be as profitable for the masses to mine with gpus - some of them have 'their panties in a bunch' over it. You know, the price wall knocks many people out of ASIC mining.
It was the same deal with Bitcoin at first; once it moved to Proof of Stake, it was ASIC or bust - or you buy and trade it, I guess.
I was thinking this too at first, but now I'm a bit worried.
The value of coin is so high that when a crash does happen, it may not be hard enough, and people will still continue to mine.
That's not going to stop the big scale mining ops at all, but for the smaller scale, like folks with a few cards in their basement or something - they may keep on going too.
Bitcoin is around 60k(last I checked). How hard is it going to have to crash for the small-time miners to go, "O crap!", before they dump their cards on the 2nd hand market?
Congrats, I think you missed the whole point of the article.
I'm not a miner and I don't consider myself as gamer either. But that doesn't mean I'm not interested on buying graphic card.
What I think has become a pathetic joke is, how manufacturers & sellers (try to) "symphatize" with gamers about not being able to deliver graphic cards to them -at the same time however, they're happy to sell to miners. Which is understandable: who pays more and buys in chunk, will get it first.
Manufacturers & sellers know that at some point mining demand will decline, so they just need trying to stay "in touch" with gamers.. for time when that happens (and market gets flooded with used cards).
What a hypocracy.
And except of only few reviewers, nobody has a courage to call this farce by it's name.
Sell to gamers on gamer storefronts where accounts can be checked for longevity, number of games owned, hours spent gaming, and other metrics. Limit 1 GPU purchase from any AIB for that account for a period of time. These tools are readily available on Steam, Epic, UPlay, Origin, PSN, XBL, and similar storefronts.
If Sapphire and friends don't want to make deals with gamer storefronts, then put those social media teams to work identifying gamers who still haven't been able to acquire a GPU. Stop wasting resources advertising products that customers can't buy and start putting them into the hands of actual gamers and content creators.
So no, Sapphire, I'm not buying your PR anymore. Saying you don't want miners buying your products means absolutely nothing until it's backed up with action. I have absolutely been abandoned by the GPU vendors and will not spend any more time on product launches that sell out instantly, products that get ripped out of my cart before I can complete checkout (Best Buy, AMD, Amazon, Asus, Zotac), or orders that get voided because of storefront math errors (Newegg).
What's a Linus comment?
Because they want to stay in business after the crypto fad ends. If gamers stop getting new cards then developers stop making PC games for new cards. Then, eventually, nobody anywhere has any reason to buy a GPU. Look at how poorly the "Wii U" sold after Nintendo abandoned their core audience to chase the Wii fad.
Of course for now its really just marketing spin.
It's not a joke to anybody with the slightest amount of ethics, mortality, or understanding of the economics behind crypto. Mining doesn't create anything, it takes money away from people and gives nothing in return. It's in the category of fraud, theft, gambling, and money laundering. You aren't making money, you're taking money.
It's unsustainable inefficient waste of the world's resources that only ever existed because of scammers, organized crime, and foreign dictatorships.
And most importantly to an enlightened free thinker like yourself, you are going to lose every cent eventually. That is the only direction a peak speculator market can go. Elon musk has the bankroll play around with pump and dump market manipulation, you don't. You're the mark.
If you were better at this than him, then you would be the billionaire.
No one is more worthy of spending their money on a card except the next guy in line willing to trade the cash, regardless of what they want to use it for.
Any gamers trying to pitch that they have some kind of moral high ground are a laughingstock.
Also, I am sure Sapphire is devastated they are selling every last bit of product they are turning out. They only made that statement because of where the question was posed.
Champagne corks are popping behind closed doors same as every other company selling out as fast as they can produce.
I want to say something on this wall of text you posted: Why do you bother trying to make 2-3 bucks per night by leaving your computer running at it's peak performance 24/7? The toll this 24/7 load on your system takes will in the long run eat away any profit you have made. Not to mention the fact I could not be bothered leaving my computer on for hours for 2-3 bucks of profit. That's like what, a free 5 sour gummy bears worth a night?