GPU Shipments Grow 26% In 2021: Then Why The Shortage?


The world is facing a chip shortage that has led to several disruptions in the manufacturing and sales of many products. However, as per a market analysis by Jon Peddie Research (JPR), shipments of graphics cards increased by around 36% year-on-year in 2021. This raises the question of whether buying a GPU is really difficult right now, and where are all these extra units going?


GPU shortage

According to the analysis, AMD and Nvidia shipped 12.7 million cards this year, which is an increase of more than one million compared to last year. This applies only to add-in boards (AIB), which means dedicated cards used for PCs, servers, scientific instruments, and crypto mining rigs. It does not include integrated cards that are usually seen on entry-level systems.

Yearly And Quarterly Sales Witness Growth

Yearly And Quarterly Sales Witness Growth

The growth is also visible on a quarter-on-quarter basis, as the shipments have increased by around 11%. This is less than 2020, however, as the same quarter witnessed an increase of 17%. AMD was ahead in terms of quarter-on-quarter growth compared to Nvidia, but the latter witnessed more growth in terms of year-over-year.

AMD shipped 17.7% more desktop cards, which means a 20.8% increase from the year 2020. Nvidia saw a quarterly increase of 9.3%, but a 27.1 jump in yearly numbers.

Buying a GPU has been nearly an impossible task over the past year. And, buying it at MSRP has become a dream. Despite the fact that many people are looking to buy the best graphics cards out there, there aren't enough stocks to fulfill the demands.

Where Are The Extra Units Going?

Where Are The Extra Units Going?

Popular GPUs like the RTX 3080 are still selling at over 300% of their MSRP. Retailers do restock these cars at reasonable prices, but they are sold out within seconds. The chip shortage has a huge role to play in the difficulties buyers are facing to get a new GPU, but with increased shipments, it seems the problem lies somewhere else.

If these GPUs do not reach the buyers at a reasonable price, where do they go? They go directly to the scalpers and crypto miners. It's known that most GPU restocks are instantly bought using bots, and scalpers then resell them at skyrocketed prices. This forces PC builders to buy these GPUs at high costs or be left empty-handed. Crypto miners continue to buy these cards, as despite the market being volatile, mining continues to be a profitable option.

GPU Shortage Is Nowhere Close To Its End

GPU Shortage Is Nowhere Close To Its End

According to Nvidia, the GPU shortage will also plague the whole of 2022, while Intel suggested that a supply-demand won't materialize until 2023. The only thing to look up to for consumers is the rumors about the sub-$200 Arc Alchemist GPU from Intel; however, scalpers will most probably be ready to target these chips as well.

Besides, supply chains still aren't fully equipped to fulfill the demands of gamers and crypto miners. The situation is likely to help people selling secondhand cards in the market. Let's hope companies launch more GPUs to curb the skyrocketing prices.

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