GPU MSRP is Not Meaningless @ HardOCP.com

HockeyJon

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Consumers have the power to kill off a company if they feel that company no longer meets their needs. No company is immune.
If Nvidia continues to ignore their customer base for profits, the bottom will fall out and their competitors will fill the void.

GPU dominance varies between generations, so high prices will eventual fall with an underperforming product i.e. GTX 280.
Nvidia, AMD and Intel have all suffered after they achieved dominance and tried to charge a premium.

They aren’t ignoring their customer base though.
 

Red Falcon

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That is true, but at the same time volumes have also gone way up. Back in 2001, while we were all crazy about GPU's here on the Hardforums, we were a relatively small minority of the marketplace. That was still an era when adults were made fun of if they played video games. (Oh how the turntables).
This is very true, adults playing video games in the 1980s and 1990s was certainly frowned upon since "they are just for kids".
Here is a short clip from The Simpsons highlighting as such, when Homer was trying to get better to beat Bart at a boxing video game, circa 1990:

(video is timestamped)

 

staknhalo

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my gen born in 80s never really give a crap, we all grew up with the NES from birth and gamed on ever since on whatever

everybody had a console and a family pc, that's changed though - there was never pc vs console
 

WorldExclusive

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I literally started investing and in Nvidia back in 2016 because of rising GPU prices, I was like "fuck this, make Nvidia buy me my GPUs if this is how it's gonna go" lol


Look at what I wrote above, and I'm telling you you're dead wrong. Maybe add the caveat about "also if they don't have a life and can sit 24/7 on inventory streams" and then maybe I'll agree with you.

And reasonable is MSRP, either Nvidia/AMD or AIB MSRP, not scalper pricing.
I just bought three GPUs in the last 3 months when I couldn't find or buy any at reasonable prices the months before. I waited. Never sat on 24/7 streams.
You think I'm just saying stuff? I just won another Newegg Shuffle yesterday. It's possible with patience.
 

Slade

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I can assure I got my DGXA100 last aug at nvidia msrp. I put in my order for it just shortly after announcement and it took until Aug to be fufilled after tendering and contracting, bidding, security forms etc. I have a strict budget to work with for my work, so numbers are finalized well before the parts eventually get delivered.

For personal stuff, I got a 4th 3090 since launch. The price difference from launch to the 4th one has increased a few hundred dollars, but they've all been EVGA 3090 cards.
 

jmilcher

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I just bought three GPUs in the last 3 months when I couldn't find or buy any at reasonable prices the months before. I waited. Never sat on 24/7 streams.
You think I'm just saying stuff? I just won another Newegg Shuffle yesterday. It's possible with patience.
Believe me when I say your experience has not been that of many of us.
 

WorldExclusive

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They aren’t ignoring their customer base though.
Please elaborate. Because AI and the metaverse is at the forefront of their business.
GeForce Now is them showing a lot of love to PC gamers.

Nvidia knows a 3080 12GB priced at $1200 isn't gamer focused pricing.
 
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HockeyJon

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Please elaborate. Because AI and the metaverse is at the forefront of their business.
GeForce Now is them showing a lot of love to PC gamers.

Nvidia knows a 3080 12GB priced at $1200 isn't gamer focused pricing.

And yet they’re constantly selling out, and I see forum and group discussions all over the gaming world where gamers say “yeah it sucks, but I totally just bought a 3080 for $1200 and it’s amazing, and I’ll just resell it later when I’m done”, so no, despite the fact that you and I don’t like the pricing, Nvidia is not ignoring their customers. Every customer for every product wants to pay less for it, but your suggestion that Nvidia is doomed to fail for not forcing GPU prices lower is simply not true. They’ll charge what they can charge and as long as they’re selling through their inventory, they’ll keep the prices high, as will everyone else in the industry. I can promise you there are zero board meetings taking place right now at Nvidia, AMD, and Intel where members are scrambling to find ways to lower prices while it’s impossible for them to keep up with demand. You wouldn’t either if you were in that position.

