Nvidia, the company that has long catered to gamers, has recently requested retailers to restrict graphics cards availability to the non-gaming community. Specifically, away from cryptocurrency miners.
According to ComputerBase, Nvidia’s spokesperson Boris Böhles stated that gamers will always be their priority, “For NVIDIA, gamers come first. All activities related to our GeForce product line are focused on our main audience. To ensure that GeForce gamers continue to have good GeForce graphics card availability in the current situation, we recommend that our trading partners make the appropriate arrangements to meet gamers’ needs as usual.”
In advising retailers to control their sales, Nvidia is looking for ways to bring down the price of the graphics cards. From April, 2017 until this month, TechSpot reported a 27% price increase in GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 86% in GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, 89% in GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, and a 59% increase in the famous GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. Customers are buying the cards in bulk, causing price inflation as well as a scarcity of the products. Nvidia also suggested that only two graphics cards be sold per customer to avoid any further increase in sales.
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Cryptocurrency mining is on the rise, with Bitcoin miners using as much as 36 terawatt hours of energy in 2017. However, this wasn’t the case when Bitcoin was originally launched. Miners could use two or three PCs and CPUs with ease. But the complexity of generating BTC increased over time, and so miners began looking for more computing power. Interestingly, TechRadar listed Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070 as the best graphics card for mining. With a higher hashing rate and low power consumption, crypto miners overlooked the high price of the product for its long-term use. In fact, Nvidia’s graphics cards took three positions on the aforementioned list.
Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang talked about cryptocurrencies and their future last year, “Crypto is here to stay, and the market will grow to be quite large. It’s not likely to go away anytime soon. There will be more currencies to come, they will come from different nations…We stay very close to the market, and understand the dynamics very well.”
Huang even mentioned that Nvidia has “a special coin-mining SKU [that is] optimized for mining,” which led people to believe that the company would be launching cryptocurrency GPUs. However, the recent announcement proves that Nvidia won’t be moving to the crypto market just yet.
While other companies would use this situation to reap more financial benefits, Nvidia chooses to focus on satisfying its gaming community.
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