According to a report from JPR, roughly 700 thousand high and midrange graphics cards were sold to miners in the first quarter of 2021. This accounts for 25% of all discrete AIB graphics cards sold in the quarter, with a market value of $500 million. And yet, this figure is a fair bit lower than the number of GPUs sold to miners during the previous crypto-boom in 2017-18.
In 2017 and 2018, around 50-60% of the overall GPUs sold trickled into the hands of miners. In comparison, only 15-25% of the graphics cards sold in late 2020 and early 2021 were bought by cryptominers. This is a sharp decline compared to the previous season, and yet we’re seeing acute shortages. The answer is rather straightforward. Demand has grown quite significantly, primarily due to the pandemic and the launch of next-gen hardware.
In contrast to the previous wave, NVIDIA’s RTX 3000 cards are much more suited for mining Ether while AMD’s reduced external bandwidth makes them much less appealing to miners. As a result, NVIDIA has reduced the hash rate of its latest GPUs to half, all the while announcing a dedicated CMP lineup to avoid a repeat of the “crypto-hangover”. AMD hasn’t imposed any restrictions on the use of its latest offerings and quite frankly it doesn’t need to. Even with NVIDIA’s mining nerf in place, its Ampere parts are more or less on par with rival AMD’s in cryptomining.