The second quarter of 2014 has not yet ended, but there's always someone keeping tabs on how products have been selling, and figuring out if anything good or bad is coming in terms of marketing.
It looks like the graphics card market is going through a really nasty spell. And by nasty, we mean that sales have gone way down over the past two and a half months.
It seems that no one actually realized how big the impact of crypto-currency had been on this particular segment of the IT industry.
You see, Bitcoins and other virtual currencies need to be “mined” in various ways, and that requires systems with high number crunching capabilities.
The parallel computing technology in graphics processing units is uniquely suited to such tasks, and it's why so many AMD graphics cards sold during the late 2013 and early 2014.
It got so serious that some AMD Radeon adapters sold for twice or three times the MSRP. AMD actually had to step in and get things under control a couple of months ago.
The “damage” was done, however. Video cards sold like crazy, and because the prices were so high, that led to a lot more revenue for AMD/NVIDIA and their OEMs than under any other circumstances.
Now, though, crypto-currency miners are no longer showing the same interest in video cards. Probably because the majority of them already have the boards they need at this point.
And since there are more energy-efficient mining options now, like ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit), and others are quitting the business altogether, the video card market is experiencing a decline.
Made worse by how the ones that are leaving the business of crypto-currency mining are selling their extra cards on eBay, or through other means, thus chipping even more at the potential sales of video card manufacturers and OEMs.
All in all, the second quarter of 2014 (April-June) is expected to exhibit a decrease of 30 to 40 percent in product sales.
Graphics card players and channel retailers have told AMD and NVIDIA that it might be a good idea to cut prices, but we won't hold our breath for it. NVIDIA didn't agree to sell the GeForce GTX Titan Z dual-GPU for less than $3,000 / €3,000 even when it proved a little better than AMD's $1,500 / €1,500 Radeon R9 295 X2. So we won't hold out much hope that it will change its mind now, or pull down the tags of the others.