This also isn’t all on Nvidia. There are a lot of issues percolating through the supply chain and we still have a problem with miners AND resellers who are scooping up inventory to either mine with or simply resell on the market to miners AND gamers. This is not a permanent condition and will abate eventually just like it did last time. GPUs will still be higher in price, but only by a bit because inflation is a general phenomenon.

Further, as you mentioned, their AI business is industry-leading. Gamers are a significant portion, but their fastest growing segments are in AI and datacenters. Everyone wants Nvidia for that.
 

HockeyJon

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I just bought three GPUs in the last 3 months when I couldn't find or buy any at reasonable prices the months before. I waited. Never sat on 24/7 streams.
You think I'm just saying stuff? I just won another Newegg Shuffle yesterday. It's possible with patience.

I think this proves my point even further. You say Nvidia isn’t listening to their customers and are therefore doomed to fail, and yet you’ve bought 3 GPUs in the last 3 months and are now going for a 4th. As an Nvidia shareholder, please accept my sincerest thanks, and I look forward to you buying a 5th.
 

DukenukemX

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I just don't see a way out of these problems until the silicon shortage flips. May there be such a glut of silicon that every business is tripping over the stuff.
The market will respond eventually. The shortage won't last and many things will change to allow consumers to get what they want. Currently GTX 1060 owners are the majority and therefore most games will be built around a GTX 1060. Most consumers will just not upgrade. The moment someone makes a game where the minimum requirements isn't a GTX 1060 and it's a good game, will probably push for supply. That supply won't just come from AMD and Nvidia. Intel and probably some other unknown player will enter the market and flip things around. Either that or we go console because it might just make sense this time around.
 

Gigantopithecus

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Great post! Thank you!

I wouldn't be surprised if we see Nvidia start trying to cut out AIB's all together in order to get more control of their product.
That was my immediate thought upon reading FrgMstr's statement:
"Another argument that you might bring up as to retail shelf pricing is companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Sony that enforce MAP (Minimum Advertised Price). Again, this would be another long conversation, but long story short, those companies are delivering a finished product to market where a GPU BOM kit is not when it leaves the hands of AMD or NVIDIA. That is more of a discussion about lower than “MSRP” pricing which of course is not the current focus."
 

WorldExclusive

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I think this proves my point even further. You say Nvidia isn’t listening to their customers and are therefore doomed to fail, and yet you’ve bought 3 GPUs in the last 3 months and are now going for a 4th. As an Nvidia shareholder, please accept my sincerest thanks, and I look forward to you buying a 5th.
As if I'm not savvy enough too also own stock that has performed well before and since the pandemic.
Congratulations on the obvious.

My GPUs are purchased through my business which has it's own benefits, the reason why I need more than 1.
 

HockeyJon

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As if I'm not savvy enough too also own stock that has performed well before and since the pandemic.
Congratulations on the obvious.

My GPUs are purchased through my business which has it's own benefits, the reason why I need more than 1.

I'm not criticizing you or questioning why you need multiple GPUs. I really don't care either way, what you do is entirely your business. My point stands though. Clearly Nvidia is servicing their customers just fine, and the proof is in your recent purchase of multiple GPUs from them, and that was done during these times where stock is low and prices are elevated, and then further describe them as a savvy investment. Your position that they're not servicing their customers to their satisfaction is completely invalidated by your own choices and actions, and that's precisely why Nvidia can, and will, continue to raise GPU prices with impunity. You're a business person, you would do the same thing would you not?
 

sleepeeg3

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I have no doubt Nvidia will continue to try to bump up their top line based on the current market. They have been doing that for years. Remember whenthe top of the line GeForce 3 TI500 sold for $350? I had one.
Yes, but remember when $350 was worth $350? Inflation big part of equation.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Yes, but remember when $350 was worth $350? Inflation big part of equation.

Inflation certainly is a part of it, but not the biggest part of it.

$349 in October 2001 dollars is equivalent to $547.56 today.

Now keep in mind this was the best money could buy in October 2001. It's complicated what to compare it to today.

