We live in quite an interesting era of cryptocurrencies right now. Back when Bitcoin could still be mined with a GPU, a lot of miners bought large amounts of graphics cards to build their own mining farms. It now appears the same is happening in the altcoin world, which causes some issues for manufacturers and store owners. In fact, the amount of available AMD graphics cards is at an all-time low.
Altcoin Miners Make AMD GPU Market Boom Exponentially
It is quite interesting to see how cryptocurrency mining is causing some mainstream problems. To be more specific, the number of people mining altcoins is causing a shortage of AMD graphics cards in a few different countries. That should not come as a surprise since mining alternative currencies can be very lucrative with enough hardware. A lot of people mine Ethereum, Litecoin, ZCash, Decred, Dogecoin, and others right now.
All of these popular and valuable alternative currencies require a proper mining setup to be even remotely profitable. While NVIDIA graphics cards are incredibly popular among gamers, the AMD counterparts have always fallen a bit short in this department. However, cryptocurrency mining is granting AMD a second lease on life, as their top-of-the-line GPUs are flying off the shelves right now.
To set up a decent altcoin mining operation, you can’t just buy one graphics card either. Most miners start out by building a “rig” containing 4 or more AMD GPUs, which are hooked up to a compatible motherboard with PCI-E riser cables. This means there will be an increase in motherboard and power supply sales a swell over the coming months. Miners don’t need a powerful processor, which makes the system somewhat cheaper to build. Moreover, a stick or two of 4GB ram should be more than sufficient.
The reason why AMD GPUs are in such high demand is because they are better at handling the various altcoin mining algorithms. NVIDIA cards are perfect for SHA-256 hashing, which made them incredibly powerful for Bitcoin mining in the early days. However, popular altcoins such as Ethereum, ZCash, and Decred all use different mining algorithms. The NVIDIA cards can handle these computational calculations, but they are vastly outclassed by AMD cards in this department.
Moreover, AND GPUs are a lot less expensive, which makes them perfect for altcoin mining these days. AMD has created a lot of graphics cards which are incredibly energy-efficient. Cryptocurrency mining is still an expensive business depending on electricity costs. Reducing these costs as much as possible will result in a faster return on investment for miners. Any profits generated by the operation can then be used to purchase additional mining hardware.
It is quite interesting to note a lot of miners are after the exact same AMD GPU model. Both the RX 570 and RX 580 models are hard to obtain in most part of the world right now. Even used graphics cards of this model are fetching a much higher price than they should. There is a real cryptocurrency mining frenzy going on. It is highly doubtful powerful ASICs will be developed for most of these altcoins, which means GPU mining will remain relevant for quite some time to come.
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