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Miners make it harder to find budget video cards

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  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,952
    gervaise1 said:
    Quizzical said:
    gervaise1 said:
    Quizzical said:
    Hairysun said:
    Nvidia and AMD are working on mining only cards as we speak.  They are simply gaming cards with no outputs.  Once they reach the shelf the issues will be resolved. 
    If those cards arrive in significant volume, the miners will buy them all, and then also buy all of the gaming cards for good measure.  Mining-only cards (or more properly compute-only) may provide a way for AMD or Nvidia to sell defective GPUs where the defective portion doesn't affect mining, but that will be the extent of it.
    Samsung's decision to produce mining specific cards (RISC based I believe) is probably more significant (Samsung's chip revenue having exceeding Intel's last year). 
    It depends on which cryptocurrency we're talking about.  There have been ASICs for Bitcoin for several years now, so that's nothing new.  If they're going to build an Ethereum-mining ASIC, then I'd be very curious how they're going to do that.  
    Agree - and Samsung have provided no details.

    Two takeaways for me:
    1. The bad news. This means the market for ASICs - and hence mining as a whole - is big enough for Samsung to be interested. In Q3 last year for example ASIC manufacture was estimated to be worth $350-400M to TSMC. And this is in addition to the value of any graphics cards that are being diverted to mining. So if nothing changes the pressure on graphics cards looks set to continue.
     
    2. The good news. As you say ASICs for mining are not new. However what potentially is significant is that Samsung are huge with manufacturing capacity that can fulfill large "on demand" orders. Its memory division reported $69B - billion - in revenue last year - so far larger than the current ASIC market + diverted graphics cards. So if - if - Samsung do decide to "step on the gas" they could make an impact.

    As you say though we don't know and Samsung are not saying. Maybe they will decide its not profitable! Or maybe (hopefully!) this is a market that they have decided to enter. Be a few months I assume before we know more. 
    It's not just about graphics fabs either. There is a limit on total production without opening new fabs and/or repurposing them and the memory crunch is a factor and influenced by more demand than just crypto mining.
    gervaise1
    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,060
    edited February 2018
    I don't know the specifics of the various mining algorithms, but it would stretch my imagination significantly to try to think of one that, for whatever reason, would run great on a GPU, but couldn't be made to run on a more cost effective dedicated device, such as an ASIC. I've heard memory is the reason existing Bitcoin ASICs don't work, but it's hard to imagine that you can't just ... add some RAM to it. 

    If ASICs don't work for whatever reason, something else will, and will be more cost effective than throwing hundreds of consumer GPUs in on backplanes in groups of 6-8, each with their own CPU, PSU, and other overhead. Maybe even straight side-binned GPU chips, RAM, and an ARM controller on a common PCB and custom lite linux kernal on a small bit of PCB-mounted SSD storage. Think Google Datacenter level of use .. there's a lot of money in overhead there, and mining very rapidly gets to that level (why, I still can't quite understand, except people thinking they are creating money from nothing and want to jump in on it)

    I do mostly understand what Asm0deus is saying about the bubble popping. That doesn't have to be strictly a financial bubble:

     - either the money will get big enough that development of such dedicated devices will be done, and then mining will only be performed by a few big entities (those who helped fund the development, and those rich enough to buy into it later on). It happened with Bitcoin, it would be naive to think it can't happen with Ethereum or any other software-derived blockchain - no matter how the creators may have originally intended to try to keep it from going that direction.

    - or the difficulty ramps up until eventually "consumer" grade hardware doesn't cut it anymore, and more of the hobbyiests back out as it takes more and more hardware to make a decent profit, and then we are back to the few big miners controlling the majority of the creation.

    - or, the financial bubble pops, and people just don't see a return in the effort any longer and just stop mining.

    I think blockchain is probably here to stay in some form or fashion, and there is value in i cryptocurrency as a concept. I think the entirety of current existing cryptocurrencies are all going to be near-worthless, later if not sooner.

