GPU prices

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dvm
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GPU prices

Post dvm »

I was considering buying a new GPU and was taken back by the prices and lack of availability. I did a little research and found out that folks involved in cryptocurrency mining are buying up the video cards and driving up the price and lack of availability. Some of you probably know about this issue. I didn't even know what cryptocurrency was. :D I guess I will have to wait until the fad plays out (when they all go bust) as many get rich quick schemes windup). That last statement ought to cause some tight jaws. :D I read an article from Nvidia on the issue that I thought was interesting and I have included a link. I also read that some manufacturers were considering making cards targeted for the cryptocurrency market with slightly lower prices. Even though I am a little annoyed as a capitalist I will let the market take care of the problem.
https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing ... rd-prices/

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officialtlong
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Re: GPU prices

Post officialtlong »

Just built a new machine and it made me sick! Only could shell out for a 1060 when on any other given time I would have been able to get a 1070SC or better for that... I knew the reason but the article you posted is promising if Nvidia would get on the specialized cards. I watched a couple YouTube videos of guys building Bitcoin machines with about 18 1080TI's stacked up... So irritating for those of us that are using them for the finest things in life, P3D FPS ;)

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Roadburner426
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Re: GPU prices

Post Roadburner426 »

I saw that myself, and am glad I got my 1080Ti when I did because they are going for about double that price now. I don't see how running these algorithms is considered mining, but like a lot of the articles I have seen on it I am hoping it goes bust sooner than later. Seems like a waste to tie all that hardware up for that when as soon as this fad wears out all of hardware will be thrown in the trash.
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Oracle427
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Re: GPU prices

Post Oracle427 »

Think of it this way, the market is driving innovation in this sector. The GPU manufacturers are going to build better hardware to support the demand. We are just in a period where they need to catch up.

It isn't a waste of resources and banks are getting in on this too in different ways. They are looking into building digital ledgers that can be used to clear transactions without third parties. It will result in shorter times to move capital or exchange securities. It will reduce errors and will therefore reduce cost. The concepts are not exactly the same, but they both rely on cryptography.

There are primers on the subject that you can read through to learn more. I would say that we've been talking about adopting these things for at least five years in the finance world. I'm not directly involved in any work related to this however, so I can't nor could I comment on progress.

An engineer I know told me that medical (genetics) research is being shifted over to these GPU based super computers to crunch through all the increasingly complex models. They were using custom processors at one point in time, but the GPU tech is now as fast or faster for a fraction of the development cost of custom components with custom OS's.

So, yes a bit annoying right now, but I'm sure all the money being thrown at it will result in much better toys down the road.
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patful
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Re: GPU prices

Post patful »

Good gravy! I paid $229 for my 6GB 1060 less than a year ago, and it's $599 now? My 16GB of DDR4 memory has gone from $90 to $196. Glad I built it last April. At these prices, I wouldn't bother.

Roadburner426
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Re: GPU prices

Post Roadburner426 »

I can see using these GPU's for medical research, developing algorithms for AI (granted that is what they are using quantum computers for), or any type of real research. I have kind of kept up with the Bitcoin thing, and know people at my work that have invested somewhat heavily into it. I am sure it will lead to some kind of innovation. I know Nvidia was talking about making mining specific cards without any type of graphics ports.
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crippy
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Re: GPU prices

Post crippy »

Yes, the current state of the GPU market is really atrocious. I bought an EVGA 1070FTW edition black Friday of 2016 for $400 with tax shipped. Now I think it was upwards of $900. 5x profit margin :shock:

I watched some really good videos about the prices and overall shortages of memory that is helping a little bit too.

The real killer is the price of DDR4. I think there are still a bunch of people like me who are rocking systems with a 4xxx Maxwell series processor with DDR3 and after 5 years the time is coming to keep current and upgrade.

Luckily GDDR6 was just announced today or a few days ago, that it is now in mass production. GDDR6 is not just for graphics anymore. It can technically be used for ram or something similar, so hopefully this might drive prices back down.

Bottom line:
DO NOT buy a GPU unless absolutely necessary right now. You will pay on average 3-5x markup if you can actually find one.
Hesitate on purchasing or upgrading to a DDR4 system, as the prices of DDR4 ram are quite high as well.
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Alan_A
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Re: GPU prices

Post Alan_A »

Oracle427 wrote: It isn't a waste of resources and banks are getting in on this too in different ways. They are looking into building digital ledgers that can be used to clear transactions without third parties. It will result in shorter times to move capital or exchange securities. It will reduce errors and will therefore reduce cost. The concepts are not exactly the same, but they both rely on cryptography.

There are primers on the subject that you can read through to learn more. I would say that we've been talking about adopting these things for at least five years in the finance world. I'm not directly involved in any work related to this however, so I can't nor could I comment on progress.
There's a distinction between cryptocurrencies, which are a bubble (especially Bitcoin), and blockchain, the underlying ledger-keeping technology, which has a long life ahead of it.

Blockchain is used to record the transactions that set the valuations for cryptocurrencies. But it's not limited to that. It can be used for any kind of data. Financial services is interested for the reasons you mention. It goes farther. I just wrote the first of a series of white papers for a client (in the consulting industry) that's interested in blockchain for digital medical records. It's a way to increase security while also making the record more accessible.

The mature applications of blockchain probably won't tie up computer hardware the way cryptocurrency mining does - the high demand is part of the speculative frenzy. Once it implodes (and it will - I've been in the heart of bubbles before and I know what they look like - this is one), then hardware prices will come back to earth. The long term future will be a slower build, with supply and demand at more normal levels.
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DC3
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Re: GPU prices

Post DC3 »

The purpose of the miner is to validate the blockchain. You can not have one without the other.

shortspecialbus
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Re: GPU prices

Post shortspecialbus »

DC3 wrote:The purpose of the miner is to validate the blockchain. You can not have one without the other.
Of course you can, just not the specific 'bitcoin' blockchain for example. Plenty of other things that have nothing to do with cryptocurrency can use blockchains. It's a neat technology. It's just fairly associated with cryptocurrencies right now. Here's a brief explanation that I skimmed that looks to be mostly correct: https://blog.malwarebytes.com/security- ... ocurrency/

(unless I misunderstood you, apologies if I did.)

-stefan

(also, someone made a cryptocurrency without a blockchain, although I dunno how well it'll work: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/6097 ... m-bitcoin/ )

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Alan_A
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Re: GPU prices

Post Alan_A »

shortspecialbus wrote:
DC3 wrote:The purpose of the miner is to validate the blockchain. You can not have one without the other.
Of course you can, just not the specific 'bitcoin' blockchain for example. Plenty of other things that have nothing to do with cryptocurrency can use blockchains. It's a neat technology. It's just fairly associated with cryptocurrencies right now.
Right. Blockchain is an underlying technology, cryptocurrency is an application that uses it.

The Malwarebytes description is good. Here's another, on Wikipedia.

A blockchain can contain any kind of data. In the simplest terms, a blockchain is just a ledger that's distributed across multiple computers. Each entry is a block. Each block is linked to the one ahead and behind it - the links are the chain. Each link is encrypted using a hash - a standard form of cryptography that associates data of variable length (like a list of names) to data of fixed length (like a list of two-digit numbers). This is useful because the hash doesn't tell you anything about the underlying data. In blockchain, the hash is constructed using data from the previous one. In practice, that means that every hash is related to all the others - if you want to try to alter a link, you have to alter all of them. That makes for very strong encryption.

Creating the new hashes is computationally intensive. In cryptocurrency, that's what miners do - they create the new links and they're rewarded with some of the currency. The sheer volume of doing this in currency ledgers means you need massive amounts of computing power, which means lots of hardware and a huge amount of energy expenditure.

But a blockchain doesn't care what kind of data it contains. It's good for other kinds of financial transaction (the first big company I came across that was interested in it was a big credit-card issuer - this was four years ago). My clients are talking about using it for medical records, which have to be kept very secure (medical records are really prized by identity thieves because the information is detailed and verified) but also need to be used in multiple places in the healthcare system. Databases are less secure and they're much harder to interoperate, so blockchain looks like a promising solution.

Kodak just proposed using blockchain for digital rights management, which makes lots of sense. They announced at the same time that they'd do it using their own cryptocurrency, called Kodakcoin, which makes no sense at all (why not just pay with dollars, or with an existing cryptocurrency?) That sounds like somebody went to the meeting after reading about Bitcoin in, say, Newsweek, and didn't know what he or she was talking about, and neither did anyone else in the meeting, and so Kodakcoin was born. Another sign of a market top.

But blockchain will stick around.
"Ah, Paula, they are firing at me!" -- Saint-Exupery

shortspecialbus
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Re: GPU prices

Post shortspecialbus »

Alan_A wrote:Kodak just proposed using blockchain for digital rights management, which makes lots of sense. They announced at the same time that they'd do it using their own cryptocurrency, called Kodakcoin, which makes no sense at all (why not just pay with dollars, or with an existing cryptocurrency?) That sounds like somebody went to the meeting after reading about Bitcoin in, say, Newsweek, and didn't know what he or she was talking about, and neither did anyone else in the meeting, and so Kodakcoin was born. Another sign of a market top.
Either that or they noticed that the creator of even the least successful cryptocurrencies always gets a bazillion dollars and cash out enough of it before the currency fails. Getting in on the start of a cryptocurrency is always the best, because the mining is way easier in the beginning.

-stefan

MartN
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Re: GPU prices

Post MartN »

It is interesting what is going on with cryptocurrencies today. I am quite new to bitcoins, but have been studying the subject for a while and believe that bitcoin will be used widely and accepted as a payment means by most companies/banks, and we will be able to buy lots of things like houses, vehicles etc with bitcoins as they say here. We will see though...

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Alan_A
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Re: GPU prices

Post Alan_A »

shortspecialbus wrote: Either that or they noticed that the creator of even the least successful cryptocurrencies always gets a bazillion dollars and cash out enough of it before the currency fails. Getting in on the start of a cryptocurrency is always the best, because the mining is way easier in the beginning.
Could be. Of course, it's always possible to be late to the party. And I wouldn't look to Kodak to be good at cryptocurrency (way too far from their core business). The DRM thing makes a lot more sense to me.

I suppose we'll find out soon enough... 8)
"Ah, Paula, they are firing at me!" -- Saint-Exupery

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Alan_A
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Re: GPU prices

Post Alan_A »

MartN wrote:...we will be able to buy lots of things like houses, vehicles etc with bitcoins as they say here. We will see though...
Good article, but the odd thing about it is that all the benefits they talk about have to do with record-keeping functions, not necessarily with cryptocurrencies. You could apply all those blockchain-based steps and still use conventional fiat currencies. They seem to be rolling the two together.

You're right - we will indeed see. Interesting times...
"Ah, Paula, they are firing at me!" -- Saint-Exupery

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