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GPUs, bitcoin (actually Etherium) and cost of cards through end of year.


So I've been looking heavy at cards and been watching various news sources and here's what I can tell you.

We're screwed.
Last week GPU prices actually fell 5%, however they're already back up 10% over the week before that. Why? Another stimulus went out. Expect current prices to last 2-3 months.

Joyful right?
Oh it gets worse, way worse.

I bet you heard Etherium mining was slowing... It's complicated but suffice to say miners are not the issue you think they are, I'll explain more later but first wee need to discuss TSMC and Ford ( why Ford?). TSMC, who along with Samsung make most of the high end stuff just held their quarterly meeting and said it would be a year to year and a quarter before things return to normal. Ford also had their earnings report and said year and half before they get back up to speed because of chip delays, they expect to make 1million fewer cars this year due to the shortage, that's HUGE. These are always optimistic and that is on the back end, meaning it will be even longer before we get them, expect an extra few months after before those products actually reach us.

Also in those reports came a warning that went unnoticed.
In 2019 lead time on processors went up from 11 to 12 weeks, so far this year alone it has gone from 12 weeks to 16, nearly a week per month  increase and shows no sign of slowing on that path. Both TSMC and Ford both say demand is only increasing due electric cars becoming more common as are processors in general. TSMC is working on a new fab (fabrication facility), however it and any others are still 4-5 years off and I don't know if that 12-16 week jump even includes the fact that Intel is talking about using them to dig their way out of their 14nm hole they've been stuck in for the last 8 years.  Between escalating lead times and catching up we may cross a point where they permanently stay behind until the new fabs come online. I believe it was already predicted that demand will outstrip supply in 3-4 years it won't even be that long at this rate.

What I think will happen is we'll see 12-14 more months of hell then a gradual taper off into 2023 only for it to start ramping right back up again until the fabs open and starts to taper back off again before finally easing. Even that is dependent on the new fabs being enough, if things continue to scale it could be 6-8 years before things get caught up.

So who's buying the GPUs we are getting?
A major shift in computing happened about the same time the GPU shortage really started, we all saw it we just didn't understand the impact at the time. In 2019 AMD returned and with it we started getting higher core cpus, higher refresh rates and higher resolutions also came down in price. Gamers now suddenly needed, wanted and could have more power and they needed newer GPUS to match. Think back to Black Friday 2018, before Covid, before insane GPU prices, we had GPU shortages that thanksgiving, everyone was expecting 20 series sales and they never came, this was about the last time GPU prices were sane. I bought a 1070 for $200 after missing out on a 20 series and worried I'd over paid, it hasn't been that cheap since. Don't forget Stadia and streaming GPU  and gaming services, how many gpus did those eat up? To further point fingers, mining wasn't even profitable in 2019, Bitcoin was no longer GPU mineable at that point and Etherium wasn't really profitable, many miners made pennies or even lost money running mining rigs that year.

There is another group though who is also buying up GPUs in bulk and no one seems to be thinking about and that is A.I. researchers. They have the money, the connections and they need lots of them. Why no one has pointed a finger at them I'm not sure, but my guess is that are buying up a ton. If you think this isn't a big deal, consider that Intel is getting back into graphics cards to make gpus almost exclusively for AI research. There is BIG, BIG money involved in this, much more than mining. It makes me wonder how many of those GPUs Nvidia says it sold to miners actually went to A.I. research.

So mining...
This July Etherium mining is changing and has people nervous and some are saying it's the end of gpu mining for Etherium. No one knows entirely how the changes will effect current mining, even those who wrote the changes, so saying it's ending is just false information. Yes, people are nervous so miners appear to be holding off buying cards but that's not the only reason they have backed off on cards, it's economics. Mining is a business, you don't pay 400% over MSRP for something that will need 2 -3 years to get an R.O.I. (Return On Investment) in an unstable market, especially one with a big gigantic flashing neon yellow warning sign telling them there's a bend in the road in 2-3 months that we can't see beyond. We do know gpus will be able to mine Etherium for another 12-18 months or so but we don't know how much longer it will be profitable to do so. I suspect this was the reason for the 5% drop-off last week in prices as word was spread but if that was true then it means mining is really only effecting about 5-10% of the price you're paying, not the 400% inflation we're seeing which means something else is really driving the cost.

You know who doesn't care about R.O.I.?
Gamers. Do you think the person spending $1000 on a cooling loop for a $9000 system cares about spending an extra $2k just to get a 3090 that the average person can't? They just want to play games at 4k hi quality, the money spent today is forgotten tomorrow, smiles per dollar (S.P.D.) is much different than R.O.I.. Combined with a government stimulus check and people staying/working from home and you get insane prices like we have and the people at the top who can afford it will and it's causing a ripple effect down the chain.

As for the Etherium changes killing GPU mining, there will always be a coin to mine with GPUs (currently it looks like Ravencoin will be the next big one), but mining's not solely responsible for this whole mess by any means. It's a problem that started long ago.

Being open, I have done some mining and I own some crypto, I've made more by buying and trading than with actual mining (or even the stock market). Mining combines the worst parts of running a server room, a business, trading on the stock market and straight up gambling all into one horrific package.

Agreed mining is horribly inefficient, and basically 100% of the time draws more power than coin you get back. The only attractive aspect is it is for lazy people who think they can just set it and forget it, and make money easy without having to do anything that requires actual skill or work. That seems to be a theme amongst 20 somethings these days, they all want an easy million and retire at 30. I spitefully hope they all get ****ed.


--- Quote from: noisyturtle on Mon, 03 May 2021, 14:44:59 ---Agreed mining is horribly inefficient, and basically 100% of the time draws more power than coin you get back. The only attractive aspect is it is for lazy people who think they can just set it and forget it, and make money easy without having to do anything that requires actual skill or work. That seems to be a theme amongst 20 somethings these days, they all want an easy million and retire at 30. I spitefully hope they all get ****ed.

--- End quote ---

If you pay a lot for power you won't make any money but where I live it's all cheap hydro and solar, which tends to be the case for most of the larger mining operations in the US, I made about 10x what I spent on power.

I think you greatly underestimate the amount of work required. While it's easy to make some lunch money but to do more you start needing space and dedicated rigs. That means buying cards and cards are EXPENSIVE (ROI!), figuring out how to do so without over heating your house, finding room, figuring out how to get enough power to your rigs since many homes can't handle many rigs, what group will get you the best returns, dealing with fees, it very much becomes work if you want to make anything of significance, it does require skill to deal with all of it. It's a straight up business.  Yes, it works 24/7 without "work" but so does running a website and running ads or investing in stocks.

As for your spite...
Who doesn't want to retire by 30? Just because we didn't you shouldn't begrudge someone who can.


While I agree with the points you've made and that it's 100% true that crypto mining isn't the core reason for the price increases and shortages, I'd say that it still is somewhat more than responsible. I wouldn't say the 5% drop in prices dictates the majority of crypto miners, as most people are in there for the long run and would usually wait for a complete confirmation of mining being alot worse on gpus, becuase as you said, it's all a gamble. This is all just what I think however, and I'm really interested to see what the future holds (hopefully it doesn't hold economic hell).


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