Crypto mining has caused the Add-in board (AIB) market to become outstanding in Q2’17, explained Jon Peddie, president of the industry’s research consulting firm Jon Peddie Research. Add-in card sales jumped 30.9 per cent in the second quarter from the first quarter, and 34.9 per cent from a year earlier.
More than $3.6 billion of add-in hardware was sold last quarter, representing an increase of about $850 million over the first three months of the year, due to crypto mining. Every desktop PC has an on board or external graphics card supplied to it.
Early days graphics cards had two major uses, gaming and digital content creation. Now from past few years there a massive growth in the sales of graphics cards because of a 3rd segment. The mining community. Mining over cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The Bitcoin network deals with this by collecting all of the transactions made during a set period into a list called a block. It’s the miner’s’ job to confirm those transactions and write them into a general ledger. They are paid for this work in like currency.
Ethereum uses a different hashing algorithm to Bitcoin, which makes it incompatible with the special hashing hardware (ASICs) developed for Bitcoin mining. Ethereum’s algorithm is known as Ethash. It’s a memory-hard algorithm; meaning it’s designed to resist the development of Ethereum-mining ASICs. Instead, Ethash is deliberately best-suited to GPU-mining.
The news for the quarter was encouraging and seasonally understandable, quarter-to-quarter, the AIB market increased 30.9% (compared to the desktop PC market, which decreased 18.2%). The desktop market is dropping as compared to the number of Desktops sold, people are buying more cards for multi-GPU configurations.
Mining has changed the game for both the companies. Although since AMD GPUs have a higher hash rate compared to Nvidia, they are preferred more by the mining community and thus stock shortage and inflated price.