Gamers in South Africa can finally get their hands on high-end graphics cards, following a decrease in demand from cryptocurrency miners.
PC gamers would have noticed a recent increase in the number of graphics cards in stock at online retailers, with even the AMD Radeon RX 580 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 available.
These cards were previously bought up by cryptocurrency miners in an effort to cash in on the rise of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
To find out more about the availability of graphics cards in South Africa, and whether the demand from crypto miners has abated, MyBroadband spoke to hardware retailers Wootware, Raru, and Rebel Tech.
Raru’s Ramone Pickover told MyBroadband that stock of graphics cards was still low compared to levels before the crypto boom, but was improving.
“Demand from cryptocurrency miners has definitely slowed down dramatically and we are seeing more gamers buying cards again,” said Pickover.
“But that said, the interest has not disappeared completely and it may come back again should cryptocurrencies begin to spike as they previously did.”
Pickover said more graphics cards would become available if the demand from crypto miners continued to fall, but it will take time.
“It may take some time for the market to recover, as there was a massive pipeline of back orders with the manufacturers and suppliers were providing us with greatly-extended lead times ranging from weeks to months.”
Raru’s most popular graphics card at the moment is the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64, with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 also popular.
Wootware’s Rory Magee told MyBroadband that stock and pricing has improved, making it easier for gamers to get their hands on cards.
“Things are getting better for GPU purchasers overall,” said Magee.
“There’s more stock available overall and better pricing than what was the case a few months ago.”
Magee said the fall of the cryptocurrency market along with the increasing prevalence of ASIC miners has made GPU mining less profitable in recent months.
He said that while these factors have reduced current demand for graphics cards, certain events could increase demand again.
“Should it be the case that prices rebound and/or Ethereum also implements an anti-ASIC fork, this may influence the demand for GPUs for mining as profitability is boosted once more.”
Wootware’s most popular graphics cards are currently the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, GTX 1050 Ti, GTX 1070 Ti, and the AMD Radeon RX 580 and RX 570.
Rebel Tech said stock is still low at the moment, but it has been improving in recent months.
“At the moment, there are quite a few options to choose from at most levels, whereas a month ago we were lucky to see a GeForce GTX 1060 or even a Radeon RX 560,” said Rebel Tech.
“It’s not an overnight recovery, and several SKUs are still unavailable, but as international levels continue to recover we will see more and more cards appearing.”
The company added that large crypto mining operations continue to run, but average consumers do not seem interested in building mining rigs anymore.
“For those large-scale operations we are trying our best to get them to take mining-specific cards instead of gaming cards, especially if they want large quantities – at this time we continue to limit retail card quantity sales,” said Rebel Tech.
Rebel Tech said the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti used to be its most popular GPU, but was so popular it sold out.
Currently, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 is the retailer’s most popular graphics card, followed by the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB.