The mining era is over, and massive mining cards flow into Xianyu

Today's graphics card prices have dropped to the freezing point. This is the emotion of a colorful provincial general manager.

In addition to acting for hard disks and motherboards, the general representative also acts as an agent for a variety of Colorful graphics cards. However, since November last year, the decline in graphics card prices has made him speechless.

Especially last week, with the announcement of the merger of Ethereum and the transition from the consensus mechanism of proof-of-work PoW to proof-of-stake, the market predicts that tens of millions of second-hand mining cards will flow back into the market. At the same time, NVIDIA's latest RTX 4090 is also newly released and is expected to be available in October.

On the one hand, after the mining accident, a large number of second-hand graphics cards returned to the market, and the market was oversupplied. On the other hand, the performance surpassed by the release of new products is directly 2-4 times higher than the previous generation. This series of actions have undoubtedly had a strong impact on the prices of graphics cards currently on sale.

Ethereum merger cuts miners off the road

What is the relationship between the announced merger of Ethereum and the decline in the price of graphics cards? This has to start with Ethereum "mining".

Around 2021, due to the soaring price of virtual currency, "mining" has become the main way for investors to obtain virtual currency. According to the regulations of Ethereum at that time, the necessary condition for the discovery of Ethereum is proof of work, which directly led to the process of mining Ethereum becoming a process of competing for computing power.

In order to obtain sufficient computing power, a large number of miners began to purchase GPU chips or graphics cards with higher computing performance in the market and modified these products, which originally only served users such as games and videos, to mine and discover Ethereum.

According to a video card seller in Zhongguancun, Sina Technology revealed that when the “mining” momentum was hot, some mine bosses even drove directly to the door of the video card factory in Huaqiangbei and other places to get goods, which blocked the video card from entering the market from the source. possible. And some mine owners who have no channels to get the goods go directly to the market to snap up graphics cards. In the process, there are still a large number of "bad masters" who joined the hype, maliciously hoarding and driving up prices.

Graphics cards that were supposed to go to the consumer market suddenly turned into mining tools. The extra demand created a serious shortage of supply in the market, so the price of graphics cards went up. According to a 3DCenter report, in December last year, the premium of Nvidia and AMD graphics cards exceeded 80% of the initial suggested retail price. An RTX 3080Ti with a starting price of 8,999 yuan, the market price was once fired to more than 20,000 yuan.

However, the good times did not last long. As virtual currencies were resisted by governments around the world, and there were even power outages and withdrawals in China, the prices of virtual currencies such as Ethereum began to fall. Some of the "mining" graphics cards that have been withdrawn have begun to circulate in the second-hand trading market, and the prices of graphics cards have begun to drop. Especially last week, with the formal completion of the Ethereum merger, Bitcoin mining transitioned from the PoW consensus mechanism to the proof of stake PoS, which directly announced the end of obtaining Ethereum through computing power.

According to the official introduction of Ethereum, after the merger of Ethereum, energy consumption will be reduced by more than 99.95%. The subtext behind this is, "After the merger, it is impossible to mine Ethereum through the graphics card." Wen Hong, the agent of Colorful Province, pointed out to Sina Technology that "a large number of miners cannot obtain the Ethereum digital currency through mining. If you switch to other currencies, you can only earn up to 25% of the electricity bill, which will be an absolutely loss-making transaction.” Therefore, it will flow back to the normal market through the second-hand market, and sell it to customers such as games, graphics, and film production. preferred.

However, for a large number of mining cards, it still does not seem to be an easy task in the short term to flow to consumers through the second-hand market.

According to some computing power statistics, there are currently about 26 million graphics cards used for mining in the world. After Ethereum ends the graphics card mining mode, although some graphics cards can be transferred to mine other currencies, considering that Bitcoin does not use graphics cards for mining but uses dedicated mining machines, and other currencies are far less than Ethereum’s volume. It is expected that tens of millions of mined graphics cards will flow into the second-hand market, and even be refurbished into new cards to enter the consumer market.

Have Graphics card prices dropped to the freezing point?

On second-hand platforms such as Xianyu, a large number of mine owners have begun to sell graphics cards in batches. Moreover, the keywords are marked with the word " exercise ", which directly indicates that this is a mine card modification, and indicates the duration of the exercise.

And in terms of quantity, from "48 batches out" to "500 in stock", there are not a few graphics cards that have flowed into the second-hand market in batches.

A large number of mining cards have flowed into the market, which has caused a great impact on the price system of the graphics card market. According to Wen Hong's introduction to Sina Technology, in fact, in November last year, the trend of graphics card price reductions has already begun to show signs. "Taking the GTX 1660 Super as an example, it fell about 400 yuan in the three months from November last year to January this year. After the Chinese New Year, it began to fall sharply again in February. -4 days."

This time, however, comes with the official end of the Ethereum merger. Most mining cards fell to new heights again. " It is impossible for miners to get back their money by selling graphics cards. It is already very strong to be able to sell this batch of goods in their hands ." Wen Hong said that the ones currently circulating on Xianyu, Taobao, and other platforms have been used for mining Mine's second-hand graphics cards, the price is close to the freezing point, the price reduction space is very limited, and the follow-up can only be digested slowly by time.

Taking the GTX 1060 as an example, the normal price of a chip from the factory is about 400 yuan, plus the cost of the shell and PCB board, the cost price is basically around 700-750 yuan, and now many second-hand channels The price of graphics cards has also been in this interval. " Now the graphics card prices are close to freezing point," Wen Hong said.

Of course, but even at such a low price, the market cannot digest these second-hand graphics cards in a short period of time. According to Wen Hong's prediction, the service life of a graphics card is about 5-10 years. If there are no new mining opportunities or other major market breakthroughs, it may take more than 3 years for the market to digest the existing mining cards.

Best time to restock?

In the Ethereum Tieba, in order to stabilize the downward trend of graphics card prices, some miners began to issue documents calling on other miners to jointly maintain the price system to avoid low-price dumping and cause a vicious decline in graphics card prices.

The appeal of my owners revealed the helplessness behind the price reduction of graphics cards. So, behind the frequent price cuts, is now a good time for consumers to choose to stock up at low prices? Perhaps, not all.

Senior digital person, Zhuang Yong told Sina Technology, "For non-experienced gamers and most consumers, it doesn't matter whether they are equipped with a graphics card or not. The graphics card that comes with ordinary computers is enough to support a large number of games and video content. It doesn't matter if you buy it or not . ."

For some more senior gamers and film and television workers, choosing some of the latest products may be the best choice. According to Zhuang Yong, now some unscrupulous mine owners buy refurbished mining cards to consumers after refurbishment. After consumers find out that they are not new products, they prevaricate consumers on the grounds of guaranteeing that there will be no problems during the warranty period. These phenomena have been Disrupting part of the graphics card market, " If you don't buy new products, consumers are likely to buy products that they don't want ."

On the evening of September 20, during the NVIDIA GTC conference, NVIDIA founder and CEO Huang Renxun released three new products, the GeForce RTX 4090 and the 12GB and 16GB versions of the GeForce RTX 4080. The release of new products has made the already competitive graphics card market even more crowded.

There are always new graphics cards pouring into the market, and the influx of new products is constantly pulling down and weakening the features and price advantages of previous generations of products. For consumers, perhaps holding money in their hands, rational on-demand consumption will always be the right choice.

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