Trying to get hold of a GPU has not been easy in recent years. Massive demand combined with COVID issues and a global chip shortage means you have to be very lucky (or supremely dedicated) to get your hands on the latest GeForce RTX 3080 restock.
But there may be some hope just over the horizon, according to a report from DigiTimes Asia (opens in new tab). GPU shipments are expected to increase by 10% over the course of 2022. It’s only a small increase, but we certainly hope this will make buying a new GPU slightly less arduous.
High-end graphics cards are an important part of playing the best PC games. Modern games can offer higher resolutions, better framerates, superior graphics and fancy features like ray tracing. And all of those perks are only available if you have a GPU sufficiently powerful enough to handle it.
However, GPUs have also long been sought after by cryptocurrency miners hoping to cash in on the soaring value of digital currencies.
Supply chain issues are the main cause of why graphics cards are quite so hard to come by. The world is currently suffering through a chip shortage that is slow to end, which has affected production of pretty much everything that needs silicon chips to operate — including cars, PS5, Xbox Series X and even printer ink (opens in new tab).
Naturally, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major influence on this. People who were forced to stay at home caused an increased demand for consumer electronics, while the companies producing those components have had to deal with lockdowns, as well as staff who have been infected or forced to isolate after COVID exposure. Not to mention logistical problems relating to international shipping.
The recent surge of the Omicron strain certainly hasn’t helped those businesses return to some sense of normalcy. However, news that shipments will increase suggests that steps are already in place to boost production.
DigiTimes also points out that consumer demand for GPUs is starting to decrease. PCGamer (opens in new tab) speculates that this could be down to reduced demand from crypto miners, which in part is down to Ethereum’s plan to change its ‘Proof of Work’ system to a ‘Proof of Stake’ that looks like it’ll make it harder to recoup the cost of expensive mining rigs.
Only time will tell, but at this early stage it looks as though it might get easier to figure out where to buy Nvidia RTX 3080 and other graphics cards. Emphasis on might, however, because we can’t predict the future, and can’t guarantee something else might come along to mess up the supply all over again.