    I think 1 or 2 is more likely to happen before 3 does. 
    Asm0deus
  • ET3DET3D Member UncommonPosts: 316
    Ridelynn said:
    I don't know the specifics of the various mining algorithms, but it would stretch my imagination significantly to try to think of one that, for whatever reason, would run great on a GPU, but couldn't be made to run on a more cost effective dedicated device, such as an ASIC. I've heard memory is the reason existing Bitcoin ASICs don't work, but it's hard to imagine that you can't just ... add some RAM to it.
    Generally true, but the advantage of a GPU is that it's general purpose, and therefore capable of supporting a variety of cryptocurrencies, which means that miners don't need to put all their eggs in the same basket.

    It's completely possible to produce a general purpose chip which doesn't have the graphics stuff that's unused by mining, and it will be a smaller chip, but it will still be a complex one, much more so than Bitcoin ASIC's. So while it's not out of the question, I think that most big companies capable of creating such a chip realise that mining is stupid, and would rather not jump into it. (Although I suspect that there are smaller companies trying to get this done.)

    While I think that mining will die, I don't think that crypto will die, and some of it might retain some value. Ethereum is planning to go the proof of share way, and I'm sure others will adapt. What its value will be in the long run, I can't say, but I think that Ethereum has enough meat (unlike pretty much all other crypto) that it could retain some value.
  • Leon1eLeon1e Member UncommonPosts: 791
    For the first time in history it's actually cheaper to go to , say, CyberPower PC and make a build there. It will cost less. 

    So much for "demand drives costs down". Free market and shit yay \o/ 
    Gorwe
  • zymurgeistzymurgeist Member RarePosts: 5,484
    Free markets aren't restricted. How many high end graphics chip companies are there? It's nearly  with a natural monopoly. Demand drives costs up. Excess supply drives costs down. 

    "We have met the enemy and he is us." ~Pogo Possum. 

  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,952
    Ridelynn said:
    I don't know the specifics of the various mining algorithms, but it would stretch my imagination significantly to try to think of one that, for whatever reason, would run great on a GPU, but couldn't be made to run on a more cost effective dedicated device, such as an ASIC. I've heard memory is the reason existing Bitcoin ASICs don't work, but it's hard to imagine that you can't just ... add some RAM to it. 

    If ASICs don't work for whatever reason, something else will, and will be more cost effective than throwing hundreds of consumer GPUs in on backplanes in groups of 6-8, each with their own CPU, PSU, and other overhead. Maybe even straight side-binned GPU chips, RAM, and an ARM controller on a common PCB and custom lite linux kernal on a small bit of PCB-mounted SSD storage. Think Google Datacenter level of use .. there's a lot of money in overhead there, and mining very rapidly gets to that level (why, I still can't quite understand, except people thinking they are creating money from nothing and want to jump in on it)

    I do mostly understand what Asm0deus is saying about the bubble popping. That doesn't have to be strictly a financial bubble:

     - either the money will get big enough that development of such dedicated devices will be done, and then mining will only be performed by a few big entities (those who helped fund the development, and those rich enough to buy into it later on). It happened with Bitcoin, it would be naive to think it can't happen with Ethereum or any other software-derived blockchain - no matter how the creators may have originally intended to try to keep it from going that direction.

    - or the difficulty ramps up until eventually "consumer" grade hardware doesn't cut it anymore, and more of the hobbyiests back out as it takes more and more hardware to make a decent profit, and then we are back to the few big miners controlling the majority of the creation.

    - or, the financial bubble pops, and people just don't see a return in the effort any longer and just stop mining.

    I think blockchain is probably here to stay in some form or fashion, and there is value in i cryptocurrency as a concept. I think the entirety of current existing cryptocurrencies are all going to be near-worthless, later if not sooner.

