FILE PHOTO: Bitcoin mining computers are pictured in Bitmain's mining farm near Keflavik, Iceland, June 4, 2016.  REUTERS/Jemima Kelly/File Photo

  • Bitcoin miners are buying up all the high-end graphics cards usually reserved for PC gaming.
  • As a result, the graphics cards are extremely difficult to find. Some are being sold for double or more their original price.
  • The dearth of available graphics cards has become a meme among PC gaming enthusiasts.
  • Nvidia is urging retailers to prioritize PC gaming buyers over bitcoin miners.

It’s a terrible time to build a gaming PC.

The process of building one is actually easier than its ever been, and playing video games on a PC is a delight. The problem is that graphics cards (GPUs) — the crucial component that powers the visuals of a PC — are in extremely high demand, which makes them difficult to find at their intended prices. Many resellers are jacking up the price by double or more.

The demand, however, isn’t due to a massive influx of new PC gaming enthusiasts. The demand is being driven by bitcoin mining.

bitcoin mining supercomputers

Though the graphics cards from companies like Nvidia and AMD are capable of powering cutting-edge gaming visuals, they’re also capable of mining bitcoin. More than just capable, they’re one of the main tools used by bitcoin miners.

As such, they’re sold out pretty much everywhere.

A quick check of retail websites from Amazon to Best Buy to Newegg reveals the same thing: Back-order options, or sold-out signs, or re-sellers with huge mark-ups.

Nvidia’s flagship GPU, the GTX 1080 Ti, has a suggested retail price of $700.

The lowest price for one on Amazon starts around $1,100:

Nvidia graphics cards (Amazon)

As such, PC gaming communities on Reddit are full of jokes about how hard it is to find a graphics card for a decent price. There’s even a major thread dedicated to explaining the high prices of graphics cards Read More Here