The sudden boom in cryptocurrency mining, and the fact that GPUs are more efficient at the task than plain old CPUs, has contributed massively to Nvidia's bottom line, with the company even beating earnings estimates earlier this year.
While the grass may be green for the GPU manufacturer itself, its more traditional target market, gamers, have been suffering as a result. The high demand for both Nvidia and AMD GPUs has resulted in acute shortages of the component across the world, with retail prices for GPUs often exceeding MSRPs by several hundred dollars.
The company is aware of the gamers' plight and is now suggesting retailers clamp down on those looking to purchase its wares for cryptocurrency mining. Nvidia's German-region PR manager Boris Böhles recently told ComputerBase, "Gamers come first for Nvidia. All activities around our GeForce products are for our core audience. We recommend our trading partners make arrangements to ensure that gamers’ needs are still met in the current climate.”
As a result, some German retailers have actually started placing limits on how many GPUs a single customer can buy concurrently, with many only allowing a maximum of 2-3 per user to free up some of the embattled supply. Unfortunately, however, Nvidia's recommendation is just that: a suggestion to retailers that they can willingly choose to ignore.
With the opportunity to quickly make money off multiple sales at the same time, many retailers are choosing not to abide by the recommendation, and even among those that are, the new policy doesn't seem to be having much of a difference. GPUs prices are higher than they have ever been before, and it's unlikely to change anytime soon.
With Nvidia's earnings from cryptocurrency-related products falling off in the last quarter, and a general downward trend in the value of several cryptocurrencies amid fears of greater governmental regulation, there may be some hope yet for players, but things aren't looking good at the moment.