Bar of gold or graphics card. What has more value? There would be no point in asking if the answer was a bar of gold so let's explain why. If you're holding a current-gen graphics card, then you might as well be holding a bar of gold. With the graphics card's basic intention of producing the images you see on your computer monitor, now being seen as a cash machine in the eyes of cryptocurrency miners, saying the graphic card market is hard to look at is an understatement.
In a global pandemic, we can’t just pinpoint crypto-miners as the reason for the shortage. COVID-19 has not only boosted the demand for graphics cards for home entertainment, but drastically slowed the production of the hardware. Both Nvidia and AMD have openly said they are struggling to keep up with the demand.
Early 2020 saw factory production lines left with less than a quarter of the workforce and some production lines completely abandoned as stay-at-home orders and social distancing were put in place. This resulted in PC hardware short in stock, meanwhile, people complying with lockdown regulation sought out new hardware for the home entertainment rigs, placing Nvidia’s 30 series graphics cards very high in demand.
To add insult to injury mid-2020 starts the second round of cryptocurrency boom with the price of Ethereum at a constant rise through 2020, crypto miners start to see Nvidia’s release of the RTX 3090 as the ultimate investment. The best way of obtaining as many graphics cards as possible would be for them to create or use buying bots to buy the largest quantity possible in the least amount of time. Of course, resulting in the RTX 3090s selling out in minutes.
With all legitimate retailers selling out or products being sold on marketplaces for 4 times the original price. The GPU market was hit hard as gamers and those seeking Nvidia's 30 series cards for the new high-intensity games, were left to turn to 3rd party sellers. Entering the domain of buying fake products or running into scams and bot bait.
It's hard to predict the future of the current graphics card situation, but common consensus points to the opinion that we will still have a while to go for normalised prices of graphic hardware. As the price of Ethereum peaks at $2,500, those wanting new hardware are left waiting for the current crypto bubble to burst.
All we can do is wait.