Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Bitcoin Graphics Hardware

GPU Prices Soar as Bitcoin Miners Buy Up Hardware To Build Rigs (computerworld.com) 157

"Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency miners have created a dearth of mid-range and high-end GPU cards that are selling for twice as much as suggested retail," reports Computerworld. "The reason: miners are setting up server farms with the cards." Lucas123 writes: GPU prices have more than doubled in some cases... Some of the most popular GPUs can't even be found anymore as they've sold out due to demand. Meanwhile, some retailers are pushing back against bitcoin miners by showing favoritism to their traditional gamer customers, allowing them to purchase GPUs at manufacturer's suggested retail price. Earlier this year, NVIDIA asked retailers of its hardware to prioritize sales to gamers over cryptocurrency miners.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

GPU Prices Soar as Bitcoin Miners Buy Up Hardware To Build Rigs

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2018 @05:36PM (#56398939)

    1) Bitcoin is NOT mined on GPU, since like 5 years. Only on special ASIC devices. You ment to write that crypto-currencies, ALTcoins, are GPU mined

    2) This is going on for like 1-2 years now, including the GPU shortage as result of ALT-coin mining

    • by Entrope ( 68843 ) on Saturday April 07, 2018 @05:44PM (#56398983) Homepage

      Indeed. In the last few months, GPU process have actually dropped a fair bit. In January, it was common to see Radeon Vega 64 cards offered for almost 4x MSRP.

    • cards are back in stock and the major source of demand for GPU mining, Ethereum & it's offshoots, are about to get ASICs that are about 5x faster than a GPU for less power (still 200 days to the break even point). Prices'll go back down to normal as more ASICs hit the market.
      • I don't follow the crytocurrency scene very much, but I was under the impression that Ethereum was specifically designed in such a way as to make it difficult or perhaps impossible to use an ASIC.
        • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

          Harder to make ASIC for, not impossible. It's effectively impossible to make a crypto currency you can't build an ASIC for.

          The company that has the prototype is the same Chinese company that rules the roost when it comes to bitcoin ASIC mining. They're experts in the field, and it took them what, a year and then some to get ASIC designed.

        • by Entrope ( 68843 ) on Saturday April 07, 2018 @07:51PM (#56399447) Homepage

          Ethereum's hash function is designed to use a lot of memory bandwidth, whereas the Bitcoin hash function is primarily just arithmetic. That means that an ASIC can pop down tons of dedicated hardware for the Bitcoin hash function and be much, much more power-efficient than a CPU or GPU. An Ethereum ASIC does not have the same relative efficiency gain -- but it does have some.

          For any proof-of-work scheme, there will be some point where an ASIC will be more profitable than a CPU or GPU, but most (that use novel hash functions) don't reach that point because the one-time costs of designing the ASIC are so high. Antminer apparently thinks Ethereum has reached that point -- which may push it towards adopting proof-of-stake sooner.

          • You'd think someone would have worked out how to make an ASIC that took cheap RAM modules.

            There are multiple tutorials on getting FPGAs working with generic DDR3. FPGAs were stepping stones to ASICs for Bitcoin, there should be some board out there that can handle memory intensive coins.

        • Not impossible at all, simply more expensive due to the memory requirements and the fact they are moving to PoS which makes their development pointless.
      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        cards are back in stock and the major source of demand for GPU mining, Ethereum & it's offshoots, are about to get ASICs that are about 5x faster than a GPU for less power (still 200 days to the break even point). Prices'll go back down to normal as more ASICs hit the market.

        There are more cryptocurrencies out there that all those GPUs can be put to work with. Like Monero (ASIC version is a fork), litecoin and ripple. Those are commonly known ones too, so as Ethereum miners move to ASICs, those GPU rigs

      • Now if only DDR4 would go back down to $10/gb so I can justify getting another 8 G for my laptop...

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      +1 AC. The only way now is with ASIC. The GPU days are over.
    • ^^ THIS.

      Only a complete noob is using a GPU to mine.

