Now that we’re getting closer to Nvidia’s anticipated September 2020 release date of its next-generation GeForce RTX 30 ‘Ampere’ graphics cards, rumour has it that the company is already ceasing production of some RTX 20-series cards.
According to Wccftech (by way of Japanese news site Ithome), Nvidia has not only just stopped production on the RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080 Super, RTX 2070 Super, and RTX 2070, but those four cards will also be delisted by major vendors soon. That’s most of Nvidia’s current high-end and ultra-enthusiast segment of GPUs.
If this feels a little bit like déjà vu, you’re not alone. Around the same time as Nvidia’s RTX 20-series launch in October 2018, a surge in cryptocurrency mining created a graphics card shortage. As a result, prices skyrocketed. It also didn’t help that Nvidia had announced it would be stopping production on its GTX 10-series cards to make way for the RTX 20-series. So not only were those cards in short supply, they were even more expensive than when they were first released. The GTX 1080 Ti, for instance, debuted with an MSRP of $US700 ($1,003), but during the discontinuation and shortage, it went for as high as $US1,000 ($1,433) or more from second-hand sellers. That’s also the current cost of the RTX 2080 Tis.
Assuming reports of Nvidia ceasing production of the 20-series cards are true, it’s likely we’ll see the same thing happen again, as cryptominers are starting to snatch up GPUs. Cryptocurrency miners prefer GPUs to CPUs these days because GPUs have more Arithmetic Logic Units (ALU), which perform mathematical computations. That means they can perform more calculations, which leads to more output during the mining process. Some cryptominers run dozens of these things at a time, so it’s easy to see why a GPU shortage happened two years ago, and why it can possibly happen again.
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