Lately I have been playing a lot of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). It is a great game and tons of fun, but I have noticed that my graphics card isn’t quite up to snuff, so I thought I would check and see what video card prices are these days, and let me tell you, I was surprised. There are no more mid-range video cards. The RX 580’s and 570’s are either gone or selling for almost $500. While the NVidia GTX 1070’s are also MIA. The GTX 1060’s are still in stock, but going for almost $300, which is $100 too high. The low end cards are still available, as are the super high end cards, but those are either not worth anyone’s time, or way to expensive for the every day gamer.
Why has this happened you ask? Crypto-mining. The AMD RX series are super good at mining those sweet, sweet crypto-hashes, as are the mid-upper NVidia cards, and the more of those cards you get, the more hashes you can crack. This was a problem back when Bitcoin first took off as well, but thankfully the hashes got too hard to crack for all but the biggest mining operations, but now Ethereum has launched. It is like Bitcoin’s younger brother. It seems odd that there would be so much value in yet another crypto-currency, but here we are again off to the races, and we poor PC gamers are once again footing the bill.
I know what you are thinking. If we wait out Ethereum, the hashes will get hard to mine, and then cards will start flooding the market just like what happened with Bitcoin, but here is the deal, now that people know they can make a ton of money at this, there will always be another currency to mine. That means there will always be a need for tons of mid-range video cards. Which means PC gaming is always going to be super expensive. Which is a shame because there is nothing quite like playing games on a PC. It is just a more intimate experience than a console. A PC is just for you, while a console is more about family entertainment.
Don’t mind me. I am going to return to the ocean and shake my fist tide, and scream to no-one in particular about crypto-miners stealing all the good video cards. While the people around me wonder what the heck I am screaming about and hide their children from the strange angry man.