Cryptomining frenzy of the recent 18 months have encouraged computer component manufacturers to develop hardware tailored for mining infrastructure. At some points earlier this year, these components retailed for hefty sums of money. As rates of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other similar currencies have dropped, so too have prices of motherboards, power supplies, and GPUs.

3050W PSUs for Mining


From $17,000 to $3,900

The period between April 2017 and April 2018 was particularly good for cryptocurrency, which stimulated many hardware companies to try their luck to design hardware aimed specifically for mining and mining infrastructre. In the recent quarters, manufacturers of motherboards have introduced special platforms featuring multiple PCIe slots; producers of PSUs launched power supplies for many graphics cards; suppliers of chassis released special-purpose stands and cases; multiple companies unveiled special-purpose turnkey mining machines, whereas some even offered to rent such systems in the cloud.

Since the peaks, Bitcoin-USD exchange rates have dropped from around $17,000 in December 2017 to $3,900 in December 2018, according to CoinDesk. Ethereum suffered the same fate and dropped from around $1,350 in January 2018 to $130 in late December 2018. With exchange rates collapsing that significantly, the interest towards mining dropped along with demand and prices of appropriate hardware.

Left: Bitcoin, Right: Ethereum

In a bid to understand the significance of mining hardware price drops, we decided to analyze several popular cryptocurrency mining hardware devices sold at Amazon.

Every decent rig starts from a motherboard, so we are going to start from them. The B250 Mining Expert from ASUS as well the B360-F PRO from MSI are among the most capable platforms for mining with 19 and 18 PCIe slots, respectively.


The ASUS B250 Mining Expert used to cost from $400 to $600 about a year ago, but right now it is possible to get it for $58 - $78.  The situation is similar with the MSI B360-F PRO: it used to cost $200 in May, but now it can be obtained for $63 - $96. Biostar’s TB250-BTC supports “only” eight GPUs, yet it used to cost $250 - $320 from December 2017 to February 2018. By contrast, today it is priced at around $60.



Mining rigs usually need chassis so we decided to check out dynamics of mining chassis: an entry-level open-air frame from Astarin that supports up to six graphics cards.


The 6-way frame for mining rigs that used to cost $100 in March, is now available for $36, a nearly three times decline.



Getting enough GPUs was a big problem for “professional” miners and those who did not have a good/close relationship with GPU manufacturers. They had to buy from retailers, which is why demand for mainstream and performance mainstream graphics cards increased and their prices hit a historical peak.


MSI’s Radeon RX 580 Armor 8 GB OC used to cost $420 - $700 in the period from late-2017 to early-2018, but at present it is available for $220 - $240.

The situation is similar with GIGABYTE’s Radeon RX 570 4 GB. The product that used to cost $450 - $600 a year ago is now sold for $150 - $184. The EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC 6 GB graphics card, currently priced at $250 - $280, used to cost $430 or even $700 (depending on the retailer) earlier this year and that is if you were lucky enough to get one.


Launched at an MSRP of $139 in late October 2016, NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti has been overpriced throughout its lifetime. Amazon sold GIGABYTE’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti for $200, whereas its partners were bold enough to offer it for as high as $350 when demand for mining hardware peaked in January 2018. Right now, the board can be obtained for $165 - $170.

Some Thoughts

Once cryptocurrencies became an investment tool for various market players, exchange rates began to increase at rapid paces as more money was pumped into them. Contrary to usual scenarios, when unqualified investors often avoid highly volatile items like currencies or commodities, this time enough people decided to try their lack and mine Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies at home, investing in hardware. Hardware makers were eager to satisfy demand for mining rigs and invested in appropriate R&D and manufacturing.

Meanwhile, like any stock or commodity, cryptocurrencies could not grow forever or stay at their peak for too long, and exchange rates have began to depreciate. It remains to be seen when they are set to bottom out. Ot looks like there will be many people left with mining hardware that cannot be applied elsewhere as well as companies with redundant inventory.

Related Reading

Sources: CoinDesk, CamelCamelCamel

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  • abufrejoval - Sunday, December 30, 2018 - link

    I sure would like having cryptocurrencies or rather their trade be made illegal in all major economies.

    Way too much dirty money and anything you can throw into the gears of the Ransomware industry is doing a lot of good.

    And there is so many better uses for electricity!
  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, December 30, 2018 - link

    If you want to save the planet, start with real estate. Over 6,000 acres of land in the US are developed daily, according to a recent scientific presentation I ran across. McMansions, strip malls, gas stations, and the like may be attractive but they carry a much larger price tag than people want to think about.