    I think 1 or 2 is more likely to happen before 3 does. 
    Good points. If cryptocurrency were the only factor, but compute is becoming huge everywhere like you said. Like you said there is a lot of competition for fab space. Where is going to go? Where are the bottlenecks? And especially, what does everything want and need that is a shared resource? Everything needs memory of some sort. Old process nodes might be cheap and easy, for now, but will they be kept around or shuttered in favor of more lucrative product.

    Scenarios 1 and 2 are more likely than scenario 3. How likely are scenarios 1 and 2 at all?

    The 4th scenario could go something like this and is a take on 1. Demand for various chips becomes more stable / less volatile and production will slowly be adapted to the change in market conditions, whatever they are. The more stable crypto, blockchain, machine learning, other compute, iot/mobile/devices become the quicker this will iron out without some event that is scary to the bean counters.

    I really started thinking on your memory comment and mobile. My phone has 128GB of NAND and 4GB RAM. SSDs, routers, and everything uses ram and a lot more of it than ever before. We're jamming more into more things. The only slowdown I've seen in that is Apple is cutting production of the iPhone X because demand isn't there.
    Ridelynn
    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,096
    Ridelynn said:
    I don't know the specifics of the various mining algorithms, but it would stretch my imagination significantly to try to think of one that, for whatever reason, would run great on a GPU, but couldn't be made to run on a more cost effective dedicated device, such as an ASIC. I've heard memory is the reason existing Bitcoin ASICs don't work, but it's hard to imagine that you can't just ... add some RAM to it. 

    If ASICs don't work for whatever reason, something else will, and will be more cost effective than throwing hundreds of consumer GPUs in on backplanes in groups of 6-8, each with their own CPU, PSU, and other overhead. Maybe even straight side-binned GPU chips, RAM, and an ARM controller on a common PCB and custom lite linux kernal on a small bit of PCB-mounted SSD storage. Think Google Datacenter level of use .. there's a lot of money in overhead there, and mining very rapidly gets to that level (why, I still can't quite understand, except people thinking they are creating money from nothing and want to jump in on it)
    Bitcoin mining is about doing a bunch of SHA-256 hashes.  That's very heavy on shuffling bits around in fixed patterns and xoring them together.  You can readily make an ASIC that flies that that and blows away all general purpose hardware.

    Ethereum mining is about doing random lookups into a table that is about 3 GB as fast as you can.  That's heavy on memory bandwidth, so to get good performance, you basically want either GDDR5 or HBM2.  Which companies in the world are competent to build a good GDDR5 or HBM2 controller?  Basically AMD and Nvidia.

    If AMD wanted to, they could probably build an Ethereum-mining ASIC that was basically a Vega 10 but tossed out most of the GPU but had custom logic for the Keccak rounds and kept the memory controllers and a PCI-E x1 interface.  Maybe they could get the same performance as a Radeon RX Vega 64, but while using 50 W and 100 mm^2 of die space.  Nvidia could probably do something like that, too.

    But the advantage of such an ASIC would be the same performance as a GPU in less wattage and die space.  It wouldn't be getting 50 times the performance of consumer hardware like with a Bitcoin-mining ASIC.  So you kind of could build an ASIC for Ethereum, but very few companies would have the expertise to do so and it wouldn't have anywhere near the same upside as with Bitcoin.

    If AMD or Nvidia believed that Ethereum mining was still going to be eating up all of the GPUs three years from now, then maybe they would create such an ASIC.  But if you start today and then have a product ready to bring to market in two years after Ethereum prices have collapsed, then you just spend $50 million in development on a product that no one wants.  That's quite a risk, and for a product that maybe saves you $50-$100 as compared to selling an ordinary GPU.

    What makes more sense is having mining bins of existing GPUs.  For example, if AMD makes a Vega 10 GPU and the chip works great except that the video decode block doesn't work, they'd normally have to toss that in the garbage.  Similarly for a tessellation unit, a rasterizer, or some other things.  Or if enough compute units are defective that they can't sell it as a Vega 56.

