Over the last few months, the local availability of powerful AMD and Nvidia graphics cards has dwindled.
It is now virtually impossible to find a powerful Radeon RX 500-series or GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card in South Africa.
This is due to a global shortage caused by purchases by cryptocurrency miners.
A recent surge in the price of cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and ZCash has led to an influx of new miners.
Cryptocurrency mining is done using consumer graphics cards, with the AMD Radeon RX 580 or GeForce GTX 1070 popular among miners.
While certain lower-end Radeon GPUs are available in South Africa, there is a huge waiting list for RX 580 and RX 570 cards.
Nvidia graphics cards have also been cleaned out by miners who grew tired of waiting for Radeon cards.
This has left new miners and PC gamers looking for new cards with few options.
We’ll call you in 10 months
Wootware and Raru said there is a severe global shortage of AMD and Nvidia cards, and manufacturers cannot keep up with current demand.
Wootware said it is difficult to predict when the shortage will end, as the waiting list for cards is extremely long.
“The number of GPU back orders is significantly higher than usual,” said Wootware.
“We do update our Stock Coming Soon section on a daily basis and this would be the best place to check for new inbound stock and their ETAs.”
Raru said suppliers were receiving little stock relative to the amount of orders placed.
“Our understanding about the shortage is that the manufacturers cannot produce cards fast enough to keep up with demand,” said Raru.
“Some of our suppliers only get an average of less than 30 cards per two weeks while having back orders of close to hundreds of units.”
- Nvidia cards have an ETA of a month due to back orders.
- AMD Radeon RX-series card orders may take up to 10 months to fulfill.
“The demand on the RX cards due to the higher MH/s have some suppliers giving ETAs up to 40 weeks,” said Raru.
“We receive daily queries from clients asking about the RX 570 and RX 580.”
What customers can do
The retailers said they will provide assistance and information on stock availability to their customers when contacted.
Raru said miners must research the mining capabilities of their chosen GPU to ensure they don’t buy several available GPUs which end up being useless for mining.
“Anybody that wants to start mining now and the stock is delayed should keep their order open,” said Raru.
“Suppliers work on a first-come, first-served basis, and if back orders are cancelled and reordered, that person will fall to the back of the queue.”
It appears that unless cryptocurrency mining becomes significantly less popular, or AMD and Nvidia launch mining-focused cards, the GPU shortage is set to continue.