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Surge In Litecoin Mining Leads To Graphics Card Shortage 213

Posted by timothy
from the cost-of-doing-business dept.
New submitter Kenseilon writes "Extremetech reports that the recent price hike of Litecoins has triggered yet another arms race for the *coinminers out there, leading to a shortage of AMD graphics cards. While Bitcoin mining is quickly becoming unfeasible for GPU rigs with general purpose graphics cards, there are several alternative currencies with opportunities. The primary candidate is now Litecoin, which has the aim of 'being silver if Bitcoin is gold' Swedish Tech site Sweclockers also reports [in Swedish] that GPU manufacturer Club3D have told them that miners are becoming a new important group of potential customers. However, concerns are being raised that this is a temporary boom that may hurt AMD in the long run, since gamers, their core consumer group, may not be able to acquire the cards and instead opt for Nvidia."
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Surge In Litecoin Mining Leads To Graphics Card Shortage

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  • Re:Ummm Bullshit (Score:5, Informative)

    by FlyHelicopters (1540845) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @04:13AM (#45687759)
    Newegg has had a hard time keeping any 280x, 290, and 290x cards in stock. I haven't seen a 290 card in stock for a week now.

    Newegg has them priced $50-100 over retail, the demand is huge and when they restock, they tend to sell out within an hour or two.

  • Re:Ummm Bullshit (Score:5, Informative)

    by martinux (1742570) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @04:13AM (#45687763)

    What in fact has happened is the availability of a number of optimal* cards - particularly the Radeon 7950 - have massively decreased due to miners buying them. As you would expect market demand has resulted in a significant price hike. Radeon cards provide higher hash rates than nVidia cards and so they are more popular to miners in general. There are a number of benefits to litecoin, particularly the faster transaction time. If you're a litecoin miner decryption is optimised for GPUs rather than ASICs (which have a much, much higher uptake in bitcoin mining) and thus is not the realm of high-cost ASICs or FPGAs.

    Whilst I do appreciate that bitcoin and litecoin are 'hot topics' at the moment there are many interesting consequences that have emerged as a result of the uptake in both the currency and technology required to maintain the currency. Thus, I do think there is something to talk about here.

    * The cards are optimal in that they give the fastest hash-rate to power-consumption ratio.

  • Re:Lol@fads. (Score:5, Informative)

    by neiras (723124) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @04:56AM (#45687885)

    I bought into Litecoin at under $5 with some hobby money some months ago and it's hanging out at $30. I cashed out my original investment (leaving several times that in Litecoin, yay profit), bought ten Radeon cards and some cheap motherboards with the money, threw together some Debian USB sticks in an evening and am now mining on P2Pool for shits and giggles.

    In a few weeks the equipment will have paid for itself, even accounting for the insane difficulty increases. Power is cheap here, so I will do pretty well for a while yet. Bonus: the rigs run hot so I'm basically making a little money heating my house.

    You can laugh all you want. I'm having a blast, I've made a tidy profit, I have a bunch of new toys to play with, and if Litecoin ever does go ballistic like Bitcoin did I won't be left on the sidelines like you will. Don't really care about the likelihood of *coins taking over the world, or whatever - there is money to be made and I'm happy to make it.

    It's a fun hobby. Honestly, it's play money to me and I've multiplied it several times. Not complaining. More fun than hitting the casino like some people I know, even if it's gambling all the same.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 14, 2013 @05:51AM (#45688021)

    When will a *coin virtual currency make calculations useful for science? I can't help but feel this whole thing is total a waste of energy.

    There already is, Timekoin is the most efficient digital currency out there, any spare CPU time can be used for a whole range of science research from any number of old servers given new life.

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