Calling all gamers and crypto-miners! Surely you’ve heard that Radeon is releasing the AMD Vega Frontier Edition at the end of June (June 27 to be exact) and the RX Vega gaming card will be released at the end of July. If you’re thinking that you’ll be able to get your hands on one of these bad boys once they release, you might want to think again.
Right now, the highly praised Radeon RX 570 and RX 580 are incredibly difficult to find—either they are out of stock both online and in stores, or the price of them are going to be jacked up so high that you might have to take out a personal loan just to get one!
Okay, maybe not that high, but some have priced them as high as $900! Sure, you can find some graphics cards of comparably quality at regular cost on sites like Amazon, but when you really look, many models are out of stock.
Fortunately, Amazon does get first dibs when these manufacturers make enough products for restocking. Just don’t expect to get one of them any time soon.
So why are these graphics cards so scarce right now, and what is that going to mean when the Vega does get released? Well, these cards are being snatched up left and right by miners. We aren’t talking about the traditional miners with a pickaxe and a mountain. We’re talking about miners who use graphics cards to essentially mine for new coins and create a profit.
People have doing this for quite a few years now—at least since 2013 when Bitcoin really grew in popularity and miners are snatching up every Radeon card they could get hold of, which also created a shortage of the card around the world and increasing the price exponentially.
With that said, as this type of currency matured, ASIC hardware was developed specifically to mine, which lessened the demand for this high powered cards because they were much more efficient at mining.
There once was a time where miners only searched for Bitcoins and others like it. They were able to use the ASIC hardware and be quite successful. However, once Ethereum came on to the scene, things have changed.
The Ethereum network was created to be resistant to the ASIC hardware, which caused a resurgence in the demand for top grade graphics cards. It’s no wonder too. The price of Ethereum has reached Bitcoin proportions, as it was merely worth $19 back in March. Today? Now it is worth almost $270! Amazing right?
Well, that may not be that great for people who aren’t searching for Ethereum and they just want a great graphics card to play next generation computer games at 1080p. Sure, you can get budget graphics card for your gaming experience, but… It’s not going to be the same. At all.
You might be wondering what kind of improvements Radeon has made to the Vega graphics card that will make it so highly sought after. To summarize the advancements you can expect, as detailed by TrustedReviews:
So what does all this mean? Basically, it is going to have a huge impact on GPU performance. The improvements mean that the Vega card will be able to distribute tasks better, thus saving some power and heat while performing low-end tasks, but can then increase the power for more intense applications like a demanding game or mining.
These improvements also mean that the card can perform at higher clock speeds so they can accomplish their tasks much quicker.
So, to put it this way, instead of taking a month or so to mine a single ether (or much longer if you’re using a basic home computer), the card and an advanced system can mine for the ether much faster, thus turning a profit that much quicker.
Unfortunately, because these top grade graphics cards are becoming more and more expensive due to demand, you would have to mine up to five or six months before you’d break even and actually see a profit.
AMD Radeon graphics cards have always been really good at GPU, which is why miners are snatching up these cards faster than the company can make them. With every $1,000 you spend on an AMD Radeon card, you’ll have to mine for the ether for two months to recover that cost. If your hardware remains in good condition, essentially, you’ll be able to make a decently living mining these virtual pieces of currency. You can exchange the ether for Bitcoin, or even real money.
Right now, there’s about $330 million worth of Ether being traded all over the world. This number is only going to continue to grow as people will sell their dollars or their Bitcoins to buy their way into the Ethereum network.
Maybe you would rather make your fortune the old fashioned way and make investments. You may think that investing in AMD would be a sure fire bet because of the high demand of these cards and the growing popularity of cryptocurrency. You might want to hold off on investing because, although the AMD stock did experience a 9% increase on June 6th, they were still at a $125 million loss for the year.
Maybe the inclusion of the Vega card being included in Apple products like the iMac, iMac Pro and the Macbook, as well as standalone graphics cards, can change the tides for the company. No matter what, mining or investing is going to be a gamble and you’ve got to decide if it is worth the risk.