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Miners make it harder to find budget video cards

TillerTiller Member EpicPosts: 8,874
edited January 2018 in Hardware
It has gotten seriously annoying looking for a budget graphics card for my kids computer. I've been looking at GTX 1050 TI and 1060 cards (EVGA -PNY-MSI) and it would seem all the reasonably priced cards at the major retail sites are out of stock, back ordered ect constantly. It's been like this for a few years now from what I can see. As soon as new GPU inventory come in, they are gone. 

Come to find out bitcoin miners are buying these things by the cases and burning through them in their mining arrays. Seems the manufactures can't keep up with this type of demand. I kind of wish they made cheap mining specific throwaway cards just for the miners, it would take some strain of the supply for gamers.
SWG Bloodfin vet
Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter

Post edited by Tiller on
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Comments

  • Panther2103Panther2103 Member EpicPosts: 5,569
    I looked at most 1060's on newegg and in those brands, all were in stock. I've never had any trouble finding cards. Maybe try a few more websites? 
    francis_baudThupliSinsai
  • TillerTiller Member EpicPosts: 8,874
    If you filter it down you will see most of the cheaper ones are sold by other sellers. I'm mostly looking at Amazon and Bestbuy (shipping thing).
    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,096
    Bitcoin miners haven't bought GPUs to mine since 2011.  Back then, the Radeon HD 6970 and 6950 were the GPUs of choice, and they ignored Nvidia entirely because Nvidia was terrible at integer and logical operations used for bitcoin mining.

    Then bitcoin mining moved to FPGAs, and later to ASICs.  Once you've got ASICs for bitcoin mining, no one cares about GPUs anymore, as they can't compete with ASICs.  The Cayman-based GPUs being hard to find for gaming only lasted a few months.

    The next round of this came in 2014, when litecoin miners bought Radeon R9 290 and 290X cards.  They again ignored Nvidia, as Nvidia GPUs were still terrible at integer and logical operations of the sort used in cryptocurrency hashing functions.

    Then other cryptocurrencies also moved to FPGAs and off of GPUs, and buying GPUs for it again became inefficient.  Those miners buying AMD's Hawaii GPUs also only lasted a few months.  In addition, AMD had ramped up production of the GPUs, leaving them too many GPUs that they intended to sell to miners and no one buying them, so gamers got good deals for quite a while.

    The launch of the GeForce GTX 980 in September 2014 was important here for two reasons.  First, Maxwell was the first Nvidia GPU architecture to be any good at integer and logical operations of the sort used in cryptocurrency mining.  It was also the first Nvidia GPU architecture to be notably good at compute more generally, even apart from cryptocurrency mining, as it fixed a number of things that were blatantly broken in Kepler, and was the first GPU architecture from any vendor not to be finicky about weird things for no good reason.

    Today, it's the ethereum miners who are bothering you.  Ethereum basically decided that bitcoin being mined by ASICs so that some guy in China has half of the world's bitcoin mining capability is a bad thing, and set out to build a cryptocurrency hashing algorithm that you couldn't build an ASIC for.  Rather than computations, Ethereum mining is mostly based on doing random lookups into a large table of around 3 GB or so.  You're not fitting 3 GB of cache onto an ASIC.

    Nvidia's GDDR5X controller chokes on random lookups into global memory, so it's not very good at ethereum mining.  It doesn't take 3 GB to make this happen; even at 16 MB, a GeForce GTX 1080 is substantially slower than a Radeon RX 480.  Nvidia's GPUs with GDDR5 or HBM2 memory controllers handle it fine, but AMD tends to go heavier on memory bandwidth than Nvidia, making AMD GPUs mostly superior here.  The GP100 chip of a Tesla P100 or Quadro GP100 is markedly better at ethereum mining than anything AMD has, but those also cost $6000+, so miners ignore them for cost reasons.

    That ethereum can't be done more efficiently on FPGAs or ASICs means that unlike the previous blips, the ethereum mining disruption has lasted much longer.  The days when it was hard to find a Radeon RX 580 for double its MSRP are past us, but AMD Polaris 10 GPUs got bid up so high by ethereum miners that it was worthwhile to buy a GeForce GTX 1060 instead, even though it wasn't as good at mining, at least if you got a 6 GB version.