      * Mining Hardware Comparison [bitcoin.it]
      * Non-specialized Hardware comparison [bitcoin.it]

    • 1) Bitcoin is NOT mined on GPU, since like 5 years.

      It's almost like something happened to bitcoin in the past 5 years that makes it quite viable to use GPUs. Now what was it again? Oh that's right, a 1000x increase in value.

    • by jythie ( 914043 )
      It is questionable how much of it is even alt-coin. GPUs are increasingly used in all sorts of number crunching situations, meaning they are increasingly going to marketing and business analytics departments, not to mention increased usage in healthcare/insurance/etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    No one has mined Bitcoin or any of its offspring with GPU for years. Get your story straight!

  • Old news (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2018 @05:43PM (#56398975)

    This has been known for a while. Post some stuff that isn't stale bread.

  • just an excuse to explain poor supply and price gauging.
  • very stale news (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2018 @06:02PM (#56399049)

    literally anyone who would care about this phenomenon already knows about it. In fact, aren't prices coming back down now that the hype has subsided?

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday April 07, 2018 @06:02PM (#56399051) Homepage Journal

    Hothardware reports that pricing is now on a downward trend [hothardware.com], with GPU prices approaching MSRP. They suggest that this is at least in part due to a new Ethereum ASIC miner [hothardware.com]. And they provide citations to show that the prices are actually falling, while computerworld simply makes a claim with no evidence...

    • by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Saturday April 07, 2018 @06:30PM (#56399157)

      "Bitmain Launches Ethereum ASIC Miner With Hash Rate Performance Of 8 GTX 1080 GPUs For Just $800"

      Wow. I'd expect to see a flood of used GPU's piling up on Ebay with this news. Let's see...

      Search GTX 1070, click "used", results: 971 listings with the first ~275 under $400.

      Yep. "Crisis" over. Expect prices to fall precipitously.

      I believe Ethereum is/was the real source of GPU demand given that bitcoin miners long since moved to ASICs. Ethereum was designed to be ASIC resistant [stackexchange.com]. So what has changed? Has there been some breakthrough in ASIC design, driven by cryptocurrency?

      • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

        Ethereum's proof of work is based on directed graphs and apparently it is a memory and bandwidth hog so it works pretty well on a GPU but you can't really just make a single ASIC that can tear through hashes like you can with bitcoin. You can certainly make an ASIC that does the work, but you also have to have lots of memory interfaced to that ASIC through a high speed interconnect. So you're really talking about designing a custom computer rather than just an ASIC with a simple interface.

        Thanks for the G

        • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

          Honestly, 970 to 1070 is not worth it unless you actually have games that are straining you just below your point of comfort.

          • Honestly, 970 to 1070 is not worth it unless you actually have games that are straining you just below your point of comfort.

            Thanks for that tip; I have dual Zotac 950 AMP!s (one of them was a warranty replacement for a 750Ti, which they didn't have in stock any more) and they bench out at about the same level as a 970. Looks like it's going to be some while yet before I upgrade my graphics card, which is a shame. I was feeling ready for an upgrade.

            • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

              I have a 970 myself, and gaming on 1080p, I just can't find all that many (really any) games that go below my point of comfort (which is around 60fps) without going so far below it that 1070 wouldn't be enough of an upgrade to matter.

              In general, a good rule of a thumb is that you upgrade ever two-three generations depending on your preferences in games and resolution you play on. The thing that throws many people nowadays off is that last three generations lasted for a much longer time than those before the

              • by Cederic ( 9623 )

                Yeah, my 970 was driving 1440p effortlessly back when it was new, and is now driving 1080p effortlessly on my 'has steering wheel' backup PC.

                My 1070 is struggling on brand new games at 1440p if I leave all settings at max, by which I mean it can drop under 50fps occasionally.

                • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

                  How do you find interfaces on newer games in 1440p btw? I keep hearing horror stories from friends who decide to "upgrade" from 1080 to 1440 only to discover that interfaces become much harder to decipher.

                  • by Cederic ( 9623 )

                    Never had an issue with newer games. Some very old games struggle at that resolution but new ones kind of expect it.

