The Geoforce 1070, Nvidia’s second-most powerful graphics card, was retailing for $450 in the summer of 2017. The only problem was the fact that no one could get hold of one. Bare shelves were occupying the space provided for gamers’ go-to upgrade, in PC stores worldwide. This was due to the cryptocurrency mining boom, with an occurrence like never before. Crypto miners were clearing stores and wholesalers of all units they could lay hands on.
Desirable GPUs like the 1070 and Radeon 570 could still be acquired on second-hand marketplaces for a premium, even though they were out of stock in computer shops in many countries. At the time when crypto mania was at its peak, from last summer into early 2018, cards like the $400 1070 were traded hands for $800or even more. The humming of cooling fans overshadowed the wailing of gamers as miners overlocked their newly acquired GPUs and started crunching numbers in exchange for altcoins. By then, bitcoin was only minable on ASICs. Ethereum was heading that way as well, but smaller coins like sia, monero, zcash and several lesser-known microcap coins, were still serviced.
Statistics from two of the leading P2P marketplaces in the UK and US, Craigslist, and Gumtree, reveal the sort of mining rigs that can now be acquired many of such rigs have been used for less six months. One seller in the Bay Area is offering 16x 1080s for $3,950 – or about $246 a card. The seller claims to have paid more than $4000 for them but has recovered most of the cost back from mining.
Someone in the same area was selling a bunch of the 1070s and 1080s at $375/$425 apiece… “Since I got too many rigs and electric rates for tier 3 high electric use is too high for me at 45 cents watt rate, I’ve decided I will have to sell some,” they explain. In the UK, Gumtree is currently showing 42 mining rigs for sale. That includes a build of 7x RX480s, “Now surplus to requirement, built in Q1 2017 for a friend”.