AMD, Nvidia rally; Litecoin mining leads to high-end GPU shortage

|By:, SA News Editor

Interest in using high-end AMD (AMD +2.3%) GPUs to mine Litecoins (a rival cryptocurrency to Bitcoins) has triggered shortages for graphics cards running R9 280X and R9 290/290X GPUs.

15 of the 17 R9 280X graphics cards offered by Newegg are out of stock, as are 14 out of 16 R9 290/290X GPUs.

With Litecoin trading at a fraction of Bitcoin's price, the former is much easier to mine than the latter. However, Litecoin mining does require considerable amounts of memory and GPU horsepower.

AMD GPUs are viewed as far more efficient at mining Litecoins than Nvidia (NVDA +1.9%) GPUs, but both can be applied to the task.

AMD launched its R9 and R7 GPUs earlier this fall, and priced them aggressively relative to Nvidia's high-end GTX 780/770 and Titan GPUs; Nvidia announced price cuts in response.

Notable Calls reports hearing from IT hardware contacts the R9/R7 launches have led AMD to take GPU share from Nvidia.