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The crypto-mining craze is fully behind us. Few people are still using PC graphics cards to mine for Bitcoin-like cryptocurrency, and that has pushed shipments back down for the GPU market.

Shipments of new GPUs were down 2.2 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of 2018, according to industry intelligence firm Jon Peddie Research. That dip was due primarily to AMD and Nvidia, as Intel’s integrated chips saw some growth. JPR founder, Dr. Jon Peddie, explained that shipments slowed for a number of reasons. But an overabundance of supply means that Nvidia and AMD were trying to sell cards it had already shipped.

“The effect of crypto-mining on desktop discrete GPU sales is over,” said Peddie. “[This leaves] AMD and Nvidia with an oversupply in the channel and impacting shipment levels.”

Quarter-to-quarter GPU shipments were up 10.6 percent, which is typical for Q3. But JPR notes that this is due to Intel’s integrated GPUs. After struggling to get its Core CPUs out the door, the chip manufacture caught up with a lot of its demand. That ensured a big quarter for GPUs overall. But discrete GPUs from Nvidia and AMD were down.


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Beyond crypto

But the end of crypto-mining was not the only factor driving down discrete GPU shipments. This market is also feeling the effects of both Washington, D.C. and Wall Street.

JPR points out that the tariffs have begun to have an impact on shipments. The firm also thinks that the import tax could pose an even bigger hurdle in the next quarter as well.

“The U.S. tax increase on products from China has had a small effect which may worsen in Q4,” JPR researcher C. Robert Dow wrote.

GPU shipments also slowed because of the increased volatility of stock prices, which has some companies feeling hesitant about spending money.

“The drop in the U.S. stock market has caused consumers and enterprise to hold off on purchases,” wrote Dow. “All of that has contributed to the slow sell-off of inventory in the channel, which has reduced demand to the suppliers.”

In other words, you can expect the shortage of RTX cards to continue until Nvidia can sell through its existing, last-gen inventory. That’s where its focus is at. Same for AMD and OEM partners. This should likely mean excellent deals on cards like the GTX 1070 Ti, GTX 1080, and AMD Radeon Vega 56 through the end of the gift-giving holidays.


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