A 3090? If so, we have an MSRP of $1499

In that case we can attribute $198.56 of price increase to inflation, and $951.44 of price increase to something else.

It gets even worse if we use street price instead of MSRP.

Then again, one could also argue that using the 3090 as a comparison is unfair. It certainly is a "Halo card to Halo card" comparison, but Halo cards were a little bit more pedestrian back in 2001. Once you start thinking like this though, it starts becoming pretty challenging to pick the right comparison card.

Should it be the 3080? The 3080ti?

The mainstream entry point for the Geforce 3 series at launch was the TI200. The top of the line TI500 was ~37% faster.

If we go this route and take the mainstream entry in the 3xxx series at launch, this becomes a little bit more complicated, as they weren't all announced/launched at the same time. If we take "at launch" to mean anything released in 2020, then the closest thing to a mainstream entry card in 2020 is the 3060 Ti and then add ~37% we land on a slot between the 3070 and 3080 where there is no alternative. At least not until a year later when the 3070ti launched.

If we disregard these inconsistencies and say that the 3070ti is really the equivalent of what a Halo card was in 2001 (which believe me, I'm not making this claim, I'm just trying to come up with some sort of logic here, no matter how farfetched) then you actually wind up with something that is pretty similar pricing wise.

The MSRP on the 3070ti is $599. So then we wind up with $198.56 of price increase due to inflation, and the remaining $51.44 due to something else.

Of course, not too many people out there are successful at buying 3070ti's for $599, and accounting for street price makes things impossible.

I'm not really expecting this to be a particularly valuable analysis, as much as I am trying to point out that doing a proper comparison generation to generation is pretty much impossible. In part because there is nothing intrinsic that makes a xx60 GPU an xx60 gpu or an xx80 GPU an xx80 GPU. Those are marketing names, and they are made up for each generation, and positioned based on what the market and competition looks like, and what the manufacturing bins look like at the time. So, even comparing a 1060 to a 2060 to a 3060, or a 1080 to a 2080 to a 3080 winds up being a completely pointless comparison.


All that said, I think we can easily say things are worse today for the consumer than they were in 2001, in part due to Nvidia increasing their profit margins, in part due to costs of manufacture and design going up with complexity and smaller node sizes, and in pretty large part due to the current market shortages.

(Note how I didn't say in part due to inflation here, because in general inflation hits both sides of the equation, both peoples incomes and their costs, and thus I don't include that in part of making the situation worse for the consumer.

Worth noting is that there were at least 4 notable GPU makers back then. 3DFX, ATi, Nvidia and Matrox. Maybe more if you include such players as PowerVR, 3D Labs, Diamond/S3, etc. but at least 4 real players.

Granted, Matrox was behind the others, and 3DFX was on its last legs in 2001, but still. 4 big manufacturers. Research on competitive markets show that in order to benefit consumers you need 3-5 competitors in a marketplace. We had that then. Today, even though Intel has started making news in that area, we still only have a duopoly. (unless you count IGP solutions)

This certainly wouldn't account for the current market shortages, as those are largely based on fab capacity upstream from the GPU companies themselves, but freed of that limitation, having more players in the market certainly would help, which is why I - despite not being a huge Intel fan - hope Intel makes good on its promises and enters the discrete GPU market in force.
 
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Gigantopithecus

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Inflation certainly is a part of it, but not the biggest part of it.

$349 in October 2001 dollars is equivalent to $547.56 today.

Now keep in mind this was the best money could buy in October 2001. It's complicated what to compare it to today.

SNIP

This is an interesting post but I think the most apt comparison today is to the card that will have similar longevity, so in my mind, I don't necessarily agree that we have it off worse as consumers today (disregarding the perfect storm of COVID and mining) than we did in 2001. In other words, we are definitely paying a shitload more for higher-end GPUs today, but we can also reasonably expect them to be good gaming cards for far longer. Of course that's due to many factors like stagnation of popular resolutions and other slowdowns that necessarily accompany technology maturation, but in the end, as a consumer, a major component of the value of any product is how long it will do the job I want it to do.

