Cryptocurrency miners are moving to greener pastures, leading to a slump in graphics card shipments, according to a recent story by DigiTimes. The site quotes "sources from the upstream supply chain" who blame the slump on reduced Bitcoin demand as well as a transition to specialized mining ASICs:
[A]s chips designed for Bitcoin mining started appearing in early 2014, demand for graphics cards has been dropping. Since mining chips have advantages in size, power consumption, reliability and costs, most Bitcoin operators have turned to dedicated chips instead, the sources said.
I guess that explains AMD's recent announcement that Radeon R9 prices are back to normal. If DigiTimes' sources are correct, this return to normalcy probably isn't due to a surge in supply of GPUs from the company.
Radeons were scarce and hugely marked up during the cryptocurrency mining rush earlier this year. At their worst, the shortages led to Radeon R9 290X cards selling for as much as $900 at Newegg—almost a 64% markup over the 290X's $550 launch price.
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