    What they could do instead is to make a mining-only version of the Vega 10 GPU that disables all of the fixed-function graphics stuff and maybe has only 48 compute units enabled.  If 5% of the Vega 10 dies that come back from the fabs would be able to fit such a bin but were otherwise getting thrown in the garbage, then maybe you can sell those dies as a mining-only GPU.  Of course, the extra binning also has a cost, so it's not automatic that this makes sense to do, and some depends on yields.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,096
    edited February 2018
    I don't want to see Bitcoin just below $7500.  I want to see Bitcoin below $100 and Ethereum below $10.  Realistically, Bitcoin at $1000, Ethereum at $100, and the rest of the mined cryptocurrencies seeing similar drops would probably be enough to end the mining craze.  But I want to see them drop far enough to convince people that it's not coming back.
    [Deleted User]kitarad
  • FlyByKnightFlyByKnight Member EpicPosts: 3,967
    I know it's customary to tell folks "don't hold your breath", but actually... hold your breath, it would be funnier.
    "As far as the forum code of conduct, I would think it's a bit outdated and in need of a refre *CLOSED*" 

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,250
    What affected crypto-currency prices are the changes to how different nations deal with the currency and a couple bits of bad news about stolen coins. More than likely it will continue to climb after the adjustment. Just like how every time the fed has a meeting, leading up to it sees the value of the dollar go up and after they announce no rate hikes gold goes up.
  • laseritlaserit Member LegendaryPosts: 6,299
    Gorwe said:
    I know it's customary to tell folks "don't hold your breath", but actually... hold your breath, it would be funnier.
    Block-chain cryptocurrency is based on nothing, and so long term it will be worth nothing.

    Fundamentally, any currency that deflates from $100 to $20,000 is absolutely worthless as a currency long term.  Deflation is the worst possible scenario for currency in modern economies.  Currency is supposed to be used for trade, not itself viewed as a commodity. 

    Bitcoin and its numerous copy cats were doomed to fail from the moment they were created.  Sure, a bunch of people will get rich off them ... with money spent by suckers who are investing real dollars into them now because they don't understand basic economics.
    You want to know what else is worth nothing? MONEY. Ever since it got separated from gold, it's worth what exactly? 1 result of a formula? Wtf.
    Its worth as much as your way of life. Without it, we'll be like ants in a colony or we'll be living in a new dark age.

    Hopefully either way... someone will have saved some books ;)

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,060
    Gorwe said:
    I know it's customary to tell folks "don't hold your breath", but actually... hold your breath, it would be funnier.
    Block-chain cryptocurrency is based on nothing, and so long term it will be worth nothing.

    Fundamentally, any currency that deflates from $100 to $20,000 is absolutely worthless as a currency long term.  Deflation is the worst possible scenario for currency in modern economies.  Currency is supposed to be used for trade, not itself viewed as a commodity. 

    Bitcoin and its numerous copy cats were doomed to fail from the moment they were created.  Sure, a bunch of people will get rich off them ... with money spent by suckers who are investing real dollars into them now because they don't understand basic economics.
    You want to know what else is worth nothing? MONEY. Ever since it got separated from gold, it's worth what exactly? 1 result of a formula? Wtf.
    The difference is a government (or other entity) is willing to stand behind their currency. The full faith and credit schtick.

    Now maybe you don’t believe in the power of a legitimate government to artificially create value in currency. But it doesn’t really matter what you or I think — it matters what the banks and lenders and corporations think. And if they can get someone bigger than they are to take the liability - that’s where they are going to put their business.


  • FlyByKnightFlyByKnight Member EpicPosts: 3,967
    I know it's customary to tell folks "don't hold your breath", but actually... hold your breath, it would be funnier.
    Block-chain cryptocurrency is based on nothing, and so long term it will be worth nothing.

    Fundamentally, any currency that deflates from $100 to $20,000 is absolutely worthless as a currency long term.  Deflation is the worst possible scenario for currency in modern economies.  Currency is supposed to be used for trade, not itself viewed as a commodity. 

