Just about everyone expected the GPU mining craze to crash eventually. It was only a matter of time. While optimists were out buying up every gaming GPU they could find, the intended audience of the products were made miserable with component shortages and the skyrocketing prices that came with demand. Now things look to be getting back to normal as Ethereum miners report waining profitability, causing the resurgence of stock to bring GPU prices crashing back down.
Ethereum mining took off in much the same way as the Bitcoin craze that game before it. As word of mouth spread about a way to earn money simply by leaving a decent PC running some calculations for hours on end in a spare room somewhere, those looking to make a quick buck in what they saw as a fresh market drove everyday PC component prices through the roof as manufacturers struggled to supply enough of the chips. Worldwide silicon shortages were already noticeable in the computer memory sector, and the GPU mining craze only made things worse across the board.
But according to some cryptic graphs on CryptoCompare, Ethereum profits have taken a nosedive in recent days. There are many variables to factor into potential profitability when mining any crypto current, and even something as simple as a bad electricity tariff could mean the difference between healthy returns and demoralizing losses. But as Reddit user Kardkoach points out, it’s now no longer profitable to mine Ethereum under a fairly average workload of 24MH/s hashing power when consuming as little as 200 watts per hour.
So while cryptocurrency miners may suddenly be regretting their lofty investments in GPUs, the bursting bubble is only good news for PC gamers looking to upgrade their systems. GPU prices have dropped considerably over the last few months as supply outpaces demand yet again, and miners hoping to recover their losses before things get worse will look to offload their old equipment for far less money than they originally paid.
AMD GPUs like the RX 580, a card preferred by miners for its performance, can now be had for as little as $275. That same card back in April would have cost around $440 according to PCPartPicker. If you’re in the market for a big GPU upgrade, now looks to be the time to do it.