As a last resort to get their hands on coveted graphics cards, gamers are starting to steal the components right out of PCs on the shelves of electronics stores.
Although Nvidia's next generation of graphics cards were announced in late 2020, the RTX 3080, RTX 3070 and the incredible RTX 3090 are as rare as hens' teeth. There's the issue of supply which has impacted all kinds of industries as the pandemic caused productivity to grind to a halt. However, the cards are also vital cogs to make a lot of moolah in cryptocurrencies.
Reports claimed that about a quarter of all GPUs released this year ended up in mining rigs, which is a highly frustrating factor for anyone who has lost out time and time again trying to buy one of the aforementioned cards. Even if you had no interest in bitcoin or gaming, these things turn a tidy sum, with a $300,000 haul pinched from an MSI warehouse in China last year and a raid worth $250,000 was seized in a speedboat chase.
Check out this teeny tiny PC that boasts an RTX 3080, a FireCuda 510 SSD and an Intel i7‑9700K processor!
As you can see in this photo shared by Reddit user IsaiahH146, the situation has become so dire for gamers that some have decided to take the chips out of PCs on the shelves of stores like Sam's Club.
"Always nice when the security cameras are just for show," said one member of the PC Master Race subreddit. "Now that's finesse, to unscrew the GPU while not being seen plus the side panel doesn't seem very accessible lol. Was probably done by a man-octopus," joked another.
In a different post, one player appears to have lost out on an RTX 3090 in a prebuilt PC which arrived without its GPU when they opened the package. The weight of the delivery was recorded when it left the depot but it had strangely gotten a lot lighter in transit, which suggests that someone knew the value of the graphics card inside and took it out for their own ends. With no end in sight for the shortage of chips, this method of securing a souped up graphics card is likely to become more and more popular.
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