The cryptocurrency mining craze has created a crummy situation for gamers who just want to upgrade their graphics card. Prices have shot through the roof for nearly every high-end and mid-range option out there, and even some entry-level models. That's not what Nvidia wants, and it's sharing that sentiment with its retail partners.
"For Nvidia, gamers come first. All activities related to our GeForce product line are targeted at our main audience," Nvidia spokesman Boris Böhles told ComputerBase. "To ensure that GeForce gamers continue to have good GeForce graphics card availability in the current situation, we recommend that our trading partners make the appropriate arrangements to meet gamers’ needs as usual," Böhles added.
ComputerBase notes that some retailers limit graphics card orders to two of the same model per person, in an attempt to dissuade bulk orders by miners. Some sites have interpreted that to mean Nvidia is asking retailers to place a two-card limit on orders, leaving it up to each retailer to ultimately decide to do that or not. However, there's nothing in Nvidia's statement that suggests it's actually recommending a specific limit.
Not that it really matters. Even if Nvidia considers "appropriate arrangements" to be a two-card limit per model, per customer, there is no official restriction in place. And even on sites that choose to implement one, an easy workaround would be to create multiple accounts, and to order different model cards.
Hopefully the situation improves soon. Not much has changed since we rounded up graphics card prices last week—GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards are still selling for $1,300 and up, while the lowest price GeForce GTX 1060 on Newegg right now is listed at $400, and that's for a 3GB model. Available stock is typically through a third-party resellers, one of which is selling a 6-pack of GeForce GTX 1060 6GB cards for $3,295. Meanwhile, even Nvidia's own store shows all of the models other than the Titan Xp as out of stock.