Example:

The GeForce 3 Ti 500 was released towards the end of 2001. Elder Scrolls: Oblivion came out in early 2006. The GeForce 3 Ti 500 could not even play that game without modding (what was it called? Oldblivion or something?).

Five years ago (early 2017), you could get a GTX 1070 for $350-400. Because of inflation, that's comparatively cheaper than the $350 Ti 500 from 2001. Today, a 1070 can still run MS FS perfectly fine at 1080p with near-max settings.

I paid $1,500 for a 3090 FE. I fully expect that card to do what I want it to do for almost a decade.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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This is an interesting post but I think the most apt comparison today is to the card that will have similar longevity, so in my mind, I don't necessarily agree that we have it off worse as consumers today (disregarding the perfect storm of COVID and mining) than we did in 2001. In other words, we are definitely paying a shitload more for higher-end GPUs today, but we can also reasonably expect them to be good gaming cards for far longer. Of course that's due to many factors like stagnation of popular resolutions and other slowdowns that necessarily accompany technology maturation, but in the end, as a consumer, a major component of the value of any product is how long it will do the job I want it to do.

Example:

The GeForce 3 Ti 500 was released towards the end of 2001. Elder Scrolls: Oblivion came out in early 2006. The GeForce 3 Ti 500 could not even play that game without modding (what was it called? Oldblivion or something?).

Five years ago (early 2017), you could get a GTX 1070 for $350-400. Because of inflation, that's comparatively cheaper than the $350 Ti 500 from 2001. Today, a 1070 can still run MS FS perfectly fine at 1080p with near-max settings.

I paid $1,500 for a 3090 FE. I fully expect that card to do what I want it to do for almost a decade.

That is a fair comment and one way of looking at it.

On the flipside of that, one could argue that the only reason GPU's have longevity today is because the market has stagnated due to lack of competition.

I'd be much happier buying a $349 (or $550 corrected for inflation) top of the line GPU every year or even every six months than a $1500 GPU every 2-3 years, if it meant the market was actually improving at a good pace.
 
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staknhalo

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I paid $1,500 for a 3090 FE. I fully expect that card to do what I want it to do for almost a decade.

I 'hate' graphics cards in that it's the one part of my PC I know I'll want to replace 'right away' in a few years - be it 2, 3, 4, 5, whatever. My last PC was in use for 8 years (2013-2021) before replaced with this one, and on there I went from a 650ti Boost to a 970 FTW to a 2070 Gaming Ultra (that I sold before PC Part Apocalypse happened 😭). I can't bring myself to ever pay more than $600 after tax for the 'disposable' part of my PC IMO. And the ridiculousness of that last sentence is what enforces that last sentence for me lol. It's also just I don't know if I could not FOMO on graphics myself for closer to 10 years (which is what the rest of my PC's lifespan I aim for is), because the prettier pictures and customization ability of is why I choose to game on PC vs getting a Playstation.

That (your) card is grate for ML too though.
 
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Zarathustra[H]

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Funny that was brought up, as this article about the buyout from 23 years ago seems all the more relevant today.

https://www.eetimes.com/3dfx-acquisition-of-stb-puts-graphics-card-market-in-jeopardy/

Yep, it does.

It also goes to show how quickly things can change. While many of those AIB's that were concerned are still around today, 21 years later, almost exactly 3 years after that article was published, the 3dfx webpage was replaced with this message:

1642023884014.png
 

Zarathustra[H]

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My last PC was in use for 8 years (2013-2021) before replaced with this one, and on there I went from a 650ti Boost to a 970 FTW to a 2070 Gaming Ultra (that I sold before PC Part Apocalypse happened 😭).

I try to not think of PC's as a fixed thing.

I treat the hardware as kind of a rolling release.

parts go in and out over time, and gradually it transforms into something new, but my current Desktop/Workstation is essentially "spiritually" the same PC I was using in the 90's, upgraded component by component over time since then, even though there isn't a single part left from that time now.