    It's not over entirely, but prices are a lot closer to MSRP than they were six months ago.  It's decently likely that eventually people will figure out that mining cryptocurrencies is a bad idea and they'll all be worthless or nearly so, but that could take quite a while.

    It's also notable that the previous mining spikes targeted high end GPUs, while ethereum went after the mid-range.  That was because Nvidia's high end consumer GPUs had a GDDR5X controller that was bad at ethereum mining, while AMD basically didn't have a high end at the time.  So it's kind of a fluke and probably won't be repeated, but it was a nuisance for people who wanted to buy a $200 GPU.
    GorweTillerjonp200someforumguyYaevinduskOctagon7711francis_baudThupliSinsaifreakkyand 2 others.
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,060
    THere's also the VRAM shortage to contend with - related to the general global RAM shortage brought on largely by the huge increase in mobile devices using them.

    https://www.kitguru.net/components/matthew-wilson/dram-and-nand-supply-shortage-expected-to-last-until-2018/

    At least one person blames it on PUBG, and the fact that Chinese players/game cafes in particular are upgrading in droves to play it.

    http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20180103PD211.html
    TillerTorval
  • TillerTiller Member EpicPosts: 8,874
    Old article, but I'm finding this to be true about the price gouging. Bestbuy just increased the price of a 1060 card by $20  just as of last night. I hope the whole mining market crashes biggly so this can end.

    https://www.pcworld.com/article/3202193/components-graphics/nvidia-geforce-prices-skyrocket-as-cryptocurrency-miners-snap-up-supply.html

    Asm0deusRidelynn
    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter

  • Asm0deusAsm0deus Member EpicPosts: 3,224
    edited January 2018
    Dunno but prices of gpu are ridiculously stupid right now and they seem to keep going up in price.  Just bought a 1060 3gb for my son's pc and cheapest I could find on newegg.ca, amazon.ca and shopbot.ca was this one https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814137037  which I payed 289$ CAD for and just barely a week later it's up to 299$ CAD.

    Cards are like 50$ to 100$ over the MSRP right now at least for the 1060 3gb cards, didn't really look at the 6gb version or 1070/1080 cards.

    The prices seem to be going up rather than down over time.

    Post edited by Asm0deus on

    Brenics ~ Just to point out I do believe Chris Roberts is going down as the man who cheated backers and took down crowdfunding for gaming.





  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,060
    edited January 2018
    It's a bit curious. If I put my tinfoil hat on... with only two companies that are really around doing GPUs... I wonder if there's some illegal back room horse trading going on.

    Keep in mind not only are there only 2 GPU companies, there are also only a handful of foundaries that can make these chips, so it may not necessarily be nVidia/AMD.

    Seems if the demand were there, and ~supposedly~ it has been for a good while now, that there would be no issues ramping up production if it were really just about supply versus demand. I realize fabs can't pop up over night, but with all the different fabs and processes available, you'd be able to figure something out if you were really inclined to do so.
    Torval
  • BladeburaibaBladeburaiba Member UncommonPosts: 117
    Ridelynn said:
    It's a bit curious. If I put my tinfoil hat on... with only two companies that are really around doing GPUs... I wonder if there's some illegal back room horse trading going on.

    Keep in mind not only are there only 2 GPU companies, there are also only a handful of foundaries that can make these chips, so it may not necessarily be nVidia/AMD.

    Seems if the demand were there, and ~supposedly~ it has been for a good while now, that there would be no issues ramping up production if it were really just about supply versus demand. I realize fabs can't pop up over night, but with all the different fabs and processes available, you'd be able to figure something out if you were really inclined to do so.
    If I remember correctly from business class, price erosion should be avoided if you want to maximize profits.  If the environment isn't extremely competitively, then typically you can maximize profits by keeping the price high and throttling the supply at the optimal point.

    Which is to say there doesn't necessarily have to be any collusion for your described situation to happen.  You don't start a price and the accompanying production war unless you can achieve a Mike Tyson knockout.
    RidelynnTorval
  • BladeburaibaBladeburaiba Member UncommonPosts: 117
    As for prices getting back to normal...Quizzical pointed out it won't be until the cryptocurrency hysteria crashes or something else mines them better.