          • Some of us just want a cheap CUDA device for playing around with.

          • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

            The 970 drives my 4 k screen reasonably well, but a 1070 would do better. I wouldn't make that upgrade for retail price, but for $200, sure.

            Also, I do medical imaging and loading a full volume into memory and then manipulating it works in 4 GB but would work better in 8. It's handy to have a local machine with a decent card so you don't have to debug on the cluster all the time.

            • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

              If you're mainly struggling with memory side of things, 1060 with 6GB may be sufficient. That said, if your company is paying for it, you may as well get a 1080.

      • Be careful with eBay graphics cards right now - some scammers have figured out you can hack the firmware on a card to spoof the model identifier. Buy a 1050, replace stickers, fiddle firmware, sell as a 1080 - as far as software reports, it is a 1080. Still performs like a 1050 though, and hope the buyer doesn't realise. Can be done on AMD cards too.

    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )
      Yea this article is 3 months out of date. GPU mining profits began to fall in late January and have been on a steady decline since then. Mining for most coins is down 50-80% from highs in Dec/Jan.
  • The GPU gold rush for mining has been ongoing for quite a while. It has recently subsided in tandem with the sustained price drop of crypto currencies.
  • The trend has reverses on GPU pricing
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2018 @06:13PM (#56399093)

    Welcome to 2016. What moron posted this article. GPU prices are dropping not soaring, Bitcoin hasn't been mined on GPU's for years now, alt coin mining since the price crashes has led to nice drops in GPU prices

    • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

      A miner who has used cards to sell?

      • A miner who has used cards to sell?

        Too late for that, ebay et al are flooded with used cards now. Someone trying to offload cards either has to quickly take what they can get or hope for a recovery in crypto.

  • by Pezbian ( 1641885 ) on Saturday April 07, 2018 @06:41PM (#56399189)

    If there were a smaller market for GPUs, the economy of scale aspect wouldn't be working in anyone's favor. No chipmaker gives a shit whether your framerates are 30FPS or 60FPS or that you can bump your resolution to 4K versus ... unless you can do so on their competitor's cards at a price point that threatens viability of their own offerings (If nobody buys it because someone else has something way better, they don't make back the sunk costs of R&D, tooling, manufacturing, marketing, etc).

    There are still coins you can mine from GPUs. I'm actually intrigued by what the Dogethereum project might do to the market since that's shifting back to GPU.

    100,000 gamers: "I want a new GPU for cheap because I want higher framerates, but I'm poor!"
    10,000,000 cryptocurrency miners: "I want several better GPUs because I can make more money from them and I'm willing to pay for that privilege if you'll deliver a respectable ROI."
    GPU maker: "Okay, miners, you'll get your new card. Gamers, since yields are never perfect, we'll offer the cards to you for cheap if you're okay with the cores that don't work being disabled in hardware. It's still over four times as fast as anything else the other guys can offer for the price."
    All: "Great!!"

    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      Nvidia at least sees the cryptocurrency thing as a flash in the pan. Miners have demanded a lot of high end GPUs all of a sudden, but they might not express that demand over decades like gamers do. They're certainly not driving GPU R&D.

      • They're certainly not driving GPU R&D.

        Not long-term, but if you run a company and smell easy money, you adapt and chase it. That's just good business, if only for being able to survive... or beat your competition to the punch.

        R&D departments don't necessarily release the best of their best all at once unless they want to stomp a competitor. It's like I related back in the 90s: If you know how to make a 24X CD-ROM drive (that may not be reliable above 20x) and your competitor can only make a 6x, just release an 8x that can be boosted to 12x

        • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

          "Not long-term, but if you run a company and smell easy money, you adapt and chase it. That's just good business, if only for being able to survive... or beat your competition to the punch."

          Chip design isn't easy money. Some people smelled easy money and whipped off some simple ASICs. They probably made back some fraction of a percent of what Nvidia pulls in.

