The shortage of graphic cards was extinguished by the collapse of the cryptocurrency

Throughout 2021, graphic cards remain almost impossible to find for the average consumer, sometimes the subject of a long-awaited treasure hunt for the most determined among them. Over the past few weeks, these have been valuable cards for computers “gamer” changing electronics stores. ” We saw a return to normal “Said Laurent de La Clergerie, owner of LDLC, Materiel.net and Top Achat shops. ” We no longer have a hard time finding these products. »

At major online retailers, all lines of Nvidia and AMD cards are easy to find, even if entry-level models aren’t always available, according to world.

Rates also seem to be slowly returning to normal. By 2021, the prices of graphics cards will be even higher, rising, for some models, to double what Nvidia and AMD recommend. This spiral has since broken, with their prices now about 20% higher than expected. The gap with ” mostly due to the rise of the dollar against the euro “Argues Laurent de La Clergerie, who thinks the decline is over.” Prices have been falling for two months, but, in my view, we have reached a plateau. For our part, we reverted to traditional sales margin rates of 10%, against 20% at the highest. »

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Collapse of cryptocurrencies

This landing in the graphics card market owes a lot to the sharp decline in cryptocurrency prices. In fact, in “mining” (that is, making through a complex calculation process) these electronic money, individuals and large companies require a great deal of computing power, which can provided by graphics cards. With the decline in currencies, mining revenues declined, making investment in production hardware take longer to pay off, and discouraging most new entrants. The demand for graphic cards is reduced.

Another key factor has been taken: the easing of measures aimed at covering up the pandemic, which has many consequences. First, sales of laptops for teleworkers have declined, “ freeing the production capacity of chip foundries “As explained by Alan Priestley, who mentions, among other things, the studies of semiconductors at consulting firm Gartner.

In addition, freed from their isolation, some players have lost their desire for new graphic cards. ” In our stores, compared to last year, sales fell by 25%observed by Laurent de La Clergerie. But watch out, their volumes remain very high: compared to 2019, we now sell double the number of cards. This strong demand, the market manages to absorb it, because “Production of chips intended for cards has increased”according to Alan Priestley.

Finally, logistics, severely disorganized by the Covid-19 epidemic, are improving. Other bottlenecks, which prevent smelters from making their maximum capacity, have been removed. At the same time, global transportation is better. As Alan Priestley summarized, logistics today “better suited to the needs of consumers”.

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In the future, the decline in demand may continue due to inflation, which will eat into players ’budgets. According to wall street journal, graphics card maker Nvidia, in anticipation, has reduced its hire. The American company’s stock lost 48% in the first quarter. Another high-end chip giant, Intel, has also temporarily reduced hiring in its PC department.

If these semiconductor brands and their suppliers fail to adjust production sufficiently, prices could fall further before the launch of the next generation of graphics cards, expected in 2023. According to Alan Priestley, however, the predictions remain “hard to do” in an uncertain economic context, and in a climate of competition and intensified innovation for chip brands such as Nvidia and AMD and the three major founders of high-end electronic circuits, Samsung, Intel and TSMC.

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New consoles remain hard to find

The latest generation consoles are powered by the same type of high-end electronic chips as the newer graphics cards: the cutting efficiency of their electronic circuits falls below 10 micrometers. However, despite the return of graphics cards to the market, next-generation game consoles are still not available on the shelves of major online stores … unless you rely on small vendors who manage online markets. Amazon, Fnac or Darty, for example. These “partner retailers” make it their specialty to buy consoles very quickly, before consumers get their hands on them, to sell them more at the official price. The additional cost remains much higher now in the case of the Playstation 5, which was hard to find at the beginning of July at less than 70% above the official price, according to the findings of world.

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