    Unfortunately for us, cryptocurrencies have been kindof elevated to "investment" status with Bitcoin getting futures.

    I don't see the craze dying until we have a major worldwide market crash, which tends to weed out what has real worth and what doesn't, at least until the next bubble forms.  So, when the prices of the cards get corrected, we all may have other priorities anyway.

    To hope for a crash, or to not hope for a crash, that is the question.
    Asm0deus
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,096
    Ridelynn said:
    It's a bit curious. If I put my tinfoil hat on... with only two companies that are really around doing GPUs... I wonder if there's some illegal back room horse trading going on.

    Keep in mind not only are there only 2 GPU companies, there are also only a handful of foundaries that can make these chips, so it may not necessarily be nVidia/AMD.

    Seems if the demand were there, and ~supposedly~ it has been for a good while now, that there would be no issues ramping up production if it were really just about supply versus demand. I realize fabs can't pop up over night, but with all the different fabs and processes available, you'd be able to figure something out if you were really inclined to do so.
    There are at least three issues.  One is that the inflated demand can vanish overnight--and has in the past.  Meanwhile, you have to place orders at the fabs for GPUs several months before the cards come to market at retail.  If AMD or Nvidia decides to triple their production of Polaris 10 or GP104/GP106, and then four months later when the cards are available for miners to buy, Ethereum has crashed and the miners don't care about the cards, then now you've got a year's supply of GPUs that you need to get rid of.  That's basically what happened to AMD when they ramped up production of their Hawaii GPU (Radeon R9 290X) in response to Litecoin in 2014.

    A second is, as Ridelynn said, limited DRAM.  Unlike Bitcoin or Litecoin that you could mine just fine on a dinky GPU with a single DRAM chip as its entire memory bus, you need a lot of DRAM capacity for Ethereum.  I'm not sure how big of a problem that actually is, though, as it depends on whether memory fabs can readily switch production lines from DDR4 to GDDR5.  I'm not saying that they can or can't; I'm saying that I don't know.  If they can't, then ramping up GDDR5 on short notice would be impossible, as you have to plan fabs years ahead of time.  Maybe you're willing to bet that the Ethereum craze will still be on in a few months, but it's much riskier to bet that it will still be going in a few years.

    The third problem is that cryptocurrency mining can eat up almost arbitrarily large stocks of GPUs.  If you know that buying a GPU for $200 and spending another $100 on electricity to run it will mine you $1000 in currency over the course of the next several months, how many of them do you want to buy?  As many as you possibly can, probably.  So long as mining Ethereum is profitable enough, it's possible that AMD and Nvidia did double or triple their production of the relevant GPUs, and the miners still bought them all.

    Ethereum has a market capitalization of over $130 billion right now.  I can't find charts that go back more than several years, but that could easily be more than the all of the revenue that AMD or Nvidia has earned in the entire history of their companies.  And yes, revenue, not profit.  Neither AMD nor Nvidia are large enough companies to overwhelm the market value of Ethereum simply by producing more GPUs.

    Just to give you an idea of how outlandish that $130 billion figure is, Canada's M0 money supply, which includes the value of all currency in circulation, is valued at about $70 billion US.  And Ethereum isn't even the most popular cryptocurrency.  Either cryptocurrencies will replace traditional currencies created by governments or else people who live centuries from now will know about the our great cryptocurrency bubble as one of the most spectacular bubbles of all time, much like how a lot of people today are aware of the Dutch tulip mania of 1637.  That's what you're betting on if you "invest" in Bitcoin today.
  • TillerTiller Member EpicPosts: 8,874
    https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-southkorea-bitcoin/south-korea-plans-to-ban-cryptocurrency-trading-rattles-market-idUSKBN1F002A

    Though I doubt it will effect the GPU market by much in regards to supply shortages, it's a start. Eitherway it's kind of sad that in this day and age there are still things like production shortages to contend with over something comparable to the Tamagotchi craze.  xD

