AMD’s Radeon RX 570 and RX 580 graphics cards are in high demand globally and are almost impossible to find in South Africa.
Wootware‘s Matthew Berry said the recent global increase in cryptocurrency value has caused miners to purchase more AMD Radeon RX-series graphics cards, leading to a decrease in availability.
Miners use graphics cards to mine blockchains and earn cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and ZCash.
“The cryptocurrency mining boom has created a surge in demand for RX 570 and RX 580 GPUs in particular,” said Berry.
The graphics cards are favourites among cryptocurrency miners due to their high hash rate and relatively low price.
AMD’s Radeon RX 400-series cards were succeeded by RX 500-series GPUs, and although there are Radeon RX 560 and RX 550 cards available in South Africa, top-end RX 400-series and RX 500-series cards are sold out at most retailers.
Less-powerful AMD graphics cards like the Radeon RX 550 are not as popular due to their lower hash rates.
Crypto mining has become a profitable undertaking, and six Radeon RX 480 graphics cards mining Ethereum every day can generate the owner a monthly income of around R10,000 at current prices.
Berry said additional stock of the AMD cards is arriving in the country on a continual basis, but all of this generally fulfills back orders.
It’s not only South Africa which is experiencing a shortage of AMD graphics cards, however, and Berry said the recent cryptocurrency mining boom has created a global shortage.
Miners around the world are clamouring to buy RX 580 and RX 570 cards, as they can pay for the hardware with three to four months of cryptocurrency mining.
As the value of cryptocurrency increases, more users are building crypto miners, and existing miners are expanding or updating their hardware due to increased returns.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have seen dramatic increases in value in 2017, making it more attractive to purchase graphics cards and mine the digital currencies.