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To Combat Shortage, Nvidia Asks Retailers To Limit Graphics Card Orders (pcmag.com) 212

An anonymous reader writes: If you're a PC builder -- or your aging desktop system is in dire need of some modern upgrades -- you've probably wondered why it's impossible to get a graphics card lately. You can thank the outrageous interest in cryptocurrency for all of this. Since graphics cards mine cryptocurrency much faster than CPUs, an eager community of get-rich-quick enthusiasts are scooping up graphics cards as fast as they can get them. While there isn't much major manufacturers AMD and Nvidia can do about the overwhelming demand for GPUs, Nvidia is at least trying to let retailers know that they should be holding their stock for the company's core audience: gamers, not miners. "For NVIDIA, gamers come first. All activities related to our GeForce product line are targeted at our main audience. To ensure that GeForce gamers continue to have good GeForce graphics card availability in the current situation, we recommend that our trading partners make the appropriate arrangements to meet gamers' needs as usual," reads a translated statement Nvidia's Boris Bohles. Nvidia is suggesting that retailers limit graphics card orders to just two per person, but that's just an idea -- one Nvidia can't actually enforce beyond restricting sales on its website, which it's currently doing. Further reading: It's a terrible time to buy a graphics card.
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To Combat Shortage, Nvidia Asks Retailers To Limit Graphics Card Orders

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  • by niks42 ( 768188 ) on Monday January 22, 2018 @10:49AM (#55977585)
    When the crypto miners disappear, there may be a glut of NVidia cards on a certain popular auction site .. or maybe they will start to think of something more useful to do with all of that compute power designed to work on massively parallel problems. They might start doing a bit of Computer Aided Detection for radiologists using AI for instance, or sell their services to hospitals and universities to do genome processing, or sell their compute cycles to companies doing research into battery technology, or finding new antibiotics; or research into using Thorium for nuclear reactors, or at the very least hand some compute power to SETI.

    At least HPCs might become more accessible.
  • by dysmal ( 3361085 ) on Monday January 22, 2018 @11:12AM (#55977739)

    Nvidia should put buzz words like "blockchain" and "crypto" in the name/descriptions of a line of video cards they're producing with a high margin and let nature take its course.

    "Introducing the NEW Ford Pinto... powered by a BLOCKCHAIN engine with Ford's new CRYPTO door opener and starter mechanism!"

  • you know. They can limit however they want.

  • by e r ( 2847683 ) on Monday January 22, 2018 @11:47AM (#55977987)
    Nvidia doesn't mind selling tons of GPUs to whoever has money.
    But what they don't want is for all the $popular_crypto_coin to suddenly crash (and it looks like they're about to) and then flood the market with dirt cheap used GPUs and leave Nvidia in the lurch unable to sell $Gpu->filter('this_year')->get_newest()
    By doing this they can continue the high demand for their products and try to smooth out the coming bumps and dips.
    • if AMD suddenly ramps up production they could devour the gaming market leading to games written specifically for AMD. Right now nVidia has a big performance & stability edge because they can throw more engineers at game companies and because they just plain have more hardware.

      At the moment neither nVidia or AMD wants to take the risk of ramping up production since it'll be a disaster if crypto currencies collapse. But AMD has a long history of slightly off kilter business decisions.
    • by GrahamJ ( 241784 )

      I was with you right up till you started using PHP ;)

    • You mean now?? HODL the PHYZ bitchez!

      https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/... [thesun.co.uk]

  • by daveywest ( 937112 ) on Monday January 22, 2018 @12:01PM (#55978105)
    My teenager hinted he wants a new build for his birthday next week. I spent some time spec'ing a system last night, but I couldn't find a gpu that wasn't priced about the same as all the rest of the components compbined. Cards that should be around $100 are selling in the $500 range.
    • the system builders can still get cards at a reasonable price. You can get a whole new system for a few hundred over just the card right now. It's crazy.

      You might also look for a used 970 GTX or even a 660/760 if it's for e-sports, just make sure it's from one of the better manufactures (Gigabyte/Asus/MSI). They tend to put some effort into making the cards more durable which reduces the odds of getting a junk board that's had the solder re-flowed in an oven.
      • by Khyber ( 864651 )

        "They tend to put some effort into making the cards more durable which reduces the odds of getting a junk board that's had the solder re-flowed in an oven."

        Everything is reflowed in an oven now days, what the fuck are you talking about. You can even get GPU reflow machines for YOUR HOME at just over $275.

        https://precision-pcb-services... [precision-...es-inc.com]

        SMHTBH, fam.

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Monday January 22, 2018 @12:04PM (#55978143)

    As much as I hate the idea of some criptominer causing a price rise that would affect me buying my gaming card, let me just say Screw you NVIDIA. You have NO say in what we use your GPU for and neither does the shop owners who you're suggesting ... do what exactly? ... Don't sell us the card if we can't pass a multi choice quiz on gaming culture?

    • Its basically akin to trying to fight ticket scalping.
      • Its basically akin to trying to fight ticket scalping.

        No it's not. These people are actually using the product for the intended purpose: Embarrassingly parallel computational tasks.

    • You have NO say in what we use your GPU for

      I agree but it seems that nVidia may need some persuading [slashdot.org].

