back to article The return of GPUs on sale may be tech world's monkey's paw of 2022

Have you seen this yet? Shelves full of shiny new graphics cards in gleaming defiance to the shortages that plagued the past many months? On the surface, it might be a glimmer of hope that the world is slowly returning to normal, that supply-demand imbalances are being sorted. But let's look closer at that beautiful bounty of …

  1. cornetman Silver badge

    Well for one thing, people are fed up of the high prices of GPUs. NVidia have been pushing out only top-tier cards of late that make them the most profit.

    There is still a massive hole in the mid to low end and a lot of people sit in that bracket.

    AMD and Intel's upcoming APUs that feature really decent on-CPU GPUs might alleviate that demand, particularly on laptops but I do know of quite a few people that would love to splash 200-300 on a fairly decent graphics card. But with NVidia rumoured to be readying another top-tier GPU for almost $3k I'm not holding my breath.

    Those shop shelves might be brimming with GPUs but they're not priced for normies that just want to play some games.

    1. elaar

      I'm bemused that people are buying these high-power expensive GPUs that require 1000w supplies, whilst at the same time I'm on a mission to change everything in my house that uses more power than is necessary considering electricity prices are going to hit 40p/kwh.

      I'm obviously very boring and middle-aged.

      1. Spazturtle Silver badge

        The best performance/watt comes from buying a graphics card with the top GPU chip in it and undervolting it, you normally only lose about 5-10% performance for a 50% reduction in power draw.. All graphics cards come preconfigured to run way past their optimal clock and voltage these days.

    2. Michael Habel
      Pint

      Been saying that for years now. Why? Because it's true.

    3. Wade Burchette

      Not only am I fed with the high prices of GPU's, but also the high energy usage. I would love to replace my AMD RX480, but I don't want something that uses more energy than it does. Look at the TBP of the latest video cards. As bad as they are now, the next generation looks even more power hungry, especially from Nvidia.

      I don't like this trend where price and power both go up significantly in the next generation.

      1. cornetman Silver badge

        Well it looks like AMD are trying to give us that. NVidia are the worst offenders for this. The power draw of these monsters is disgraceful.

        AMD I feel are walking a fine line. They are certainly crowing much about the better efficiency of their cards but they feel that they need to compete with NVidia for the marketing clout so while their cards are reputedly more efficient that NVidia's, they need to compromise a little for performance. The rumour mill is telling us that AMD's next cards will have proper tensor cores but we will have to wait.

        I can't wait to see what AMD do later in the year when they release some more cards. The rumours are that NVidia will be pushing out their next generation in Sept/Oct. AMD have been releasing their tech in a more piecemeal fashion.

  2. FlamingDeath Silver badge
    Coat

    Maybe...

    The writing is one the wall and people do not want to be associated with those energy hungry bitcoin miners, you know, when the young start slaughtering the old, becase we stole their future

    Expect more ICE cages to be attacked, I'm an analyst BTW

  3. DS999 Silver badge

    When there's a component shortage

    Companies always pad their orders, because they know there's a chance there will be delays or their allocation will be cut back. They are willing to deal with buying too much in the short run, because they'd rather have a cache of their own than rely on getting what they need.

    Eventually it reaches the point where if you haven't seen any delays or cutbacks on your orders in a while, the operations manager says "hey, why do we have two months of components in our warehouse, I thought we believed in just in time manufacturing!" and they cut back to what they actually need or below what they need to drain down their inventory.

    Ironically, it is all the overordering / precautionary ordering that makes shortages worse and last longer. Everyone who was caught with their pants down before wants to make sure it won't happen again, increasing the magnitude and duration of the shortage.

    I'll believe the shortages are really over when the dealerships around here actually have new cars on their lots.

    1. DialTone

      Re: When there's a component shortage

      I'll believe the shortage is over when you can easily obtain an STM32H7 device, or more than a handful of FPGA SKUs, or even a Raspberry PI CM4 module, to name but a few!

      Many ICs are still showing 50+ weeks of lead time disappointingly.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: When there's a component shortage

        Yes. Sod the thousand dollar halo parts, let's see some jelly bean embedded processors, opamps, and even passives without sixty-plus week delays please.

      2. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: When there's a component shortage

        When those lead times go down I'll bet they go down fast. There are undoubtedly a lot of companies who have been stocking up on those parts under existing supply agreements to make sure they have enough, which is why the supply without such agreements has such a long lead time.

        When enough of those start deciding they've got enough stashed away, those lead times will disappear in the space of a couple months!

  4. Sgt_Oddball

    You're all forgetting....

    A single or couple of chips does not a graphics card/motherboard make.

    There's plenty of other bits in the chain that can delay things - circuit boards, solder I think are still OK but Capacitors I know are an issue as certain high quality but reasonable priced stuff is now rare as rocking horse teeth.

    Admittedly I've been buying hifi grade ones (including for crossovers in a pair of headphones... The 70's was a wild time) but pretty sure electrolytics would be made in the same factories.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: You're all forgetting....

      We're not, but the fabs have.

      They've put so much of their capacity into the super expensive chips that there's a serious shortage of small stuff - so the expensive chips just sit on a shelf as nobody can build a whole board.

      There's also the stockpiling, of course.

      A lot of places buying double what they need of part X, but can't get any part Y delivered so can't actually build their product.

      Meanwhile somewhere else has double what they need of Y on their shelves but can't get any Xs and isn't shipping anything either.

  5. Persona

    Etherium

    The price of Etherium has dropped to 25% of its peak. For many this will put mining revenue below what the mining costs in electricity. GPU orders then get cut till mining becomes more lucrative again so there is a sudden glut in the market, and GPU production is put on hold. This then ripples right through the supply chain with the over capacity impacting other areas.

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