Cryptocurrency Demand Causes Shortage of VR Capable Hardware


Of all things this just had to be the reason, didn’t it?

To the disappointment of many virtual reality enthusiasts, there’s a shortage in hardware to power their experiences right now. Some retailers are even imposing a limit of two cards per household. This involves some of the biggest names in the graphics card manufacturing industry, including AMD and Nvidia. Behind all of this is the cryptocurrency industry.

Right now the demand is high to capitalize on the current price spike for Ethereum, another cryptocurrency that competes with the likes of Bitcoin and Litecoin. Because hey, Bitcoin doesn’t exist in a vacuum. In order to succeed in this, there’s a rush for high-performance graphics cards, as they are famous for being among the hardware most capable of dealing with the cryptographic puzzles necessary to solve in order to get access to cryptocurrency.

Affected cards include AMD RX 750, RX 580, as well as Nvidia Geforce 1050, 1060 and 1080. Popular and high-powered, it makes sense that these are in high demand among digital miners. AMD and Nvidia are likely having mixed feelings about this as it ultimately results in fewer regular sales. Thus, it’s not only a matter of a temporary sales surge for Nvidia or AMD but also of not being able to meet the expectations of their regular customers.

In order to deal with the situation, some manufacturers have tried to create mining specific cards. Naming these cards seem to have been less of a mind-boggling task judging from Asus and MSI, going for names such as MINING-P106-21G or P106-100 Miner 6G, and demand is very strong, too strong in fact. Neither manufacturer is able to cover their supplies, meaning there’s still a high demand for efficient graphics cards. So although these cards probably satisfy parts of the cryptocurrency community they haven’t been enough to sustain demand during the current Ethereum price surge.

As demand for the mining oriented hardware eventually decreases, however, it’s worth noting that many of these mining oriented cards have largely ditched display connectors. A select few have opted to keep a single DVI port. For you as a consumer that means that when this growing bubble bursts, make sure the card you’re looking at actually can connect to your display.