Sales of graphics cards significantly dropped in the second quarter this year, according to a media report. In fact, shipments of discrete desktop graphics processing units have been declining for years now, but this time the drop of demand is attributed to crypto-currency miners.
While the actual sales figures of discrete graphics cards for desktop PCs are yet to be revealed, DigiTimes web-site reports that shipments in the Q2 2014 were down 30 – 40 per cent compared to the first quarter of this year. According to Jon Peddie Research, total shipments of graphics cards in the Q1 2014 dropped to 14 million units, a decline of 0.8 per cent compared to the same quarter a year ago. In case the drop of demand is so significant, this may be the worst decline in GPU sales in the recent years.
The reason for the shipments drop suggested by sources in Taiwan is clearly not a trivial one. Apparently, miners of various crypto-currencies, such as Bitcoin, who primarily used AMD Radeon graphics cards to mine in the recent years, nowadays either move on to more energy-efficient ASICs designed specifically for mining, or simply quit the business and sell off their graphics cards via various Internet auctions. As a consequence, they do not buy new graphics boards and they affect the market by selling their old equipment on the Ebay.
Manufacturers of graphics adapters have reportedly asked AMD and Nvidia to cut-down the prices of the GeForce and the Radeon graphics processing units to make actual graphics cards more competitive, but both GPU vendors simply reduced their shipments.
At present it is unclear how many graphics cards are in the channel. If the are too lot of them, expect local retailers to cut-down their prices eventually. In case the demand and supply is balanced, price-cuts are unlikely.
AMD, Nvidia and graphics cards makers did not comment on the news-story.
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KitGuru Says: The market of graphics cards is rather complex and cannot be affected by only one reason. Probably, there are a number of factors that influenced the market this way in the second quarter. In fact, traditionally, shipments of discrete graphics cards are down in the Q2 compared to the Q1.