We feel strongly reminded of 2017 and unfortunately that does not bode well. In the summer of this year, the hype around so-called cryptocurrencies went through the roof. Bitcoin climbed to new highs almost daily until the turn of the year and took hundreds of alternative cryptocurrencies with it in its shadow.
The perfidious thing at that time was that you could profitably "mine" many of these alternative cryptocurrencies over the summer with normal GPUs. All you needed was a fast graphics card and some - mostly free - software that connected you to so-called mining pools. In these pools, your own computer could then participate in blockchain transactions and "earn" your own cryptocoins.
Because the coins could usually be paid out in bitcoin, the coins became worth more and more due to the increase in bitcoin value until the turn of the year 2017/2018. And so it came to pass that even after deducting the electricity costs, one could earn up to 20 euros per day with a "normal" graphics card, just by saving up the earned Coins a little.
However, this fast money attracted a lot of fortune seekers who built up entire GPU farms and practically bought out the graphics card market. At the time, AMD cards were particularly in demand for this because they had better mining performance per watt. But when AMD cards were practically only available in isolated cases at astronomical prices, all Nvidia cards were also bought up by the miners.
Anyone who wanted to buy a new graphics card at that time will remember all too well the de facto unavailability of graphics cards. And when similar feelings arose last autumn, partly for other reasons, about the scarcity of the newly introduced graphics cards, it was already apparent that unfortunately similar mining problems would be coming our way again.
This time, Nvidia models are the favourites - but otherwise the situation feels very similar to three years ago. With an RTX3090, you are currently being paid around 10 euros/day again at Nicehash for mining and the Bitcoin has also been moving from one high to the next for weeks, which makes the calculated coins even more valuable.
If the next Bitcoin crash is a little longer in coming, the availability of GPUs is likely to deteriorate even further. To be honest, we see nothing but black for the next few months as far as the availability of the new models from AMD and Nvidia is concerned. Demanding gamers may be able to save themselves for the new generation of consoles, which, however, will also be difficult to obtain. Video workers, on the other hand, might find what they are looking for in laptops, which are not particularly interesting for miners. But even their availability is currently suffering from various other scarce components.
So no matter how you look at it, it looks like this shortage will haunt us for at least a few more months. But maybe the current GPU or a used card that consumes too much power for miners will do.