    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter

  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer Member EpicPosts: 8,826
    Bought a 1050Ti about 6mo ago. Didn't have a problem then.
  • TillerTiller Member EpicPosts: 8,874
    edited January 2018
    Bought a 1050Ti about 6mo ago. Didn't have a problem then.
    It actually started getting worse around mid December.  A year ago it was the 1080 cards, but now it's mostly  the 1060 cards that seem to be sold out quickly because they are the new mining  hotness. Also most stores are selling the full range of cards way above MSRP at the moment just to cash in on the wave of price gouging the resellers are able to pull off. You actually save money if you can buy direct from the manufacturers if they have them in stock.

    https://forums.evga.com/GTX-1080TI-stock-ETA-m2748728.aspx


    Good example of box store price gouging

    price history for EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SSC at Bestbuy

    249.99 3 days ago
    269.99 2 days ago
    399.99 just today

    Shit just got real.



    Post edited by Tiller on
    Asm0deusRidelynn
    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,096
    Tiller said:
    Bought a 1050Ti about 6mo ago. Didn't have a problem then.
    It actually started getting worse around mid December.  A year ago it was the 1080 cards, but now it's mostly  the 1060 cards that seem to be sold out quickly because they are the new mining  hotness. Also most stores are selling the full range of cards way above MSRP at the moment just to cash in on the wave of price gouging the resellers are able to pull off. You actually save money if you can buy direct from the manufacturers if they have them in stock.

    https://forums.evga.com/GTX-1080TI-stock-ETA-m2748728.aspx


    Good example of box store price gouging

    price history for EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SSC at Bestbuy

    249.99 3 days ago
    269.99 2 days ago
    399.99 just today

    Shit just got real.



    If you think that's bad, the AMD cards are much worse, as they're better at Ethereum mining.  Now the miners seem to be even buying up the GDDR5X cards that choke on it.

    If you want to know why, here's your answer:

    https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/ethereum/
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,060
    I'm hearing that right now, the best deal in GFX is the Star Wars Titan Xp edition, at around $1200-1300.

    That is how you know the shit got real I suppose.
    Torval
  • AethaerynAethaeryn Member RarePosts: 3,102
    I saw a guy selling a mining rig.  This will happen more and more over the next bit as the value dives. . maybe to around 7K for bitcoin?  You can never guess these things but I have seen them for sale on recent local posts.  There should be some relief over the next month or so.  Then I expect it will go back up.. then down etc.  

    Mind you. . I wouldn't buy a card that has been running 100% 24 hours a day.  But maybe they won't be buying as many for a bit.  People are less likely to invest in hardware when the current price is lower. . Ethereum has mostly only gone up but is starting to sink with the rest on the South Korea news.  It will go back up again as well. . they all will. . until they don't ever again :)    

    Keep you eye out for someone trying to unload a rig though and maybe grab those cards with a few other people.  While they are likely to not have the same lifespan it might be a good way to get few a year or two.

    Wa min God! Se æx on min heafod is!

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,096
    Gorwe said:
    Mining at these prices doesn't even make sense. Just buy 100(0)[0] Etherium and wait for inevitable Jackpot. Buy while it's low, sell when it gets high, become wealthy. Why even bother with mining apart from hobby and such?
    Everyone tries to some degree to buy low and sell high, but the other way around is about as common.  If you're considering "investing" in ethereum, then unless you bought in well before now, the evidence is against your ability to buy low.

    It's as I said above:  investing in cryptocurrencies is betting that traditional currencies issued by governments are going to go away and be replaced by cryptocurrencies.  If that's going to happen, then the collective value of cryptocurrencies should be several times what it is.  But if it's not going to happen, then the value of cryptocurrencies should be a tiny fraction of what it is now, if not zero outright.

    But even if it does happen, it's probably not going to be that all cryptocurrencies rise like that in value.  It will probably be one or maybe a few that dominate, while the rest disappear.  If you buy a ton of bitcoins or ethereum and some other cryptocurrency becomes the world standard currency, you'll still lose whatever you invested.

    It's also very possible that cryptocurrencies will eventually replace national currencies, but the one that comes to dominate doesn't even exist yet.  Governments aren't likely to give up seigniorage without a fight, and if cryptocurrencies issued and backed by governments become the standard, all of the ones in circulation today will be worthless.

