In brief: As cryptocurrency prices continue to fall and Bitcoin once again drops below the $20,000 mark, cryptomining is becoming increasingly less profitable---and that's good news for gamers looking to grab a second-hand GPU. According to a recent report, prices of used graphics cards have crashed as much as 50% in recent months.
The crypto market isn't showing any signs of improving, barring a temporary uptick over the weekend that saw markets briefly pass $1 trillion. That's bad news for investors, crypto companies, and North Korea but good news for those looking to buy a used graphics card, especially as Ethereum's upcoming switch from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, aka The Merge, is going to push prices down even further.
Bloomberg estimates that more than a third of the consumer graphics card market could vanish as cryptominers decide that their money-making hobby just isn't worth it anymore. The publication estimates that 35% of consumer graphics cards were bought by miners during the run-up to the crypto boom late last year when Bitcoin reached its height of $68,000, and we're now seeing a lot of those cards end up on second-hand sites such as eBay. Some of them are going for less than half the price that sellers asked only a few months ago.
The report reflects our own GPU availability and pricing update. The RTX 3090 Ti, which was going for an average of $2,000 on eBay in April, can now be found for $1,650, while the RTX 3080 10GB has dropped from $1,000 to $770 in the last few months.
It's not just second-hand cards that are seeing price reductions; new GPUs are also getting closer to and sometimes less than MSRP. It's led to a fall in motherboard sales as people stop buying mobos just for the bundled card, EVGA starting to shutter its virtual queue system, and Nvidia reportedly killing off the RTX 3080 12GB model.
There are often concerns when buying a second-hand graphics card that was used 24/7 for mining purposes. And while these worriers can be justified, the cards often haven't taken the kind of performance hit you might expect.