Crytpocurrency miners have turned the GPU market on its head, and while AMD and Nvidia do not seem to be doing a whole lot about it, Micro Center has decided to step in. The retailer is limiting orders of some graphics cards to two before jacking up the price.
Take for example the PowerColor AXRX Radeon RX 580 Red Devil with 8GB of GDDR5 memory. The Radeon RX 580 is a popular card in the Ethereum mining community. In what appears to be an obvious attempt to thwart miners, Micro Center will sell up to two of these cards for $350 each. Quantities above that jump all the way to $10,000.
Eteknix noticed the abnormal pricing on bulk GPU orders and made an interesting observation—Micro Center is known for offering lower prices than most of the competition, usually for in-store deals. For example, Intel's Core i7-7700K processor can be bought for $300 in a Micro Center store, versus around $340 online from vendors like Newegg.
Micro Center seems to be adopting this new price policy across the board and not just for Radeon RX 580 cards. This Asus GeForce GTX 1070 OC card costs $440 for one and $470 for a second card, and then skyrockets to $10,000 for subsequent quantities.
What Micro Center is doing probably will not influence the market all that much. It is also not clear if customers can sidestep the restriction by placing separate orders, or if Micro Center is monitoring shipping addresses. Either way, it's nice to see a retailer doing something—anything—to combat the situation.