Video Cards

LunarMist

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What's the deal with video cards in 2021? Last year there was some crap about the Virus or the cryptolith miners, and now six months later there are very few for sale and prices are exhorbitant.

I am using an archaic card in the 3950X that was from the old Win 7 system, and then the later, but still somewhat weak second Quattro later installed in the 5950X system. In early 2020 the advice was to purchase the RTX card, but there was a newer RTX card supposedly being introduced that Spring. Of course it was delayed and then none were for sale.
 

Chewy509

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Exactly as you mentioned...

Raw materials and supply chains being constrained for various reasons (mostly COVID-19 related), financial hardships in some countries, and then another crypto-mining boom. And add-in people working from home and most are now looking to update their home systems. (There are lots of people running Haswell-era (Intel 4th gen) systems that still work well, but are now starting to die).

With China now taking a hard stance against crypto-mining, coupled with Ethereum moving to a different model in the next few months, cards are only now starting to re-enter the retail market. You can buy lots of 50+ used cards from former crypto-miners on ebay, ali-express, etc now, and some retailers are now showing stock that lasts more than a day.

However it's going to take 6+ months for most stock levels and pricing to return back to normal, as now you have 100's of thousands of people wanting new cards (who haven't been able to get anything in the last 12mths). There are people who joined waiting lists mid-last year you are still waiting on their orders.

Basically, demand is still vastly greater than supply, so prices are up whilst stock is slowing making it to retailers.
 

LunarMist

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I suppose the next question is whether the NVideo is still progressing R&D to make better cards or if that will be delayed.
I don't like the idea of buying mid-2020 RTX technology in late 2021/early 2020 if it will soon be obsolete.
What would you do on the Quattro?
 

Mercutio

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Right now, there's a case of take what you can get, unless you're so well off you can do something like buy a name brand gaming desktop or engineering workstation solely to pull the GPU out of it. AMD, nVidia and even Intel are all making strides in improving their discrete GPUs, but we have fuck-all chance of getting anything with an MSRP above $150. It wouldn't surprise me if this lasts into 2023. The stuff we have right now may not be obsolete if only by virtue of the fact that developers are just as hosed by this circumstance as everyone else.
 

Chewy509

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What would you do on the Quattro?
I assume you mean the Quadro, and not Quattro (the AWD system used by Audi).

The only reason to get a Quadro for gaming is for the VRAM support (up to 48GB), but otherwise from what I have seen they perform the same or a tiny little bit worse than their desktop/gaming equivalents. (This is due to driver optimisation focused on image rendering quality and correctness vs performance shortcuts, as well as missing game-title optimisations).

Also the Quadro naming/branding is being phase out. Any RTX Quadros are based on RTX-2000 (Turing) GPUs, with the nVidia A-series being based on RTX-3000 (Ampere).

Source: https://www.servethehome.com/confirmed-nvidia-quadro-branding-phased-out-for-new-products/
 

LunarMist

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Thanks. I was advised to get the graphics card for workstation use since it contained 10 bits/color. (Of course I don't have the crystal balls so Virus was a not a consideration.) I don't want to open the computer again to figure out which model, but it is small with one fan and no power supply. It has no RTX functions AFAIK. The RTX versions were $1000 or more at the time and my 5930K was already a bit old.
 

Chewy509

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Regarding 10bit colour support, all RTX-2000 and RTX-3000 series cards (both desktop and Quadro/A-series) support 10bit colour for gaming an productivity, assuming you have a display that supports 10bit colour information.

 

LunarMist

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I know, but it was not in 2017 or whenever. :( That 10-bits did not work out anyways.
According to the Windows Report I have 2200 video units, whatever that corresponds with.
 

sedrosken

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I'm only now getting back with a Polaris card in the wake of AMD discontinuing driver support for the very last of the Southern Islands cards. I'd sold my 480 when this mess kicked back up because I wanted to make the money I put into it back -- I overpaid at the end of the last crypto boom and within a month the same exact card went for a hundred bucks less, so sue me for wanting to get some of that back -- and now a generous friend is eschewing the extra profit he could have made throwing his 480 on ebay in lieu of selling it directly to me. He says by the time ebay got their cut he would have made about the same anyway. ;) I would have liked an out-and-out upgrade, but I'll have to take what I can get, being unwilling to spend the 400-ish dollars that a GTX 1070 would cost.

The hope is that AMD holds off on axing driver support for pre-Navi for at least another year or so. Granted, I know on Linux this wouldn't even be an issue for my 380, since apparently AMDGPU will be targetting everything GCN+ (HD 7000 series and newer) for the forseeable future, but I'm not really in the position to be daily-driving Linux on my main machine right now, and with Win11 around the corner I don't want to chance anything driver-wise. I've got bad memories of things being just ever-so-slightly out of whack with drivers meant for earlier versions of operating systems where it mostly works, but something makes an obscure call and sends the whole house of cards crashing to its doom.
 
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