I paid $1,500 for a 3090 FE. I fully expect that card to do what I want it to do for almost a decade.

All of that said, it doesn't seem all that long ago I was on a 6 month to a year GPU upgrade cycle.

Heck, even relatively recently.

In 2009 I upgraded my aging Athlon 64 2800+ to an i7-920 (I got busy with work and life and kind of put my hobby on ice for 5 years or so). Then I went through a rapid fire series of GPU upgrades:

Late 2009: GeForce 9200GT (I don't play games anymore, I don't need anything fast, this bottomn barrel GPU will do.)
Early 2010: Radeon HD 5750 (Actually, Civ IV and Half Life 2 are pretty fun!)
Late 2010: GeForce GTX470 (You know what else is fun? The S.T.A.L.K.E.R series)

At some point after getting the 470 I bought a 30" 2560x1600 Dell U3011, and learned the hard way that you don't want to be an early adopter of a new higher resolution, as performance can be hard to come by. I limped along with the GTX470 for a little bit (which by luck was an amazing golfden sample overclocker, hitting higher speeds than a stock 480)

Early 2011: GeForce GTX580 (More Powah!)
Mid 2011: Radeon HD 6970 (Lets try AMD again!)
Late 2011: 2x Radeon HD 6970 in Crossfire (More AMD Powah!)
Early 2012: Radeon HD 7970 (Turns out dual GPU sucks. I want a faster single GPU)
Early to Mid 2012: GeForce GTX 680 (Whoops. I broke my 7970 modding a custom water cooler mount)
Early 2013: GeForce GTX Titan (I'm tired of chasing performance at 2560x1600. Let's just be done with it)

Only at this point did things start to slow down for me. That Titan lasted 2+ years until mid 2015, when I repeated my mistake of being an early new higher resolution adopter, and decided to go with a 4k Samsung JS9000 TV as my main screen and had to chase high resolution performance again.

Mid 2015: 2x GeForce 980ti in SLI (Needed a 900 series to get HDMI 2.0 to support 4k, and really could use more performance for 4k)
Mid 2016: Pascal Titan X (Remembered why I hated dual GPU solutions)

The Titan finally lasted me for a while. Over 5 years, until late last year when I grabbed an upgrade. I had wanted to upgrade for a while, but at launch the 2080ti had the Space Invaders problem, and once that was resolved I didn't want to buy late in the generation soon before next gen was due to come out, so I passed on that gen, but I was hurting for performance for a good year.

Late 2021: Radeon 6900xt (Specialty water cooled version with high bin chip and custom power stage)

I'm already thinking about my next upgrade. I can't imagine a 3090 lasting for 10 years, unless you don't do things that require the power of a 3090, and if that is the case, why spend that kind of money instead of going for something much cheaper?
 

Accursed

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I would love for nvidia to flood the market with reasonably priced FE cards and force AIBs to lower their prices. But lets be honest, won't happen.....
 

staknhalo

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Agree, GPU MSRP isn't meaningless. It can be used as a control to gauge how bad retailers are screwing us.

Also from AIB cards when it just isn't worth it to 'upgrade' to the higher up/biggest version of xx6x card for example with 7 fans instead of 3 and just get a base xx7x card with 2 fans
 

Krenum

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Also from AIB cards when it just isn't worth it to 'upgrade' to the higher up/biggest version of xx6x card for example with 7 fans instead of 3 and just get a base xx7x card with 2 fans
Or an Overclock of 100mhz which the user can easily do themselves. High time we start holding these AIB's and graphics card manufactures to the fire. Its gotten completely out of hand and I haven't seen any of them comment on how to make it better for the average customer other than the "let them eat cake" moves by releasing old hardware.
 

