While GPU makers are reluctant to talk about sales to miners, analysts from Bitpro Consulting estimate that Ethereum miners purchased $15 billion worth of GPUs over the last 1.5 years, Bloomberg reports. When combined with the prices of other parts for their mining rig (CPUs, PSUs, chassis), the amount of money spent on Ethereum mining hardware globally would look even more impressive. Miners might have consumed about 10% of discrete GPU supply in the last 1.5 years.
When Ethereum pricing rose steeply in October-November 2020, millions of people started mining Ethereum coins to make some easy money. They used graphics cards bought at retail, and their purchases coincided with skyrocketing demand from gamers as both AMD and Nvidia released very competitive Radeon RX 6000 and GeForce RTX 30-series cards in late 2020. Those GPUs are still the best graphics cards around.
Demand from both gamers and miners exceeded supply, so prices shot through the roof. This is why the average selling prices of GPUs, which were already high in late 2020 due to the rise of PC gaming during the COVID-19 pandemic, increased to unprecedented levels. In Q1 2021, a high-end graphics card (which carries an MSRP of $649 or above) cost $1,358 on average, whereas the average selling price for a lower-tier GPU was $1,062, according to Jon Peddie Research.