Update 11/28/2020 9:15 GMT+5: Corrected link to source.
NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards based on the Ampere GPU architecture launched last month and have been short in supply ever since. Reports coming in from financial analysts suggest that NVIDIA had sold a huge chunk of its gaming Ampere GPUs to miners which might indicate why there's an immense shortage and why we won't see a proper retail supply till 2021.
NVIDIA Sold $175 Million Worth of Ampere GeForce RTX 30 Series Graphics Cards To Miners, Claims Report
According to Financial Analysts at RBC Captial Markets and Barrons, it is estimated that NVIDIA has sold at least $175 Million worth of GeForce RTX 30 graphics cards utilizing its Ampere GPUs directly to miners. NVIDIA reported a very strong 37% year-on-year growth in its gaming segment during its Q3 FY21 earnings report.
The company earned a revenue of $2.27 Billion for the gaming segment alone which means if we take out the mining revenue, the company actually earned $2.1 Billion in revenue from Gaming but NVIDIA reports mining sales within its Gaming segment. $2.1 Billion in revenue from Gaming alone still puts it as the top NVIDIA revenue segment in the outgoing quarter.
For the quarter in review, Nvidia sold at least $175 million worth of new generation GPUs to ethereum miners, helping the outperformance, according to a note from RBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steves. The analyst had guided sales to miners to come in at $150 million for the quarter.
Steves noted that the upcoming network upgrade of the Ethereum blockchain, also known as Ethereum 2.0, which is scheduled to take place sometime in December, demands that miners switch over to more efficient mining hardware. Nvidia’s new Ampere GPU chips are thought to meet that need.
$175 Million however is no small figure and that would mean a large chunk of GeForce RTX 30 GPU series which were dedicated for gaming purposes were sold out to miners. The demand from the mining community is on the rise as Bitcoin.com suggests that Ethereum V2.0 is just around the corner and as such demand for more efficient hardware has increased.
It was previously speculated prior to the GeForce RTX 30 series launch that we will see a resurgence in the mining segment, prompting higher demand for graphics cards & the subsequent shortages that we are witnessing today. NVIDIA selling directly to miners may have attributed to an immense shortage in the consumer market. This also suggests that NVIDIA could have had a better launch supply of GeForce RTX 30 GPUs, even more so than AMD (who still had an extremely sparse supply of RX 6000 series cards than what NVIDIA managed at launch).
Over at the red team, several shops and retailers had boycotted the launch sales since they couldn't get their supply on time & are now suggesting supply to resume to normal by 2021. NVIDIA's CEO, Jensen Huang, has also released a similar statement regarding the GeForce RTX 30 series supply while NVIDIA's CFO recently stated that it will take a few more months for supply to catch up with demand.
All in all, it really sucks to be a gamer right now as both NVIDIA and AMD underestimated the huge demand for next-generation GPUs. Gamers who have ordered have been shown shipment dates as far as February 2021.
NVIDIA and AMD could've taken their time to establish a bigger stock but they have been running behind 'Unprecedented Demand' as a means to tackle the backlash of one of the worst graphics card launches in terms of availability. With that said, we hope that 2021 can start off better for gamers all around the globe who just want a new graphics card to enjoy the latest gaming titles.