    Bitcoin and its numerous copy cats were doomed to fail from the moment they were created.  Sure, a bunch of people will get rich off them ... with money spent by suckers who are investing real dollars into them now because they don't understand basic economics.
    Dude if you're going to speak about blockchain currency don't start with "it's based on nothing" or "currency not viewed as commodity" because it shows;

    • You don't know what the hell you're talking about and coming from a position of hyperbole and ignorance
    • You've never held a piece of plastic or paper in your hands and used it to buy anything
    • You're the genius who calls every SUV a "Jeep" or every gaming system a "Nintendo"

    I'm no expert, nor am I placing hard bets on the future of any currency (well I am but skeptically) but saying silly "IDK WTF I'm talking about" statements about currency several times doesn't make it any more valid than the first round of blithering.

    I'm not saying you don't have any valid points to make but you sure as hell ain't making any. It's all reading like:

    "MP3s are dumb because they're not real."

    There's legit brilliant people behind some intriguing white paper that's powering some of this stuff. I think it's wiser to research them as opposed to a couple of folks ermahgadding like dumb blondes because they can't buy graphics cards right now.
    "As far as the forum code of conduct, I would think it's a bit outdated and in need of a refre *CLOSED*" 

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • HairysunHairysun Member UncommonPosts: 1,059

    Senate panel looks at Bitcoin, regulating block chain virtual currency

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXDPr7yJhcA

    Pretty interesting if it's your sort of thing and have a couple hours to kill.  From the surprisingly well informed to the truly clueless. 

    Regardless, there is "something" going on with crypto and blockchain.  Some see it and many do not.  Good, bad, history changing or a FOTY that will burn out into nothingness is all to be determined at this point.  I hear it's the "DotCom Bubble all over again" quite a bit.  Perhaps that is so and many of these coins/companies will turn out to be like AOL and MySpace ...... gone. 

    Do not however forget about Google, Apple, Amazon or any other company that came out of the "DotCom Bubble" and are what they are today. 
         


  • cheyanecheyane Member EpicPosts: 7,223
    This is just a thought but if cards become so expensive then normal players like me (thankfully I got my 1070 GTX last year before the price hike) will simply not upgrade. This in turn will affect the number of people who can take full advantage of the high end graphic games that come out and reduce the number of people buying those games. Won't this adversely affect the gaming for PC as far as the number of players able to play those games that require better video cards. I really don't see any upside to this except the slow deterioration of our choices as players.
    Martens: "With all due respect, madam, where are you going with this?"
    Avasarala: "Wherever I goddamn like."
  • xmentyxmenty Member UncommonPosts: 716
    A lot of people will move to console gaming If they do not bring down the GPU and ram price.  The rest of the companies that produce other PC parts will have no sales cos nobody want to upgrade their PC.

    Pardon my English as it is not my 1st language :)

  • OzmodanOzmodan Member EpicPosts: 9,726
    Ozmodan said:
    Buy a 1080, prices still close to $500 and not really a good mining card.
    https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=gtx+1080&ignorear=0&N=-1&isNodeId=1

    newegg says hi, both TI and standard over $1k

    That is complete nonsense, I just bought one at Microcenter for $550 and they had a bunch of them.  I buy locally instead of being ripped off by Newegg!
  • OzmodanOzmodan Member EpicPosts: 9,726
    Quizzical said:
    Renoaku said:
    Ozmodan said:
    Buy a 1080, prices still close to $500 and not really a good mining card.
    1080 suck get a 1080ti they were only $800 that $300 more goes a long ways.
    That you say that a video card is "only" $800 illustrates the problem.  Especially when the cheapest one on New Egg is currently $1249.

    Microcenter had 1080ti's for $799, Newegg is a complete rip off!