          If you're a smart business you try to supply some long term, sustainable demand. Nvidia has publicly said that they don't think cryptocurrency minin

          • I don't think I'm entirely mistaken, just off by a bit. But I think you helped me refine my views. I've been every type of gamer, from ditch to high-end. When 3D acceleration was still a novelty in the late-90s, I settled for a 2MB Voodoo Rush card from Intergraph (okay, it had a dedicated 4MB in 2D mode, but that's not what I bought it for). When VR hit, I pre-ordered a GTX 1080 the same day the same day I switched my Rift order to a Vive.

            I hear a lot more about "70" GPUs being employed for mining than "80

  • Nvidia needs to accept that it's a free market and just accept that the goods will get sold to the highest bidder. ...just like our political offices...
  • So this is how the world will end. Everything will be consumed mining Bitcoin.
    • Of the coin miners I know, like 90% bought solar power rigs for their houses. One had his ASIC miners linked to his brother's under-construction house and paid for something like 30kW of solar gear outright. He made a profit from the start (expensive electricity at that level, plus offsetting heating costs).

      When the miners are garbage, the panels will still work.

  • selling for twice as much as suggested retail

    In dollars or Bitcoin?

  • Yeah, I'm sure retailers give a flying donkey's rear who they sell to. If someone comes in with a wad of cash, they will sell to them.
  • Seriously. It's been an issue for over a year now...

  • Why can't they put a hardware lock on GPU's which detects and prevents cryptocurrency mining, and separately sell a card which is solely used for mining?

    Getting tired of seeing GPU's going for 2-4 times their original price. It must be putting a dent in the PC builder market.

    • Why can't they put a hardware lock on GPU's which detects and prevents cryptocurrency mining,

      Seems like it'd be potentially complicated overhead - how would it detect crypto mining, versus other heavy usage? Wouldn't that affect performance across the board, no matter what you are using the card for? And of course, why would they want to lock out particular uses of the card? (Which is just me pointing out a possible mindset, not agreeing with or disagreeing with it. - though it could be argued that the problem is not the usage alone, but the people buying up huge quantities - supply, purchasing,

  • I want to buy GPUs for Machine Learning, but they are too expensive. I wish there was ML hardware that did not have to support Crypto mining, but just Machine Learning.

    I have setup one GPU inside a Linux container but I need more GPUs.
  • ... very very low electricity rates because at this point most cryptocurrencies have reached the point where a GPU spends more money in energy than it generates currency. Either you must be that thick and unwilling to acknowledge this or you have enough solar power on the premises.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Either you must be that thick and unwilling to acknowledge this ...

      That seems to characterize these people pretty well. After all, they are literally mining hot air and are dependent on a "greater fool" to buy from them.

    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

      ... very very low electricity rates because at this point most cryptocurrencies have reached the point where a GPU spends more money in energy than it generates currency. Either you must be that thick and unwilling to acknowledge this or you have enough solar power on the premises.

      I see this argument quite often and all I can think is people don't know how much power actually costs, or how much power GPU mining actually uses. Even now, with prices in the crapper, most cards are profitable with power rates $0.40/kWh and lower.

  • Seriously, dumbest thing ever, and worse, they hurt the environment. I wonder just how much energy has been wasted because of cryptocurrencies? I wonder how many people have had to pay larger electricity bills because of unscrupulous websites and games using their computers to mine, not to mention victims of malware? Stuff needs to be made illegal in its current form. If you're worried about climate change and carbon and all that then getting rid of cryptocurrencies is about the easiest and most effecti
  • I thought dedicated bitcoin mining cards were a thing now, and that gaming GPUs would soon be easily available again... especially when miners start selling off all their used GPUs. https://bitcoinmagazine.com/ar... [bitcoinmagazine.com]
  • only because the retailers are charging a fortune for them. I suppose there is a limit to what the miners are willing to pay for them.

    Nvidia 1080s are plentiful at the Fry's I was at earlier this evening. They have price tags of $1k each which is probably why they're sitting there on the shelf.

  • Story from last year maybe? This certainly isn't new.

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak

Working...