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It can be very problematic if one of your pc parts stops working. For someone who depends on that pc, whether for school, work or as the main hobby, it could be devastating. As if it wasn’t challenging, to begin with, nowadays it is even worst. Let me just say, it is a bad time for your pc parts to die, especially the GPU (graphics card). 

Same as for most of the problems these days, for this to the pandemic is to blame. As a consequence of the lockdowns, and some bad business decisions, there is a worldwide chip shortage. On the one hand, the production had stopped during the worst times of Covid 19, which caused orders to be late. On the other hand, the predictions on the number of chips needed were underestimated. To make bad things worst, there are not enough factories to produce the chips. 

And no, I am not talking about pringles chips, I am talking about semiconductors that are needed for anything electronic and computer regulated, like cars, airplanes, consoles, and of course pc parts. But let’s concentrate on GPUs and all the interesting things that had happened around them.

Intel and AMD both presented their new graphics cards at the beginning of 2021. Gamers and creators went in front of stores to wait in line for more than 24h or even for days to get a GPU. They only got disappointed because the shops only received a hand full of cards to sell. And so, the GPU “saga” of 2021 had begun. It is a story of paper launches, scalpers, overpriced GPUs, mining, mad gamers, and old graphics cards selling for more expensive than when they were new. 

All thru 2021 it was almost impossible to get GPUs. Buying them in shops was a gamble because the supply was limited and the waiting lines were long. Customers made their systems and waiting lists to try to stay fair and limit the chaos. The other option was buying them online, from sites like eBay, or to call things by their names, from scalpers. Scalpers are people or organizations that find ways to get GPUs before normal buyers do and then resell those at a profit, sometimes for even 10 times the retail price. 

Usually, gamers and creators do not have the money to buy overpriced GPUs, but some do. People who do cryptocurrency mining have the money and need GPUs to keep making money, so they buy the overpriced products from scalpers, and they can then decide on the prices. The shortage went so bad that the scalpers were also selling old GPUs for more than they were worth back when they were new. 

This is a complicated issue and it is still very present. To be precise, the near future seems grim because predictions are that this will not be better before 2023. New factories are said to be constructed to up the production, and cryptocurrency mining is to be regulated and reinvented. 

All we can do for now is be patient and hope that the shortage is going to be sorted out as soon as possible. Till then, take good care of your components and hope your GPU does not die. 

Aleksandra Dubovac – M2 Cyberjustice – Promotion 2021/2022

A propos de COMED 2021/2022