Gamers, brace yourselves: AI development could lead to another GPU shortage

The AMD Radeon Graphics badge displayed over an RGB gaming keyboard.
(Image credit: Ralf Liebhold / Shutterstock)

The rise in AI tools and chatbots may be exciting for many, but gamers and enthusiasts could soon be getting cryptomining flashbacks. A few years ago the crypto-mining craze gobbled up gaming GPUs, and it looks like history could be (sort of) repeating as businesses begin buying up consumer GPUs to manufacture their artificial intelligence tools.

According to Tom’s Hardware, people are taking to social media to complain about cloud-based GPU resources (essentially using GPUs, like Nvidia GeForce, in a ‘service farm’) being fully booked and hardware supplies being entirely reserved for the rest of the year.

Of course, gamers are going to be more than a little worried about the news, given the recent impact of that crypto-ming rush. And there are good reasons to believe that Nvidia's AI dominance, based on its development of the tensor core, could ultimately be worse for gamers than crypto.

So... is it time to panic? 

Entrepreneur George Holtz provides some insight into the issue via a tweet (below). Hotz is currently assisting a business called Comma AI, and speaks about buying up boxes and boxes of AMD gaming GPUs.

The boxes in the photo clearly read ‘AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX’, a brilliant graphics card that scored five stars in our review and earned our Editors Choice award. This is clearly a GPU that many PC gamers would want to buy – and it would be frustrating to see them mainly used for non-gaming purposes.

The rise of AI could widely be considered a net positive in a lot of ways – from boosting our productivity to giving us new creative tools like Adobe Firefly. But we can expect the intense demand for AI products to place a lot of pressure on compute-focused GPUs. 

The greater demand for the GPUs could potentially lead to a drop in stock, making it harder for gamers to actually buy a new GPU and probably inflate prices. It may be a matter of time before we see the demand seep into the world of gaming GPUs, so brace yourselves.

Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison. Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place. Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).