Why Is It So Hard to Buy a Graphics Card?

You may have noticed that it’s been harder than usual to get your hands on a new graphics card lately (at a fair price, at least). The spike in prices has been due to a global shortage of graphics cards, or graphics processing units (GPUs). Major retailers like Best Buy and Amazon don’t have them in stock, and if you can even find them on second-hand sources like eBay, the prices are exorbitant.

Since graphics cards are such an integral part of how we use computers these days, this is a major bummer for computer repair enthusiasts. It’s also an issue for computer repair shops, because if a client brings in their computer and it’s in need of a new graphics card, it may be a long time before that computer is up and running again.

Why are graphics cards essential?

Graphics cards are kind of an unsung hero in your computer. These components are responsible for the heavy lifting when it comes to creating the display output from a PC. Graphics cards provide the complex, 3D rendering for modern video games as well as running multimedia content. They’re also essential for creative applications like graphic design, 3D animation and video editing.

What’s the reason for the shortage?

One major reason for the lack of supply is the current shortage of silicon chips used to make graphics cards. Large chip makers like Samsung were forced to slow production due to the pandemic. In some cases, manufacturing came to a complete halt. Demand has been returning with the pandemic getting more under control, but the supply has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Another reason for the shortage of graphics cards is the rise of cryptocurrency. These digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are “mined” by using computer processing power. Without getting too far into the weeds with the confusing details of how this works, suffice to say a lot of people around the world are trying to build the most powerful computers they can in order to get more cryptocurrency.

The way these powerful computers are built often includes the use of several GPUs due to their high levels of processing power. These cryptocurrency miners are not doing a lot of graphics processing, but the power of these processing units is used instead to run more complex algorithms at a faster rate to get more cryptocurrency. Oftentimes these computers will have multiple graphics cards to beef up the computer’s processing power, and one person will often have several computers working for them around the clock.

Scalpers saw the potential of a graphics card shortage early on and began buying up all available graphics cards at retail price. Many are now selling them on resale sites like eBay for exorbitant prices.

The graphics card shortage has had an impact on the computer repair market, but a professional computer repair service may know some tricks to help keep your computer in top shape without costing you an arm and a leg. For the best computer repair for your money, contact GeekForce.biz today.

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