Turing-based GeForce GTX 1650 makes a comebackFirst up, Tom's Hardware writes about fresh supply of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650. At the moment, it's unknown whether the Turing-based card is making a comeback, but at least in China, fresh supply is hitting the market again. With 8nm Ampere GPUs being in short supply, NVIDIA is trying to increase the volume of gaming video cards by bringing back old 12nm Turing GPUs. This model will reportedly see a higher supply between April and May.
The GeForce GTX 1650 is not particularly fast but it's still a very popular model -- it's currently the third most widely used video card according to the Steam Hardware Survey.
The GeForce GTX 1650 isn't a gaming monster, but wields sufficient firepower to offer consumers a comfortable 1080p gaming experience. More importantly, the GeForce GTX 1650 isn't proficient for mining cryptocurrency, meaning gamers have less competition buying it up. According to Minerstat, the GeForce GTX 1650 puts up a puny hash rate of 13.2 MH/s in Ethereum, so there are way better options out there for miners. For comparison, even Nvidia's entry-level CMP 30HX is good for 26 MH/s.Two years ago, the GeForce GTX 1650 hit the market for $149. Currently, it's not unusual to see asking prices of $400 and more for this model. Atrocious.
GeForce RTX 3070 outsold every other GPU last month?Speaking about the Steam Hardware Survey, Tom's Hardware analyzed the results of the latest release and concludes the GeForce RTX 3070 was one of the best selling cards in March 2021. Despite poor availability, the card was the fastest riser in the charts:
Despite the massive graphics card shortage taking place right now, Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3070 has somehow made it up the ranks in Steam's hardware survey and racked in an additional 0.17% of market share in under a month. Which makes Nvidia's RTX 3070 seemingly the most popular graphics card purchased in March of 2021, period.
Hong Kong seizes 300 NVIDIA CMP 30HX cardsMoving on to mining news, VideoCardz reports Hong Kong has seized a batch of 300 NVIDIA CMP 30HX cryptocurrency mining cards.
The exact reason is unknown. The site speculates it could be related to regional bans on mining. About 65 percent of the global mining power is supplied by China alone and this has resulted in bans on crypto mining operations to avoid power grid issues.
VideoCardz also notes it's unknown how many CMPs are shipping right now. Palit and Gigabyte have shown two cards so far, other AIBs have yet to follow. Either there's a delay in production or manufacturers are reluctant to share details in an effort not to anger gamers. According to some rumors, CMP cards are built to order.
CMPs are definitely selling as evidenced by last weeks news about a $30 million purchase made by Canadian cryptocurrency mining firm Hut 8.
Is cryptomining changing PC gaming?Last, there's an interesting article on ExtremeTech that discusses the potential lasting impact of the current GPU shortages.
While a lot of people see the current shortage as a temporary thing, ExtremeTech points out that since the advent of cryptocurrency mining, this is the third cryptocurrency-driven shortage in seven years. Over the past 60 months, the GPU market has been overheated and overpriced for a whopping 29 months!
The site speculates the successors to AMD's RDNA2 and NVIDIA's Ampere may launch without the current generation ever being widely available anywhere near the MSRP. ExtremeTech speculates this could have profound implications for PC gaming, because a lot of gamers don't have access to high-end gaming hardware right now.
This has implications for the types of games that can be played, future decisions for game publishers, a potential uptick in cloud-based video gaming, and maybe a reduced interest in DIY gaming hardware in favor of OEM-made systems:
High GPU prices won’t kill PC gaming outright, but the sustained loss of access to high-end 3D hardware would fundamentally change the types of games we’re able to play. One reason why desktop GTX 1650 cards have a chance in hell at sticking around is that their 4GB VRAM buffers and small core counts make them less likely targets for mining. PC gaming drove the GPU market for decades, and now gamers are forced to hunt around its edges for the scrap the cryptocurrency market doesn’t want.Definitely an interesting take. Based on recent news, it's unlikely that GPU prices will come down to reasonable levels anytime soon. They may remain elevated throughout 2021.
In a worst-case scenario, where GPU prices stay high and keep gamers locked out of the market, we’d see changes in the types of games people launched on PC. There’d be fewer AAA titles but most likely a thriving indie scene. One can even imagine AMD and Intel buffing their integrated GPUs in an attempt to partially compensate.