Most hardware enthusiasts - even those with just a passing interest in PCs - will be well aware that miners are snatching up all the GPUs they can in order to power the cryptocurrency gold rush. Retailers are now facing some pushback from Nvidia, however, who have officially confirmed the steps they will take to limit the supply of GPUs to miners and get GeForce cards back into gamer’s rigs.
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While Nvidia have received some flak recently for the limitations they applied to GeForce-powered servers, this new restrictive policy seems to apply to both ends of the spectrum. GeForce is for gamers while Quadro and Tesla are for professionals. Nvidia’s statement is some sign, if only a small one, of resistance from the green team to the outrageous pricing of GPUs going unabated.
It’s not a particularly large gesture from Nvidia, only a “recommendation” - maybe the soft touch was a byproduct from the backlash the company previously saw from more heavy-handed recommendations to retailers and manufacturers.
“For Nvidia, gamers come first,” Nvidia spokesperson, Boris Böhles, tells ComputerBase. “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.”
Whether Nvidia’s promise will manifest as more cards for gamers is yet to be seen. Many, if not most, retailers already implement some variation of a one card limit per customer, to little success. Plenty of graphics cards never seem to make it to stores in the first place with the larger mining outfits heading them off at the pass and buying from distributors or graphics card partners direct.
AMD, on the other hand, seemingly can’t afford to crack down on miners. Relying on cryptocurrency mining for business growth is a risky approach in itself, and it could lead to shaky ground in the wake of a crash.
Maybe this move from Nvidia will spurn some positive change, but it seems that without direct changes to the manufacturing and retail chain, gamers are still facing bleak graphics card upgrade options for the immediate future. Combined with high SSD and drastically over-priced DRAM, 2018 is set to be an expensive year for PC gamers.