Those of you who regularly read us will remember that, on more than one occasion, I have told you that the price of graphics cards is influenced, in the market, by the value of cryptocurrencies. I know that this is not the only factor that can make the price of graphics cards go up or down, but it is undoubtedly one of the most important.
At the end of 2020, when the crisis that has dragged on the general consumer graphics card sector since then began, there was enormous growth of the leading cryptocurrencies, something that, together with the shortage of semiconductors, the problems caused by the COVID-19 in the supply chain, and the impact that resale and speculation had created the perfect cocktail for the price of this component to inflate to a level that we had not seen before.
With that in mind, we are not surprised that the price of graphics cards has started to drop slightly after the latest bump in the cryptocurrency sector. At the time of writing this article, it accumulates losses of a billion dollars. Ethereum, the most popular cryptocurrency to mine with graphics cards, went from a peak of $4,080 in December to $2,184.14 at the time of writing. In effect, its value has almost halved.
Bitcoin is not going through its best moment either, and it is that it has fallen, in less than a month, from 51,888 dollars to 33,404 dollars. The numbers speak for themselves and show how volatile this sector continues to be. However, it seems that he has already embarked on the road to recovery and that it will come sooner or later. In the end, another thing that this sector has shown is its cyclical nature, with falls and rises in relatively short periods.
I am happy to give you this good news, as it marks the beginning of a slow recovery that could be completed by the middle of this year and that, in theory, should allow us to buy graphics cards of this generation at their recommended retail prices. I don’t want to be optimistic, especially since we have already seen signs of a recovery frustrated by a change in trend. Still, now the situation could evolve differently.
In the attached graph, courtesy of 3DCenter.org, we can see the evolution of the prices of NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards in two fundamental European markets, Germany and Austria, and also the value of Ethereum. There is a clear correlation between the variations in the value of Ethereum and the sale price of graphics cards, which only confirms what I have already told you so many times, that influence of the cryptocurrency sector in the graphics card market.
The correlation is not proportional, but it is evident. With the last drop in value that Ethereum has experienced, we see that there is also a drop in the price of graphics cards that, on this occasion, has affected AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 more, which go from 178% to 167%. The NVIDIA RTX 30 drops from 185% to 177%.
It is already possible to find some graphics cards at slightly less crazy prices in Spain. For example, the MSI AMD Radeon RX 6600 MECH 2X is available for €459.26. The recommended price of the RX 6600 is 339 euros, so since it is a personalized model with a good finish, the extra cost is even “acceptable,” especially considering how the panorama is in the graphic sector. Unfortunately, in the case of NVIDIA, things look worse since the RTX 3060 is around 700 euros.
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