    Even if you do believe that cryptocurrencies available today are the future, I think that the future of bitcoin would still be bleak.  It just can't clear transactions fast enough to be useful as even a lightly used side currency, let alone the world standard.
    GorweTorval
  • EponyxDamorEponyxDamor Member RarePosts: 733
    I have to admit complete ignorance about cryptocurrency and "mining" with GPUs. However, after reading this thread, I learned a lot about the concept. Thanks for giving me something interesting to read about.
  • kitaradkitarad Member EpicPosts: 5,952
    Does this affect the 1070 and 1080 cards too or only 1060 ?

  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 6,422
    kitarad said:
    Does this affect the 1070 and 1080 cards too or only 1060 ?
    Right now it affects all NVidia cards from GTX 1050 Ti to GTX 1080 Ti.
     
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,060
    I'm no financial expert by any means, but I more or less agree with Quiz. "Money for nothing" schemes never turn out well in the long run. Your burning an awful lot of power and hardware to calculate.... what exactly? 

    It's not like this is going towards a cure for cancer, or to solve global warming, or genetically modify crops to grow in arid lands, or any other good worthy cause. Or even any sort of physical, tangible cause, worthy or otherwise.

    If you are able to make money now with it, good for you. I wouldn't quit my day job though.

    South Park said it best I suppose:

    Phase 1: Collect Underpants
    Phase 2: ??????
    Phase 3: Profit

    So what's the step 2 that is leading to all this profit, other than a whole lot of people collectively believing that we can just jump straight to Phase 3? Quiz believes Phase 2 is government backing, which would work, if you can convince governments other than Venezuela to do so. But most governments don't exactly appear to be on board just yet, and if/when they do, it probably won't be with any currency already in circulation.
    TorvalArglebargle
  • NetSageNetSage Member UncommonPosts: 1,059
    Yes, I'm holding off on a new build until the cryptoconcurrency hype dies down.
  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 8,967
    Seems like growth best on speculation at this point.  

    "We all do the best we can based on life experience, point of view, and our ability to believe in ourselves." - Naropa      "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  SR Covey

  • monochrome19monochrome19 Member UncommonPosts: 717
    Quizzical said:
    Bitcoin miners haven't bought GPUs to mine since 2011. 
    Nah. I know people that are spending tens of thousands of dollars to set up a rig. This is still an ongoing problem.
  • coretex666coretex666 Member EpicPosts: 3,838
    Quizzical said:
    Gorwe said:
    Mining at these prices doesn't even make sense. Just buy 100(0)[0] Etherium and wait for inevitable Jackpot. Buy while it's low, sell when it gets high, become wealthy. Why even bother with mining apart from hobby and such?
    Everyone tries to some degree to buy low and sell high, but the other way around is about as common.  If you're considering "investing" in ethereum, then unless you bought in well before now, the evidence is against your ability to buy low.

    It's as I said above:  investing in cryptocurrencies is betting that traditional currencies issued by governments are going to go away and be replaced by cryptocurrencies.  If that's going to happen, then the collective value of cryptocurrencies should be several times what it is.  But if it's not going to happen, then the value of cryptocurrencies should be a tiny fraction of what it is now, if not zero outright.

    But even if it does happen, it's probably not going to be that all cryptocurrencies rise like that in value.  It will probably be one or maybe a few that dominate, while the rest disappear.  If you buy a ton of bitcoins or ethereum and some other cryptocurrency becomes the world standard currency, you'll still lose whatever you invested.

    It's also very possible that cryptocurrencies will eventually replace national currencies, but the one that comes to dominate doesn't even exist yet.  Governments aren't likely to give up seigniorage without a fight, and if cryptocurrencies issued and backed by governments become the standard, all of the ones in circulation today will be worthless.

    Even if you do believe that cryptocurrencies available today are the future, I think that the future of bitcoin would still be bleak.  It just can't clear transactions fast enough to be useful as even a lightly used side currency, let alone the world standard.
    It does not apply generally. What you say is true only for certain cryptos.

    For instance, investing in Ripple's XRP, which is one of the main cryptos soon to become the dominant one, in my opinion, is definitely not betting that FIAT currencies get replaced.
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