Why Graphics Cards Became Expensive, and Are About to Get Much Cheaper

Right now there is a world-wide GPU shortage. If you’ve attempted to pick a high end graphics card to build your latest gaming machine you’ll very likely have figured it out, graphics cards of any kleintje are ter brief supply. But it’s not just the newer top-shelf graphics cards, older cards have doubled or tripled te price on the second-hand market, and it’s all down to cryptocurrency.

Things began to spiral out of control towards the end of May with the uptick the Ethereum market driving miners to clear out the shelves of anything that could be used to mine the currency, and while shortages of cards has happened before, there’s never bot anything on this sort of scale before. Bitcoin also went through a stage where off-the-shelf GPU cards were a good fit—you now need custom-built ASIC hardware to even have a chance of mining being profitable—but it wasgoed still early days for the cryptocurrency market spil GPU mining of Bitcoin became unprofitable late-2011, or possibly early-2012, and far fewer people were aware of it.

With the price of Ethereum climbing from about $Ten ter January to a peak of around $400 te June, fat numbers of people were drawn by attractive comes back that could be made by mining the currency. If you purchased a cluster of six AMD RX 580 cards, for $350 a chunk, you would have made harshly around $900 overheen the course of a month. At that rate of come back the cluster would have pretty much paid for themselves te just overheen two months.

Ter response to the rising request the manufacturers introduced fresh ranges of ‘mining’ cards. Based around the same designs spil normal cards thesis fresh cards often druppel display connectors entirely, if you’re mining cryptocurrency you just don’t need to be able to connect your card to a monitor. However they also come with shorter warranties, an acknowledgement by manufacturers that—unlike gamers—the cards will be run continuously twenty four hours a day.

But the time when GPUs are profitable for Ethereum mining is rapidly coming to an end. Not only has the price of the currency declined by 45% overheen the course of the last month, but the DAG has enlargened to the point where its already unprofitable for smaller miners te any case.

You should therefore expect to see a large number of graphics cards bought for mining to turn up on the 2nd forearm market ‘real soon now’ spil miners seek to close out their positions. That means a flood of cheap high-end graphics cards on eBay, which will make gamers glad, but alongside those will be a large number of those fresh ‘mining’ cards.

On the face of it with shorter warranties, and no display connectors, those mining cards aren’t that useful. Certainly gamers won’t be interested te them, but perhaps you should be—because they’re the volmaakt toneelpodium to commence experimenting with deep learning. With solid GPU support you can reduce time for deep learning experiments from months, to days, and with the flood of cards coming onto the market ter the next month or two, now could well be the time to build a bargain deep learning equipment.

Albeit if you are thinking about picking up some cheap ‘mining’ cards to play around with deep learning you should be aware that most of the available machine learning libraries are based around CUDA, rather than OpenCL. So while the underlying hardware of the two brands is just spil good, you might want to concentrate your search on NVIDIA rather than AMD cards.


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