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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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  • An Honest Question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @04:05AM (#45687735)
    Please help me out here. I'm asking seriously. If all you need to do to succeed at bitcoin mining is throw computer resources at it, and they are $1000 apiece, then why aren't all the world's supercomputers on the job making a thousand bucks a minute? The answer is of course, they have more important things to do. But even if they don't, they have the capacity to. It doesn't make sense to me. The whole currency could be deflated to nothing in one swell foop. If it could be so easily destroyed, then is its foundation really a solid one. I await enlightenment.
  • It hurt AMD today... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FlyHelicopters (1540845) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @04:08AM (#45687741)
    I would love to buy a pair of 290x cards and Crossfire them, but the delay in aftermarket coolers has hurt and the overall beta state of their newest drivers hurts as well.

    NewEgg shipped my new pair of 780 TI cards today, equipped with Gigabyte Windforce aftermarket coolers, I'll finally get rid of most of the crappy FPS problem on my 3 Dell 30" monitors thanks to only having a single AMD 7970 card.

    Why not just buy a second 7970 card and Crossfire them? I considered it, but since they are impossible to find for a reasonable price, forget it (2 months ago they were under $300, today they are closer to $500). The microstutter problem also remains when Crossfiring two cards and also running Eyefinity.

    Given that the problem has been known for a year and still isn't fixed, I'm not giving AMD any more time.

    Off to NVidia for me! Oh well, shame on you AMD, loyal customer here, but you just didn't leave me any options.

  • by FlyHelicopters (1540845) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @04:10AM (#45687749)
    Bitcoin is designed to be issued at a steady rate. If a dozen supercomputers suddenly starting mining, far fewer bitcoins would be issued. It would force the workload to the next harder level much sooner and thus reduce everyone's income.

    Ironically, if the NSA wanted to mess with bitcoin, just spending a few weeks mining would really mess up the income of a lot of miners.

  • by martinux (1742570) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @05:23AM (#45687947)

    The general consensus is that the newer cards are faster but they are also drawing more power per 'unit of work' and thus are not as good a solution. Note that this has not stopped people using these cards (and indeed, older, less powerful cards) as one can still make a small profit on relatively modest hardware.

    Ultimately the aim of the coin miner is to find the hardware that provides a reasonable mining rate whilst costing as little to run as possible. At some point the value of a litecoin may increase to the point where electricity costs become less of a factor in the choice of mining hardware. You'll start to see people moving to the newer cards if this happens.

    Another thing to consider is ASICs. These devices are generally expensive in terms of R&D but their performance can be orders of magnitude higher than GPUs. The problem described in the article is that ASICs are not ideal at solving scrypt. However, I think it's inevitable that hardware specifically designed to mine litecoin is inevitable if the value continues to rise.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @08:08AM (#45688329) Journal

    Not all of us who are mining LTC now bought new cards solely for that purpose.

    Personally, I just happened to derive some unexpected profits from the few BTC I had lying around for ages, and, having looked at LTC mining feasibility, decided that I'll use that cash to entertain myself with a new graphics card for my gaming rig - and will also use it to mine LTC while it's reasonably profitable, to recoup as much of the card's cost as possible. So I've got Radeon 280X, not because it had the best hashrate, but because it seemed like the best deal in terms of price to perf right now, within the lower performance limit that I've set.

  • Re:Ummm Bullshit (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @08:12AM (#45688343) Homepage

    It isn't silver to BTC gold, it offers no great advantages over BTC hat can't be integrated into the bitcoin protocol if deamed worthy and you cant buy anything with it except other crypto-currencies.

    This article is spam at best , a pump and dump endorsement at worst.

    Sure, that's what they used to say about Bitcoin but look where Bitcoin is now.

    Litecoin is the future!

  • by gweihir (88907) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @10:23AM (#45688821)

    Simple: At the moment the electricity you need for Bitcoin mining costs more then the coins you get out of it, unless you have very specific hardware that is completely tuned to this task. Mining with graphics cards costs you money.

    That's why you mine other altcoins that are still minable on commodity hardware, like Litecoin. Their value goes up and down together with BTC, so the current sky-high BTC price also means that others are similarly high.

    Pure fantasy, designed to drive more people into the pyramid-scheme.

    The other thing is of course that Bitcoin is not a real currency and may crash at any time and without warning. All it takes is one large owner to cash in and the market panics. Even rumors of this happening could be enough.

    True, but if you pick the right coin, and you already have the hardware, you can completely recoup all present and future power costs for a month ahead in a couple of days right now. Cash those out (as in, money in your account in the bank), and from there on anything you mine is basically free money, with no risk whatsoever.

    You don't have to be a "Bitcoin fanatic" to be able to add up the numbers and conclude that, right now, this is a profitable game to play. Ideology has zero relevance here so long as there's real money to be had.

    No, it is not "profitable" at all. It is a pyramid scam, even if it is a complicated one. The fact of the matter is that in a pyramid scam, almost everybody involved looses big-time, while a few in early make tons of money. It also requires people like you driving more greedy, but stupid sheep in there, or otherwise the few early ones do not get their desired earnings.

    So, no, even if a few people manage to scam a lot of money with Bitcoin or Litecoin or any other Scamcoin, most that were not in it from very early on will just lose everything they invested.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 14, 2013 @12:13PM (#45689299)

    I love how people compare bitcoin to gold, since there are limited bitcoins that can be created, yet as litecoin, peercoin, fastcoin etc have shown, there is no limit to the number of crypto coins, yet there is a limit to precious metals (on earth anyway). Haven'tseenanyone come out with a gold2 version of the metal

There is hardly a thing in the world that some man can not make a little worse and sell a little cheaper.