If you are a PC gamer, you would know that graphics cards have been hard to come by, and if you can get a card, it will cost you a fortune. The main reason for this is the ongoing global chip storage.
Even though the semiconductor chip shortages are not only affecting the gaming industry, it is believed to be the industry that has been hit the hardest during the scarcity. Other industries that make use of these chips include cars, consoles, and even some toys.
So, why is there such a shortage of semiconductor chips that are used in graphic cards? The short answer is that crypto-miners are buying all the cards, making it impossible for gamers to get a reasonably priced graphics card.
Why Do Crypto-Miners Use Graphics Cards?
Crypto-mining requires a highly efficient system that can perform various repetitive computations. The mining device will thus try to decode different hashes (a mathematical function that converts an input of arbitrary length into an encrypted output of a fixed size). The system will only change one digit in the decoding attempt.
Let’s use an example of playing slots to describe this better. When playing slot machines, you will see three or five rows of fruit on your screen. When you select the spin button, the fruit will spin around and spot at random.
Now let’s say that in our example, the first four rows are all on the lucky number 7, and they stay in position, and we will only move the fifth row one position up. At some point in time, we will get the last lucky number 7 on our screen and win the jackpot.
The jackpot for miners would be decoding the hashes. Crypto-miners can thus use a standard GPU to perform various calculations, and that makes GPU’s great for the crypto-mining process.
Crypto-miners started by using CPUs (Central Processing Units) to mine, but the CPU was ineffective, and they needed to look for something better. The CPU mining was inefficient because you will get a limited output based on the CPU’s processing speed and high power consumption.
The crypto-miners quickly realized that they could make far better use of GPUs (Graphics Processing Units). If you measure a similar CPU and GPU, you will see that the GPU can output approximately 800 times the speed of a CPU, which makes the GPU so important in crypto-mining.
What Are The Graphic Card Creators Doing To Help?
Nvidia started to step up for the gamers when they announced their Cryptocurrency Mining Processor. These processors are specifically focused on the crypto-miners and should perhaps discourage the miners from buying graphic cards that were meant for the gamers.
Even though there might be a lot of money in cryptocurrency, Nvidia’s biggest consumer base still is gamers. That is why they need to help the gaming community stay alive.
What Is The Gamer’s Reaction?
Gamers can not find any reasonably priced graphic cards at this point, and it has various outcomes. Some gamers have the money to pay 20K for a graphics card that is only worth 10K, but the majority of the gamers can’t do that.
So they then switch over to mobile games, consoles, or the Nintendo Switch instead of buying an overpriced graphics card. Other gamers opt for a gaming laptop instead of building their own PCs.
Crypto-mining has caused various problems to gamers all over the world when it comes to graphic cards. If the graphic card manufacturers do not develop a way to help the gamers, various gamers will have to switch to different platforms.