Should I buy a new Graphics Card right now early 2018?


Aug 1, 2013
I know, I know. Cryptocurrency. Don't do it. But...

Every time I ask someone how long they think the absurd prices will last, I get a different answer.

Now, of course the only truly logical answer is "I don't have a crystal ball." or something along those lines. However, one person I asked - a good friend of mine - explained it to me something like this:

NVIDIA / AMD estimate the amount of graphics cards that they are going to sell by the time they are ready for another launch. So, they printed x amount of cards while the Bitcoin (for example) price was ~700$/ea all in one (or a few?) massive assembly. Then they shelved all x cards expecting to funnel them to 3rd party manufacturers until they were ready to release the next gen...

But then the Bitcoin price unexpectedly shot up to ~20000$/ea, and everyone cleaned out all 3rd party manufacturers as well as the FE cards. Now NVIDIA and AMD are stuck with what they originally printed, and maybe are able to print a few (relative to the millions) more cards, but they didn't get nearly enough of a warning to know how many they should have printed in the first place, so there's no way for them to keep up.

In short, if the Bitcoin price tanks back to say 2 grand per, card prices might tank but not because of availability of new ones, but rather because everyone starts unloading what they thought were their winning lottery tickets.

Or, if the Bitcoin price retains its value or even increases by the time the next line is launched, the 1000 line would retain its absurd value, and then tank back to the normal price when the 1100 line launches; because NVIDIA / AMD will know to print many more millions of cards to compensate.

That friend is very knowledgeable with computers / parts...but he tends to occasionally pull explanations completely out of his ass. It would seem he's afraid to just say "I don't know" sometimes.

So, is this right completely? Somewhat correct? Absolute horseshit? You tell me. I have no idea.

All of this aside though, what do YOU think, and why? I really could go for another 1080TI right about now. I know you don't have the crystal ball, but we can at least speculate.
Well, we could speculate. And that's about it. IF you need a new graphic card (and I mean you really need it) AND you can afford current price, then just go for it. Chances are, if Bitcoin keeps its price, you may even be able to sell it later for no less then you bought it. If history takes alternate route - well, you still are winner, as you are able to play your games on excellent piece of hardware.

NVidia is able to make a certain number of chips each month. They can't increase that number by big margin quickly - it would take few months at least. But the big question is - would they be interested in doing so? Right now they can sell everything they make for good price. Making more means lowering price, so profit stays same.


He is right but not exactly. If it wasn't profitable to mine then people won't buy gpus to mine. As the price goes down, so does how much money they make. When that gets too low and it's not worth the trouble, they won't buy them to mine.

But people keep mistaking bitcoin mining as what's affecting gpu prices. It's not. You haven't been able to mine bitcoins profitably for many years when asics become 100x better. That's not an exaggeration. Gpus are that much weaker than asics, not even taking into account power usage which his better too. Bitcoin has been dropping since mid december. Ethereum doubled in december. Although that's been dropping since mid january. Gpus were all in stock and near msrp all through november and december and you could easily find any gpu. It wasn't til the new year that we saw another mining craze. Nothing happened to prices around that time. No news or big events either. That should have happened in december but I guess it was delayed from the holidays. Although like stock prices, things may happen because of people's emotions for no reason.

But you can't just look at 1 or 2 coins. Bitcoin became unprofitable with gpus and people went with asics. Another coin replaced it for gpu mining. Once ethereum isn't good, there will be another as long as people can make money mining. With new gpus means better performance to keep up with increasing difficulty so we won't see mining go away for years to come. But we should at least see less crazy prices as gpu inventory increase and interest wanes. It was 7 months from the first price hike to when it got down near msrp again, although before that prices were well below msrp. The price hike this time was double the increase as last time but it's also dropping faster too. It's still many months to estimate the shortest time it'll be back to reasonable prices. Maybe a month to have not so scarce inventory if prices keep dropping.

Making more gpus means they can sell more. Even with a lower margin, increased sales is increased profits. Both amd and nvidia said they are increasing manufacturing. But realistically, nothing will happen anytime soon. A new series doesn't mean more gpus being made. Their fabs are just switched from making old models to new.