Looking to nab Nvidia's GeForce chips? You need cash and patience

GPU shortage equals four-month wait time for buyers

Tech companies are suffering setbacks from the shortage of Nvidia’s GPUs, with the GeForce series being hit the hardest.

Following his keynote speech at his biz's GPU Technology Conference in San Jose this week, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang explained to journalists that it was down to intense Ethereum mining.

Vendors working at the booths during the conference told The Register that lead times for building GPU workstations and servers have increased. Nvidia’s GeForce chips, an older and cheaper series, are most in demand – especially the GTX 1080 Ti.

A chart on PCPartPicker, a website that helps users compare prices for computer parts, shows clear spikes in the price for GeForce cards from the past 18 months. GTX 1080Tis are now about $1,000, a rise of about $300 compared to prices in March last year.


Gone in 60.121 seconds: Your guide to the pricey new gear Nvidia teased at its annual GPU fest


A sales manager from Tyan Computer Corporation, a Taiwanese-based company that manufactures motherboards for high-end servers, told us that it put in an order for about 300 GeForce chips in January, and only received 100 of them recently.

He estimated that the wait time could be as long as 16 weeks. An employee from Exxact, who also offer high performance computing servers and racks, said it was about a 12 to 16 week wait.

Ethereum is the most popular type of cryptocurrency where GPUs are favored over ASIC chips for mining. Since GeForce chips are much cheaper than Nvidia’s Tesla Volta V100 chips that go for several thousands of dollars, miners get more bang for their buck.

The wait times for the chips in the Tesla series is much shorter and is roughly on the order of two to four weeks. Nvidia produce a lower volume of Tesla chips, aimed at more intensive workloads for deep learning and AI.

Huang said Nvidia is not in the business for cryptocurrency mining, and wants to keep GeForce chips for the gaming industry. In fact, the GPU giant updated its end-user license agreement last year in an attempt to force customers to cough up for its higher end gear like the Tesla V100 chips in data centers.

An Nvidia spokesperson previously told us: “GeForce and Titan GPUs were never designed for data center deployments with the complex hardware, software, and thermal requirements for 24x7 operation, where there are often multi-stack racks. To clarify this, we recently added a provision to our GeForce-specific EULA to discourage potential misuse of our GeForce and TITAN products in demanding, large-scale enterprise environments.”

When El Reg asked Nvidia how long it would take to clear its backlog of orders, a spokesperson told us: “We have nothing further to add.” ®

Similar topics

Narrower topics

Other stories you might like

  • AMD claims its GPUs beat Nvidia on performance per dollar
    * Terms, conditions, hardware specs and software may vary – a lot

    As a slowdown in PC sales brings down prices for graphics cards, AMD is hoping to win over the market's remaining buyers with a bold, new claim that its latest Radeon cards provide better performance for the dollar than Nvidia's most recent GeForce cards.

    In an image tweeted Monday by AMD's top gaming executive, the chip designer claims its lineup of Radeon RX 6000 cards provide better performance per dollar than competing ones from Nvidia, with all but two of the ten cards listed offering advantages in the double-digit percentages. AMD also claims to provide better performance for the power required by each card in all but two of the cards.

    Continue reading
  • Google opens the pod doors on Bay View campus
    A futuristic design won't make people want to come back – just ask Apple

    After nearly a decade of planning and five years of construction, Google is cutting the ribbon on its Bay View campus, the first that Google itself designed.

    The Bay View campus in Mountain View – slated to open this week – consists of two office buildings (one of which, Charleston East, is still under construction), 20 acres of open space, a 1,000-person event center and 240 short-term accommodations for Google employees. The search giant said the buildings at Bay View total 1.1 million square feet. For reference, that's less than half the size of Apple's spaceship. 

    The roofs on the two main buildings, which look like pavilions roofed in sails, were designed that way for a purpose: They're a network of 90,000 scale-like solar panels nicknamed "dragonscales" for their layout and shimmer. By scaling the tiles, Google said the design minimises damage from wind, rain and snow, and the sloped pavilion-like roof improves solar capture by adding additional curves in the roof. 

    Continue reading
  • Pentester pops open Tesla Model 3 using low-cost Bluetooth module
    Anything that uses proximity-based BLE is vulnerable, claim researchers

    Tesla Model 3 and Y owners, beware: the passive entry feature on your vehicle could potentially be fooled by a new form of relay attack.

    Discovered and tested by researchers at NCC Group, the attack allows anyone with a tool similar to NCC's to relay the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signal from a smartphone that has been paired with a Tesla back to the vehicle. Far from simply unlocking the door, the hack lets the attacker start the car and drive away too.

    In its testing, NCC Group said it was able to perform a relay attack that allowed researchers to open a Tesla Model 3 from a home in which the vehicle's paired device was located (on the other side of the house), approximately 25 meters away.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022