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Something Doesn't Make Sense

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rainless

Old Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2006
So... from what I've heard... the going theory is that the GPU shortage has been mainly due to Ethereum miners.

I'm having a very hard time making any sense of this... Especially since, according to this article... https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/323876-how-you-can-still-make-money-mining-cryptocurrency

...you only make about 300 bucks for every 20TB.

And also Ethereum is such a NICHE thing... how could so many people be doing it that they cripple the entire graphics card industry? (Obviously the companies are still selling the cards... but you know what I mean.)

NVIDIA certainly believes this to be the case... which is why they decided all their 3000 series cards moving forwards (besides the 3090) would basically all be LHR cards.

Are 20% of my friends suddenly Ethereum miners? Is my grandmother mining Ethereum in her basement?

If everyone's suddenly an Ethereum billionaire... how come nobody told ME???

I just don't get it... I understand why the PS5 and Series X are sold out. The scalper thing makes MUCH more sense to me than the Ethereum thing.

Is it just the combination of scalpers AND Ethereum miners joining forces to make it SO difficult that even people on THIS site have a hard time getting cards?

And will we EVER see that $700 3080 again?
 

David

Forums Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2001
I'd just assumed that it was a perfect storm of chip shortages + scalpers + miners.

I'm not sure that there are a lot of people mining, but some of the people who are are doing so on a massive scale. It's not a whole lot of people with 5-10 cards and rather a number of massive mining farms with hundreds of cards.
 

stompah

Deep Pain Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2001
I won't say that miners are not included in the reason why it is harder to get a GPU. But to not see the other reasons why...


Anyways, I went today to pick up my 10 3080ti LHRs from Best Buy at retail prices today because GPUs are now flooding the market now that mining is not as profitable. Oh wait, was that just a ruse by Nvidia to get people off their back about mining vacuuming up supply?


To add to your comment about consoles being in short supply, also look at CPUs. There was a shortage at the end of 2020 / start of 2021. But no miner is running out to buy CPUs en masse to set up a mining farm.



I think you just realize you've been lied to.


And will we EVER see that $700 3080 again?
Not here in the US, tariffs ensured that.
 

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Root cause is limited electronics hardware capacity worldwide. Note I'm not just blaming silicon, as high profile as it is, but other components are also in constraint.

Mining was a contributing factor, but probably not in itself the only significant cause. Turing wasn't the most popular series so there was a lot of pent up demand from those on Pascal or older generations. AMD share was much smaller anyway and we've yet to see a serious move to change that. RDNA2 perf might be getting more interesting but it doesn't feel like they're going for a market share push and focus on other more profitable products.

CPUs weren't really ever in shortage, although I guess we have Intel to thank for that. Outside of niche cases and fanboyism, there was nothing stopping you from getting a high end Intel CPU if you needed a gaming or other home use system. Zen 3 on launch was in constraint for sure, but that was AMD's choice to not allocate enough production to consumer skus, and focus on more profitable products. Mining requirements for CPUs are also more different than the overlap we have in GPU space. The CPU can be really minimal. Enough to get working, no more. This of course assumes GPU mining, not CPU mining which I don't think ever really took off.

Ethereum is reasonably profitable again. I see it climbed back from hanging around 2k for a while, up to 2.7k now. Still short of it's highs over 4k. Heat production is the primary reason I stopped. Why do bubbles kick off in northern hemisphere spring?

Scalpers can't cause the shortage, but are a symptom of a shortage as they seek to extract personal gain from the situation at the cost of others.

The world has changed in ways we couldn't imagine a year or two ago. It will take some time to rebalance itself as we move forward. While I remain optimistic that GPU pricing will recede somewhat, I don't expect original launch MSRP levels outside of the occasional FE drop. Maybe 3080 Ti has some chance of returning to MSRP, but only because it was set later and higher.
 
OP
rainless

rainless

Old Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2006
I think you just realize you've been lied to.

This is probably the most interesting thing to me. I would have to maintain that there aren't enough Ethereum miners in the ENTIRE WORLD... and not enough server farms for Ethereum mining either... to deplete the GLOBAL supply of video cards. If this was just a bunch of weirdos in San Francisco who pooled together their Google paychecks and bought every video card in the State of California... OKAY! Fine. I could see that happening. But this happened everywhere in the world.

