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Video Card Shopping Gets Wild With GPU 6-Packs Due to Cryptocurrency Mining
Striking a gold mine.
Cryptocurrency mining has been dominating headlines when it comes to the PC hardware world with GPU prices rising well beyond MSRP. But the current market for video cards has reached a new level with vendors selling cards in packs of six on Amazon and Newegg. Anything from Nvidia's GeForce GTX 10 series and AMD's RX 400/500 series are available in bundles. It hasn't stopped there; PC cases designed to house up to eight video cards at once are have also hit the marketplace.
As of now, a 6GB GTX 1060 six-pack (Founder's Edition or EVGA) is going for $3,780 USD, while a pack of MSI Aero ITX OC GTX 1060 cards is listed for $3,465. The high-end GTX 1080 has a six-pack is priced at $6,300 as well--the GTX 1080 Ti is nowhere to be found, though. On the AMD side, the OEM 4GB RX 580 six-pack is at $3,600, and the MSI Armor 8GB RX 580 bundle is going for $3,990. Even bundles for the RX 570 are marked up as high as the slightly faster RX 580.
When taking the average cost per unit, the inflated prices of individual cards are reflected in the bundles. The aforementioned GTX 1080 Founder's Edition six-pack costs $1,050 per card, which is exactly its price for the same model on Newegg (keep in mind that MSRP is $550). However, these Amazon and Newegg bundles aren't necessarily about saving money. Instead, it's an easy way for miners to scoop up multiple cards and skirt around retailer limits on how many individual units you can purchase at once.
To further cater to cryptocurrency miners, PC cases specifically for mining have been surfacing on retailer websites. These cases sport open-air designs with up to 19 video card slots, which almost look like server racks. Manufacturers also have no qualms advertising their cases alongside explicit calls to certain currencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Altcoin.
When we caught up with CyberpowerPC (a pre-built PC manufacturer) at CES 2018, the company mentioned that it cannot raise the prices of its systems even as video cards become increasingly scarce and expensive. Companies like CyberpowerPC operate on strict pricing guidelines. This appears to be the case with other vendors. For example, Dell is offering its Alienware Aurora PC with a GTX 1080 for $1400 ($1260 after a coupon code). Meanwhile, the card itself is selling for $1050, nearly covering the price of the system itself. In theory, those looking for a specific video card without breaking the bank could purchase a pre-built system, pull the video card, and resell the rest of the system. If you're looking for a new PC entirely, it seems that pre-built systems are the way to go for now.
The cryptocurrency game is changing by the day, but the GPU market remains in a state like it's never been before. Check out our previous look at current video card prices against their original MSRP to get an idea of how much the market has changed recently. For more on how these cards perform in games, be sure to read through our reviews of the GTX 1080, GTX 1060, RX 580, and RX 570.
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