Nvidia says more graphics cards will be available to gamers in 2022, but should we believe it?
Nvidia believes the supply of its hard-to-find graphics cards will improve by the second half of 2022, yet another glimmer of hope in a year full of false starts on the graphics card front.
The prediction is courtesy of Nvidia CFO Colette Kress, who spoke at the UBS Global TMT virtual conference on December 6.
During the 45-minute event, Kress addressed Nvidia’s attempts to get ahead of semiconductor shortages and increase the supply of its most demanded graphics cards like the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 that no one seems to be in. able to find more than a year after their release.
“It’s too early to speculate on demand trends as we move forward into the next year,” Kress said, “but we think demand is strong, we think channel stocks are very high right now. lean. We think we still have a great opportunity for us to upgrade players to this Ampere architecture. “
“The company as a whole will take the appropriate work to keep sourcing more supply,” Kress continued, “because right now we have situations where that demand exceeds our aggregate supply.”
Kress was, however, optimistic about Nvidia’s prospects for 2022.
“We believe we will be in a better position in terms of supply when we look at the second half of next year.”
It’s been a very long year for the players, to say the least.
Nvidia has been trying for over a year to get more of its graphics cards into the hands of gamers, and there is some evidence that their efforts are real.
Immediately after the launch of the first Ampere cards in September and October 2020, they sold out at all retailers within minutes. Initially, the shortage was attributed to higher than expected demand, but over time other issues soon emerged.
Shortly after the new RTX 3080 graphics cards were sold before legitimate customers could buy them, Nvidia announced that it would be reviewing purchases on its site to weed out bots buying all available stock. Even we thought it would be a temporary problem, but it isn’t.
Graphics cards, as well as video game consoles like the PS5, are essentially inaccessible through normal means, as networks of automated robots have run out of stocks all year round with no sign of stopping.
On top of that, an Ethereum price boom in 2021 caused even greater demand for cards from cryptominers.
Nvidia has made two major efforts to prevent hijacking of gamers’ graphics cards into cryptominers: GPU Light Hash Rate (LHR), which halved the hash rate used to mine Ethereum in order to hopefully reduce the request ; and cryptomining processors (CMPs), which Nvidia hoped would be more attractive to cryptominers than mainstream RTX cards.
None of these efforts made an appreciable difference in the ability of gamers to purchase a new graphics card. Even a cryptocurrency price crash didn’t seem to slow things down, and with cryptocurrency prices on the rise again, we could be in the same situation.
Throughout 2021, gamers in particular have been looking for signs that the end of the shortage is at least on the horizon, and whenever the price of cryptocurrencies plummets or a new deal is announced. , many hoped that this would solve the problem. .
It doesn’t, and Nvidia’s latest graphics cards are indeed as hard to find as they were the day they went on sale. skepticism and even a touch of bitterness.
Kress, however, believes that Nvidia LHR cards, the introduction of CMP, and the government’s renewed interest in cryptocurrency regulation will reduce demand for Nvidia cards.
Nvidia hopes new supply contracts will make a difference
“A big part of the strategy to improve supply is to lock in more supply capacity by entering into longer-term contracts,” Kress said.
“We also have to think about our expansion card partners, our OEMs, who are also essential in getting our cards into the hands of gamers.”
“It forces us to work not only to buy inventory now over the next two quarters, but as you’ve seen us buy longer term – the long term can be over a year – and you’ve seen us too. now make deals that will take us many years in terms of long-term capacity needs. ”
While Kress certainly seems bullish, as PCMag notes, none of this necessarily translates to more cards in the hands of players.
Specifically, guaranteeing longer-term capacity does not automatically mean that all demand can be met by this time next year. This means that scalpers are still likely to buy these cards and resell them at grossly inflated prices, although the prices players might have to pay could be lower than they are now.
And there’s no upper limit on how many graphics cards crypto miners will want to buy. If a graphics card is profitable, they will buy it. If anything, the best hope any of us have for getting a new graphics card before the latest cards become next-gen technology is that Ethereum 2.0 is finally implemented.
This will move the cryptocurrency to a proof-of-stake model from its current proof-of-work model which requires GPUs to perform intense mathematical operations in order to mine the currency. Without proof of work, you don’t need graphics cards.
Ethereum 2.0 is expected to roll out sometime next year, so Kress may not be wrong in saying that the supply situation is expected to improve by the second half of 2022. Enter more capacity from Nvidia and declining demand for Ethereum 2.0, it might be easier for gamers to get the graphics cards next year.
We wouldn’t blame you if you were skeptical, however. We’ve heard this before, and your hopes can only be dashed a number of times.