And it sure LOOKED like an extremely convenient excuse to go back on those $700 (3080) and $500 (3070) MSRPs. Either that or you've got a "chicken or egg" scenario where there really was a supply problem in the beginning... but then graphics card manufacturers saw how much they could REALLY make off their cards... so they backtracked.

Scalpers can't cause the shortage, but are a symptom of a shortage as they seek to extract personal gain from the situation at the cost of others.

Well... of course they can. Scalpers do it all the time with concert and sports tickets. It's where we get the name from.

But, of course, there is always a breaking point: Even Madison Square Garden would be hard to buy ALL the tickets of... unless of course they were having the NBA finals there or SOME finals game. Then all of a sudden those tickets would be gone instantly.

I still maintain though that there aren't enough scalpers in the universe to buy all the graphics cards in the world at $1000 a pop. Which brings us back to Supply. The Nintendo Switch was only hard to get at two times during the Pandemic: At the very beginning (when even I wanted one) and very briefly around Christmas. At literally any other time you could buy a dozen of them if you wanted. Scalpers couldn't overcome those numbers.

So on that point you're correct: It's not that scalpers can't cause shortages... it's that they can't beat the breaking point.

Question is... what prevented graphics manufacturers from passing the breaking point? A year ago... sure... Corona and Components. But now? Like RIGHT now? Why can't I buy a 3080 ti... this instant... for... say.... $800?
 

lordkosc

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2005
I'd be amazed if by the end of the year cards start to show up on shelves so that you could just walk in and buy a card you want, just too much pent up demand. I know of a few gamer friends that are still on EVGA wait lists since like September of last year for their preferred card, while in the meantime have grabbed anything they could that was better than what they had. Which also caused supply of mid range cards to get sucked up.

A lot of people skipping the pricey Nvidia 20X0 gen didn't help the current situation either.
 

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Well... of course they can. Scalpers do it all the time with concert and sports tickets. It's where we get the name from.

But, of course, there is always a breaking point: Even Madison Square Garden would be hard to buy ALL the tickets of... unless of course they were having the NBA finals there or SOME finals game. Then all of a sudden those tickets would be gone instantly.

I still maintain though that there aren't enough scalpers in the universe to buy all the graphics cards in the world at $1000 a pop. Which brings us back to Supply. The Nintendo Switch was only hard to get at two times during the Pandemic: At the very beginning (when even I wanted one) and very briefly around Christmas. At literally any other time you could buy a dozen of them if you wanted. Scalpers couldn't overcome those numbers.

So on that point you're correct: It's not that scalpers can't cause shortages... it's that they can't beat the breaking point.

Question is... what prevented graphics manufacturers from passing the breaking point? A year ago... sure... Corona and Components. But now? Like RIGHT now? Why can't I buy a 3080 ti... this instant... for... say.... $800?

Ok, we had slightly different perspectives.

A certain number of GPUs are made. Scalpers buy some proportion of them and sell them at higher price. The total amount available to market doesn't change. We could say there is less supply in the stores because of that, but I was thinking total market.

What we need to see lower pricing is supply catching up with demand. Those willing to pay more have done so, and as supply continues pricing should creep down absent any other reason for a big swing in demand. Assuming they could at all, it is risky for GPU makers to suddenly vastly increase supply. So it is a measured response. Maybe not as bad as the oil bubble some years back where shortage causing increasing pricing was leading to suppliers holding off selling, watching the price increase because shortage got even worse.

BTW 3080 Ti MSRP is way above 800, so that's totally unrealistic outside of end of life sales in another year possibly. 3080 non-Ti might be a possibility sooner though. I don't think anything has changed much today. Corona has not gone away. Component constraints have not gone away. There is still strong demand. There is still insufficient supply. I feel things will improve especially on the lower end as that focuses more on volume, but higher end stuff might be more resistant.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
How I see the reason for high prices (and other issues):
- We can start with the already high MSRP prices for most cards.
- High demand for new GPUs as there was a break between the previous generation and more people wanted to make an upgrade, also expected a significant performance boost.
- High demand because of the high mining power of new chips and at the same time high ETH/BTC price.
- High prices because of the shortage on the manufacturers' side (distribution prices, not scalpers). Both AMD and Nvidia weren't prepared for the high market demand. Both had problems with productions and both had paper premieres.
- Low quantities and high market demand created scalpers who noticed a good way to make an easy profit. The same with PS5 and some other products.
- Stupid people who were paying scalpers 100%+ more for the hardware. If it wouldn't sell so well on the 2nd hand market then prices wouldn't be so high.
- Graphics cards manufacturers (not all but most as we could hear) were selling graphics cards in batches to those who were paying more, read large BTC farmers. It created additional "holes" in deliveries.