    A moratorium on the development of natural acreage would go a long way toward preserving the planet. But, the new dictator in Brazil wants to sell the Amazon to Amazon and corporations are cheering.

    As for dirty money... last time I checked the United States was the world's largest weapons dealer and the largest per-capita imprisoner. China's own government admitted that most of its soil is heavily polluted a number of years back. There is a lot of dirty money out there and it has nothing to do with crypto.
  • PeachNCream - Sunday, December 30, 2018 - link

    In the grand scheme of things, I agree that crypto coins are pretty far down there on the list of problems. They do make narcotics, ransom attacks, and pornography easier to obtain to a certain extent, but only as long as they have some form of value. They are seemingly a waste of electrical energy we can dedicate to something more useful. However, the fact that crypto currencies keep anarchists and other nefarious sorts happy by giving them a pressure relief valve of sorts is beneficial to the rest of us and that has to be worth something. Besides, from what I've been reading, at least Bitcoin transactions are getting followed back to the owner of the wallet so they aren't as bulletproof as people might think. Arrests are happening and the weaker, non technical links in the chain are easy enough for law enforcement to exploit.
  • mapesdhs - Wednesday, January 2, 2019 - link

    If people really "cared about the planet" then they would oppose state and private debt before anything else, for these constitute unfunded resource consumption in the extreme. Nobody does though, they want their phones (look up how many are thrown away each year), TVs & cheap holidays, and they'd rather continue to live with the illusion of an infinite welfare state and overly generous retirement pensions.

    China is an interesting case. They do a lot sometimes to tackle pollution (world leaders in solar panel research), much of which involves dealing with corruption, but they don't do it out of concern for the environment, rather it's about maintaining social stability, and it's not universally applied, depends on the nature of the issue and where it's happening. An angry rural poor can be a problem. However, business is largely unregulated, so it's a huge and complex issue. Cultural attitudes towards such notions though are not the same, in ways that are hard for westerners to understand. Besides, we in the West are hardly in a position to criticise when we're spending trillions each year on unfunded resource consumption, too afraid to genuinely deal with the real problems we have. Also worth noting that moving people en mass from 3rd world to 1st world nations (as the UN/EU are doing), where their resource comsumption will increase by an order of magnitude, is an incredibly stupid idea if one cares about the environment; it's also a massive brain drain on the origin nations (I thought taking resources from the 3rd world was a bad thing? Or doesn't that include its people?) and at the same time absorbs incompatible cultural elements which creates further problems, including criminal behaviour. All these policies are government controlled programmes; we would do well to ditch the fantasy that the state is capable of genuinely caring for the environment, because the people who run these structures mostly don't care.

    There's so much hypocrasy and virtue signaling that surrounds environmental discussion, decisions and policy. People choose to believe the problems are simple and so are the solutions, because it makes them feel better. Have to laugh at the morons who park in a queue at a recycling centre in their SUV with the engine running just to drop off a small bag of plastics.
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Thursday, January 3, 2019 - link

    >(I thought taking resources from the 3rd world was a bad thing? Or doesn't that include its people?) and at the same time absorbs incompatible cultural elements which creates further problems, including criminal behaviour.

    Uhhh... OK. Immigrants from foreign nations aren't inherently immigrating "incompatible" cultural elements nor are they inherently criminals. That's WHY there's the whole immigration screening process to begin with. Legal immigrants are screened for their criminal backgrounds and such before they're ever formally accepted for immigration from one country to another. Druglords and and mafia members don't suddenly immigrate scot-free at a whim.

    Get off whatever you're smoking man, this is an article about mining tech getting devalued due to large drop offs in mining interest.
  • cbm80 - Monday, December 31, 2018 - link

    I didn't know people were still calling crypto prices "exchange rates". Made me chuckle.
  • 0ldman79 - Thursday, January 3, 2019 - link

    I'm tempted to pick up one of those just to have proper expandability.

    I used to have a video card and 3-5 accessory cards in my machines back in the day. Admittedly I don't need a NIC, sound card or modem in my machine, but I *still* find myself running out of slots after only adding a tuner or two on a full ATX board. It's stupid.
  • 0ldman79 - Thursday, January 3, 2019 - link

    Here's a question, can a standard card mount to those boards?

    As in can I use a PCIe 1x card in a case without the extension?
  • sorten - Friday, January 4, 2019 - link

    "The 6-way frame for mining rigs that used to cost $100 in March, is now available for $36, a nearly three times decline."

    What is a three times decline? The decline in price was 64%, correct? (100 - 64) / 100 = 0.64.
  • octal - Friday, January 4, 2019 - link

    It made me cringe too. The article was written by someone who should never be allowed to write anything again, ever.

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