      • That had nothing to do with the sale of the hardware and just some bullshit EULA statement in a driver download.

    • "Nvidia asks retailers to only let shoppers buy two graphics cards at once, rather than selling them everything they have."

      That's all. They aren't asking what you are doing with them, they only ask that vendors limit how many can be bought in an order to improve the chances that more people will be able to obtain them. Their hope is that this makes it easier for their core audience to obtain cards, but they aren't screening for gamers with "gaming culture" quizzes.
      • Actually what NVIDIA asked was:
        Für NVIDIA stehen Gamer an erster Stelle. Sämtliche Aktivitäten rund um unsere GeForce-Produktreihe sind auf unsere Hauptzielgruppe ausgerichtet. Um den GeForce-Gamern auch in der aktuellen Situation weiterhin eine gute Verfügbarkeit von GeForce-Grafikkarten zu gewährleisten, empfehlen wir unseren Handelspartnern, entsprechende Vorkehrungen zu treffen, um den Bedarf der Gamer wie gewohnt abzudecken.“

        They are asking for retailers to put in place "

        • "Reading anything other than that into it is nothing more than misrepresenting translations."

          I could say the same for implying that they are going to grill buyers on "gaming culture" to validate their purchases. Go to their actual webpage it says "Limit 2 per customer". The vendor part is just a request, the vendor doesn't have to comply.
    • Actually, Nvidia has already been controlling what is done with their cards for years. Want to do 3D professional CAD on a PC? You have to buy their Quadro line of video cards for a substantial premium. The differences between Quadro and Geforce were minimal, and primarily it was a different driver set.

      All they need to do here is what they do there. If you want to mine cryptocurrency, the firmware starting with the newest update will handicap you to 60% speed unless you buy their special "Crypto" line o

  • I always find this kind of stuff funny.

    Left hand "LET THE FREE MARKET SORT IT OUT"

    Right hand "STOP THOSE DAMN MINERS FROM BUYING OUR GAMING CARDS!"

    You can't have it both ways...

    • The free market is nvidia deciding how to handle the product they manufacture and sell. Someone else is free to come in, develop a high powered GPU or ASIC device, and sell to miners.
    • It's a little worse. If there were no government regulations this situation would be repeating itself with medicines, food, fuel, lodging, etc, you and I would be fighting to get potatoes for dinner because some asshole decided to buy all potato stocks to force the price into the stratosphere.
    • The obvious free market choice here is for Nvidia to design a second series of GPUs tailor-made for cryptocurrency mining. Just drop the features mining doesn't need like texture render units, add more of the features mining does need. They already do this sort of parallel product development for gaming cards vs CAD/CAM cards. Although the gaming cards are cheaper than CAD/CAM cards, they have worse performance per dollar at CAD/CAM applications, thus keeping this product differentiation viable.

      They'r
  • Why, the card I have now is 'out of support' as of this year, that means once I go to kernel 4.5+ their proprietary will no longer install. So I will need to use nouveau, which still has some minor issues, but I can deal with the screen 'flashs' I get.

    Nvidia promised to help with nouveau development, but so far nothing 'real' was done by them.

    So, no more Nvidia for me, going forward I will onoy use video vendors that support open source 100%.

  • When I've went there in the past, the store had tiered pricing for the graphics card I wanted. The store would charge $10,000 per card if someone came in and bought more than 4 at a time.
  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Monday January 22, 2018 @01:09PM (#55978739)

    ... will just have to adapt [amazonaws.com].

  • You can thank the outrageous interest in cryptocurrency for all of this. Since graphics cards mine cryptocurrency much faster than CPUs, an eager community of get-rich-quick enthusiasts are scooping up graphics cards as fast as they can get them.

    Man what a waste of resources, time and money. Wow. Idiots and their dollars are parted. Does this mean when these people go bankrupt trying to chase cryptocurrency, there will be a glut of used GPU's hitting eBay?

    I will say however, it's surprising NVIDIA is saying "Hey limit sales!" instead of saying, "JACK UP PRICES!" I'd probably gone with the latter if it was my decision. People sucking up GPU's for a worthless endeavor? Double the price. Hell, triple it. Make those GPU's really hurt.

    • "Hey, jack up prices" is very short term thinking. Gamers are an evergreen market, and it's not worth pissing away the next 30 years of business (if ATI becomes standard instead of nVidia) for a few years of double profits.

  • lol Well one way to look at it is when the coins crash and they will crash, their will be a glut of video cards on ebay.
    • by eepok ( 545733 )
      The problem is that so many people have so much money "invested", that I don't think it will crash so much as slowly peter out over a couple years. Unless there's a major legal crackdown throughout multiple nations... that'll crash it right quick.
  • I've been building best-bang-for-the-buck, low-electricity, low-noise gaming PCs since 2005 when I left college and became wholly responsible for my own electricity bill. I've built ~4 since then with each computer lasting ~3 years before wanting to build another. When I caught wind of the new micro towers from MSI (Trident) and ASUS (GR8 II), thought to myself, "That's what I want next! If they can sell those for $1,000, I should be able to do it for $750 or less."

    Boy was I wrong. Now, I was under no il

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