This Week In GPU Markets - March 10th, 2014

What a crazy few weeks for Bitcoin and altcoins. BTC price volatility continues through the dramas of Empty Gox and Newsweak's false Satoshi Nakamoto.

The market for Scrypt-mined coins is decidedly down. The profitability of Doge, LTC, Auroracoin, as well as lesser known altcoins has dropped slowly and steadily. As of now, a 25 MH/s farm would make a bit north of $50 a day mining Litecoin, assuming a median power cost of .012/kwh. Doge fluctuates both north and south of that figure with the difficulty changes, as does Aur. Profit-switching multi-pools are returning figures of around .006 - .007 per mh per day. Will we see another altcoin resurgence as we did this past winter, or will profit margins continue to slide until those with more expensive power costs are forced to shut down? The GPU market has already responded to the current trend, let's take a closer look.

Being a cyclops was bad enough, and now this?

Prices of 7950 GPUs- still the best price/performance ratio GPU given their electrical consumption- are down in price in response to market conditions, but not as much as one might suspect. Perhaps there are enough miners willing to scoop up GPUs as they lie in wait for the next economic crisis that will spur Bitcoin and Altcoins to new heights? Spot price checking on eBay for used hardware sees MSI 7950 TF3 Boost Edition going for around $325 at auction, Sapphire 7950s going for up to $350.00, and Gigabyte 7950 WF3 in the past couple of days in the $290 - $300.00 range depending on revision. This represents an overall price trend downward of about 15 - 20% since the last report in mid February.

Meanwhile, Newegg is out of stock on 7950s. It is to be noted that they have adjusted the price for the Sapphire 3L 7950 to $300 after rebate, which now matches the retail price of over a year ago, and is a price drop of over $100 from their previously inflated point. Tigerdirect (accepting Bitcoin directly as a payment method) has two models of 7950 in stock, both sub-quality XFX brand cards,at $400 and $450 respectively. BitcoinStore is out of stock.

And, wrapping up the survey of major retailers, the used market on Amazon continues to be on the higher side, though prices have moderated slightly, with the lowest offer for a quality brand starting at $329 and climbing up from there, with limited supply.

No high-quantity deals on eBay showed up this week, as they did in weeks past. That again pegs the best overall deals this week with watching and tracking individual Buy It Nows and auctions on eBay.

Once again, let's remember that the 7950 series was retailing for under $200 just a few months ago, and the used market had dipped as low as $150. Many thought that GPU mining was done for- profitability was creeping towards break-even before the breakout of BTC, LTC, and later, Doge. Now with Scrypt mining profitability again creeping lower as the difficulties cycle with the present hash power on the network, the market demand for GPUs for mining at this time remains perhaps surprisingly bullish. Will we once again scrape the bottom of near-break-even mining before another breakout for alts? Or will this be the final long, slow hurrah? Only time will tell.

Is it supposed to spin this fast?

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