Graphics Cards: An unexpected problem for PC builders


Noah Mitchell

Over the past year and a half, lots of people have decided to switch from console gaming to computer gaming. With more freedom for tasks other than gaming, along with a wider range for certain games, PCs have become the better choice. However, good things can never last long.
Since the beginning of 2021, people have been going through lots of trouble getting their hands on a graphics card. For those who aren’t familiar with computers, a graphics card is a computer component that gives you the image you see on your monitor. Prices have gone through the roof, and this is causing new builders problems. UACHS senior Ethan Edmilao, who is currently building a computer, is missing one of these parts.
“I’ve had my other parts for a good two months now, but I still can’t find a graphics card. They’re either completely sold out, or people are charging way too much money for them,” said Edmilao.
One of the main reasons behind this long-lasting shortage is cryptomining. While this was never an issue before, the sudden rise of cryptocurrency prices has pushed it too far. If anyone is wondering what these cards have anything to do with mining, the way it works is that someone builds a computer system with multiple graphics cards. When their system is up and running, they use mining software and wait for the cryptocurrency to roll in.
Not only is this problem affecting computer builders, but it’s putting a halt in the plans of those who have been thinking about switching to the PC side. Senior Damian Le is one of these people.
“I wanted to build my own computer so I can have more choices for games, since you can’t really have any game you want on PS4s and Xboxes. I’m not sure if it’s even going to be possible anytime soon,” said Le.
As someone who actually experienced this as well, I can say that this situation sucks a lot. I planned on building a PC years ago, but managed to actually get it done this year. When I was still buying my parts back in January, I looked all over for graphics cards at a good price and found nothing. I was so desperate that I almost ended up falling for a scam on eBay. The card that I was looking for goes for $150 retail, but people were charging over $350 for it. I somehow managed to get it for $200 on NewEgg, a website for buying computer parts, a week later.
If you don’t want to spend so much money on a graphics card or don’t feel like waiting any longer, there is one alternative. While it isn’t the best option, you could buy a prebuilt gaming PC. I say it’s not the best solution since most companies that sell these computers might overcharge for something that isn’t too powerful. Not only that, but they could falsely advertise and not build the computer with the parts that they claim to use. However, it’s something to get you started for the time being. You could either try to upgrade it later on, or sell it and use that money to build something even better.
At this point in time, the most anyone can do is either wait for price drops or save up until this all blows over. While it doesn’t look like it will happen anytime soon, just try and stay patient. There’s always a great reward for waiting.

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