Bitcoin is currently above $35,000, the highest price the cryptocurrency has ever seen and it shows no signs of crashing—though undoubtedly it will when the market corrects.
Still, it’s enough to see a surge in demand for graphics cards and especially the newest batch of RTX 30XX cards which are particularly deft at Bitcoin mining. These were already in high demand and virtually impossible to find. Now, prices on all graphics cards have been going up thanks to the surge in crypto.
And as though that were not enough, exclusions to Chinese tariffs imposed by the Trump administration are now coming to an end, meaning PC components like GPUs and motherboards are starting to get hit with MSRP increases.
As manufacturer ASUS said in a statement:
Update regarding MSRP pricing for ASUS components in 2021. This update applies to graphics cards and motherboards* We have an announcement in regards to MSRP price changes that are effective in early 2021 for our award-winning series of graphic cards and motherboards. Our new MSRP reflects increases in cost for components. operating costs, and logistical activities plus a continuation of import tariffs. We worked closely with our supply and logistic partners to minimize price increases. ASUS greatly appreciates your continued business and support as we navigate through this time of unprecedented market change. *additional models may see an increase as we moved further into Q1.
So not only were graphics cards hard to come by thanks to organic demand, now we have increased demand thanks to Bitcoin and MSRP hikes thanks to tariffs on Chinese made goods (tariffs which, by the way, are not high enough to actually force companies to move their manufacturing back to the US).
Prices are going up anywhere from 7 to 25%, with companies eating some of the cost, though supply remains ridiculously hard to come by for normal consumers.
All of which is to say, good luck with that PC build. I hope your old card is beefy enough to hold you over until things change and prices start to fall. PC gamers may be the “master race” but there are obvious downsides these days. When a high-end graphics card costs around $2000 (depending on the RTX 3090 you’re looking to buy) that $500 Xbox Series X or PS5 looks better than ever.
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Not that you can easily find next-gen consoles, mind you.