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,060
    Ozmodan said:
    Ozmodan said:
    Buy a 1080, prices still close to $500 and not really a good mining card.
    https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=gtx+1080&ignorear=0&N=-1&isNodeId=1

    newegg says hi, both TI and standard over $1k

    That is complete nonsense, I just bought one at Microcenter for $550 and they had a bunch of them.  I buy locally instead of being ripped off by Newegg!
    Nearest Microcenter is 450mi away ...
  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,250
    Bad news Vega Frontier Edition is finally out of stock everywhere for MSRP. Can only get it at marked up prices. On Newegg they are selling 6 packs for $9k. Up until the end of January, you could find it for $100 under MSRP, and with the correct drivers offers pretty good performance.
  • iNeokiiNeoki Member UncommonPosts: 353
    I was able to buy a new EVGA 1080 Ti No probs from their website, but elite status makes it somewhat easier as I've been a longtime EVGA customer.

    TwitchTV: iNeoki

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,096
    bestever said:
    Nvidia does much better with Equihash algorithm. Zcash is the big one for nvidia. AMD is also good for Cryptoknight especially Vega. 
    Zcash has about 2% of the market value of Ethereum.  That isn't driving mass GPU purchases.

    I'm skeptical about Equihash being a good basis for a cryptocurrency.  The algorithm looks awkward to optimize, and the proper optimizations would vary considerably by hardware.  Never mind Nvidia versus AMD; if you had the best possible optimizations for a GeForce GTX 1060, GTX 1080, and GTX 1080 Ti, the code for each could easily be quite different from each other.  That's going to make mining heavily dependent on how well you can optimize complicated GPU code, which isn't what most cryptocurrencies are aiming for.

    If the claims that it fares better on Nvidia than AMD are accurate and not just an artifact of the code being optimized for Nvidia GPUs rather than AMD, the only plausible cause of that that I can see is a heavy reliance on L2 cache performance.  That might well be what's going on, but if it is, I'd call that a rather spectacular failure of a way to make a memory-hard algorithm.  And if that's the case, then unlike Ethereum, you absolutely could build an ASIC for it that would blow away GPUs.
  • TillerTiller Member EpicPosts: 8,874
    edited February 2018
    So I forgot that I had auto restock notification on for some Nvidia founders cards. Got an email at 10:00AM about a restock notification, checked it at 11:30AM, all sold out. Not that I need one anymore, but that's just crazy.
    Torval
    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter

  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,952
    Tiller said:
    So I forgot that I had auto restock notification on for some Nvidia founders cards. Got an email at 10:00AM about a restock notification, checked it at 11:30AM, all sold out. Not that I need one anymore, but that's just crazy.
    Missing out because you're in a meeting or at lunch. The need to be connected constantly in order to succeed at getting a card at a reasonable price is nuts. Same thought I had with the guy who is an elite evga customer. If you need to be an elite customer to get a product, then something is very wrong. Just having the cash used to be good enough and we're not sure what to do in a world that doesn't work like that anymore. I know I'm not sure.
    Tiller
    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel Member EpicPosts: 10,643
    Torval said:
    Tiller said:
    So I forgot that I had auto restock notification on for some Nvidia founders cards. Got an email at 10:00AM about a restock notification, checked it at 11:30AM, all sold out. Not that I need one anymore, but that's just crazy.
    Missing out because you're in a meeting or at lunch. The need to be connected constantly in order to succeed at getting a card at a reasonable price is nuts. Same thought I had with the guy who is an elite evga customer. If you need to be an elite customer to get a product, then something is very wrong. Just having the cash used to be good enough and we're not sure what to do in a world that doesn't work like that anymore. I know I'm not sure.
    I think this is kind of why B&M stores should still be around for the long run.  I bought my 1060 quite a while ago at a Frys electronics, and while it's not the card I wanted because they didn't have the one I wanted in stock, it was way way cheaper in store than it was online.  Even now it'll be cheaper to buy a second 1060 locally then to buy a 1080, and the performance will be more than comparable. 

    Online you're just subject to people faster at the click or buying quick and reselling to make a buck.  You see it all the time now, it's a shame. 
    Torval



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