I see complaints from the US that prices are so high but look at some other countries with +23-30% VAT and higher base prices.

EVGA is the only graphics card manufacturer which created a waiting list for their products at MSRP (or a bit higher) prices. Still, it worked only in the US.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
The reasons are all laid out extremely well above, I don't need to reiterate them.


As a pedantic point, the crypto that you refer to in the OP that involves storage/hard drive space and speed is called Chia mining. It is entirely different from Ethereum mining with graphics cards as ASICs.

My 3080s have more than paid for themselves in the last 10 months or so doing ETH mining, fwiw.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
The reasons are all laid out extremely well above, I don't need to reiterate them.


As a pedantic point, the crypto that you refer to in the OP that involves storage/hard drive space and speed is called Chia mining. It is entirely different from Ethereum mining with graphics cards as ASICs.

My 3080s have more than paid for themselves in the last 10 months or so doing ETH mining, fwiw.

In my case, mining covered one RX6800XT. Selling old cards and PSUs to miners covered the second RX6800XT. RTX3070 (that my brother has right now) cost me close to MSRP and I had promo coupons for ~$120. In general, I can't complain. I made a short break and last week I back to mining (whenever I'm not using my cards for tests or gaming).

And yes, Chia works only on storage devices (SSD/HDD) and it affected mainly SSD warranties but not SSD prices or availability. All manufacturers use now or 3-10 years or TBW (whatever comes faster). My WD SN850 has some weird issues because of that as diagnostic software is showing it's in a bad condition as it passed warranty period or TBW ... it has about half year and maybe 5TB written.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
I have a WD 1TB SN850 as well, I need to crack open their software again and have it take a look. It's been good for me though since I bought it.

Hard drive prices are crazy now as well, I imagine it has to do with Chia + global shortages. For a while I could pick up 12TB external (shuckable) drives on sale for around $180-190, which I am using to increase the storage in my server. Saw a notification on slickdeals for one of the same drives, "on sale" for $250 instead. Bananas.
 

tRidiot

Premium Member
Joined
May 17, 2003
I have a WD 1TB SN850 as well, I need to crack open their software again and have it take a look. It's been good for me though since I bought it.

Hard drive prices are crazy now as well, I imagine it has to do with Chia + global shortages. For a while I could pick up 12TB external (shuckable) drives on sale for around $180-190, which I am using to increase the storage in my server. Saw a notification on slickdeals for one of the same drives, "on sale" for $250 instead. Bananas.

HDD prices are stupid again. At MicroCenter 2d ago, 12TB drives were $399, 14TB $499.



<edit> But they had 1 3090 and 1 2060 sitting in the case.
 

dfonda

Senior Golfer
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
HDD prices are stupid again. At MicroCenter 2d ago, 12TB drives were $399, 14TB $499.



<edit> But they had 1 3090 and 1 2060 sitting in the case.
T , Do you remember the prices of the GPU's?
 

freeagent

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Location
Winnipeg!
I'm sure everything plays a part in the shortages. Drought and Covid didn't help. Neither did those people filling huge spaces full of shelving, filled with GPU's didn't help either. Neither did all the guys sitting at home 500w away from burning down their house or garage didn't help. And scalpers? They can <snip>. I hope they lose everything. I don't wish bad on anyone, except those who mess with my life :)

I have been patiently waiting since November to buy a decent GPU at a fair price. Probably wont happen again for years.


( Edited for graphic language -- David)
 

dfonda

Senior Golfer
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
I'm sure everything plays a part in the shortages. Drought and Covid didn't help. Neither did those people filling huge spaces full of shelving, filled with GPU's didn't help either. Neither did all the guys sitting at home 500w away from burning down their house or garage didn't help. And scalpers? They can *** a **** with their ****. I hope they lose everything. I don't wish bad on anyone, except those who mess with my life :)

I have been patiently waiting since November to buy a decent GPU at a fair price. Probably wont happen again for years.
I fixed it for you...;) Maybe a less colorful description of a first world issue?:shrug: