AMD AND NVIDIA FAVOR GAMING

Both AMD and NVIDIA have posted propaganda claiming that they are distancing themselves from the mining craze that has dominated the scene for years. It was way back in April when NVIDIA started speaking of LHR (low hash rate cards) which were circumvented when the first RTX 3060 cards were introduced. So far not additional LHR cards have come to market, Being as cynical as I am, I take comments with a grain of salt.

The lack of new cards and brutal prices for existing cards are making consoles more of an option. Park an Xbox under a LCD and plug it in is what some gamers do now given the lower costs. The XBox Sertes X can use a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Obviously the controller can be leveraged for games. Xbox has improved backwards compatibility at the cost of expanded storage requirements.

The Corsair AX1600i is more cash than the Xbox Series X. The rest of the rig brings the cost of the PC to being 4x-5x of the price of an Xbox. This is where the concept of a console peasant came from.

At the rate things are going gaming is now mired with existing video cards of varying vintages. Prices for used cards are double MSRP. Recent new cards are now as much as triple MSRP. So with Bitcoin prices above $60,000 are driving the insanity. Who really wants to spend double for a video card. Vendors on Amazon and Ebay are widely called scalpers.

The situation today suggests that a cynical view is warranted. The next generation Intel Alder Lake is now available. AMD has not yet released any AM5 motherboards and processors. Replacing the motherboard, CPU and RAM are one direction but X570 users primarily can take advantage of at least a few generations of video cards.

Corporate woes are even woes worse than gaming woes. EU server sales are in a 4 year tailspin. A lot of development companies moved to remote work which changed a lot of expectations.

TI will splash out up to $30B on wafer fabs which will add to capacity relief in 3-5 years. TI has another 300mm wafer fab already under construction in Richardson, Texas, and expects it will start producing product in the second half of 2022. Another facility in Utah will get to work in early 2023. They’ll join two existing 300mm facilities that TI already operates.

Given the time it takes to build a foundry it may well be 2023 before supplies of graphics cards improve to the point that gamers can get them at reasonable prices.