FrgMstr

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I would love for nvidia to flood the market with reasonably priced FE cards and force AIBs to lower their prices. But lets be honest, won't happen.....
Another thing that is happening is that NVIDIA is direct shipping mining GPUs bypassing AIBs. AIBs are "hurting" in the fact that they can't get large enough amounts of inventory, which of course hurts profitability and revenue, and that is another reason we are seeing pricing going into orbit. All AIBs are complaining to NVIDIA about not getting enough inventory. There is more to this story, but that is for another day.
 

staknhalo

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I'll be honest - ignoring impossibilities/logistics of it because fabs were sold etc - and don't @ me with food on the table for families, that happens with literally everything - I wouldn't mind if AIBs just went away and you just bought a GPU from Nvidia/AMD/Intel
 

Krenum

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I'll be honest - ignoring impossibilities/logistics of it because fabs were sold etc - and don't @ me with food on the table for families, that happens with literally everything - I wouldn't mind if AIBs just went away and you just bought a GPU from Nvidia/AMD/Intel
Exactly, too many Indians that think they're Chiefs, and not enough Chiefs.
 

Endgame

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This is an interesting post but I think the most apt comparison today is to the card that will have similar longevity, so in my mind, I don't necessarily agree that we have it off worse as consumers today (disregarding the perfect storm of COVID and mining) than we did in 2001. In other words, we are definitely paying a shitload more for higher-end GPUs today, but we can also reasonably expect them to be good gaming cards for far longer. Of course that's due to many factors like stagnation of popular resolutions and other slowdowns that necessarily accompany technology maturation, but in the end, as a consumer, a major component of the value of any product is how long it will do the job I want it to do.

Example:

The GeForce 3 Ti 500 was released towards the end of 2001. Elder Scrolls: Oblivion came out in early 2006. The GeForce 3 Ti 500 could not even play that game without modding (what was it called? Oldblivion or something?).

Five years ago (early 2017), you could get a GTX 1070 for $350-400. Because of inflation, that's comparatively cheaper than the $350 Ti 500 from 2001. Today, a 1070 can still run MS FS perfectly fine at 1080p with near-max settings.

I paid $1,500 for a 3090 FE. I fully expect that card to do what I want it to do for almost a decade.
You missed one aspect - price per transistor. There are dramatically more transistors now vs GF 3 ti and the cost per transistor has dropped dramatically.
 

Accursed

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Another thing that is happening is that NVIDIA is direct shipping mining GPUs bypassing AIBs. AIBs are "hurting" in the fact that they can't get large enough amounts of inventory, which of course hurts profitability and revenue, and that is another reason we are seeing pricing going into orbit. All AIBs are complaining to NVIDIA about not getting enough inventory. There is more to this story, but that is for another day.
Oddly when I see these pictures of big mining operation they rarely seem to be FE cards. Usually EVGA and MSI are the cards that seem to come up the most often. Not disputing what you're saying but do think it's odd. Perhaps because the biggest mining operations don't publish pictures of their farms.
 

FrgMstr

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Oddly when I see these pictures of big mining operation they rarely seem to be FE cards. Usually EVGA and MSI are the cards that seem to come up the most often. Not disputing what you're saying but do think it's odd. Perhaps because the biggest mining operations don't publish pictures of their farms.
That is because NVIDIA has NDAs in place and has the power to do that when they direct sell. If a picture of those cards ends up online, the miner loses their source of cards immediately.
 

Endgame

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There's also the super cool RGB Experience package to consider, which at some point may no longer be optional .🔴🟢🔵 I don't know whether the chip manufacturers impose any restrictions on AIBs that limit what they're allowed to charge for non-reference designs, or if that's mostly left to competition.
I think the RGB experience is currently effectively mandatory. For example, while EVGA lists cards without RGB, I don't think they are actually making any. This means the only thing you can buy is the RGB FTW 3 Ultra models
 

ElementDave

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I remember when I debated spending the extra $50 on a AIB card for the cooler…

Now we are talking $200-500+ more for the experience. You can’t tell me coolers have gone up that much over the years.
There's also the super cool RGB Experience package to consider, which at some point may no longer be optional .🔴🟢🔵 I don't know whether the chip manufacturers impose any restrictions on AIBs that limit what they're allowed to charge for non-reference designs, or if that's mostly left to competition.
 
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