Computer of the Month – December 2021

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At the beginning of each month, “Computer of the Month” is published on our website – an article in which we discuss the main events in the computer equipment market, and at the same time choose the best configurations of system units that are relevant in a certain period of time. Issues always come out – despite any troubles and difficulties, and this approach allows, as they say, to feel in your own skin all the changes in the computer market.

I can safely call last year the most difficult for more than six years of the existence of the “Computer of the Month”. It’s been a long time since writing a set has been this hard – even in 2018, the lack of graphics cards and the problems we’ve encountered were much easier to perceive. But as you know, you can’t throw words out of a song: let’s remember what everyone who wanted to assemble a brand new system unit had to face in 2021.

Buy, hurry up, fly in, don’t squander

Well, now – to a more detailed analysis of what was happening. Another shortage of video cards came at the end of 2020. Let me remind you that the GeForce RTX 30 series of gaming accelerators was introduced in September, more than a year ago. At first, there were not enough new video cards.

because the manufacturer and its partners did not provide the required number of devices for everyone. Then, when bitcoin and ether conquered new heights, any video cards began to disappear from the shelves of computer stores, with the exception of very slow “gags”. Then I suggested that at the beginning of 2021 we would have a repeat of the winter of 2018.

That winter, you would be very lucky if you could grab a GeForce GTX 1070 for 40-45 thousand rubles, but in most cases, gamers who did not want to wait had to part with 55-60 thousand rubles. In fact, the story of inadequate prices has dragged on and continues to this day. When will it all end? I don’t know, but definitely not in the first half of 2022.

Interestingly, the entire 2021, if we talk about the shortage of video cards, can be divided into three parts:

at the beginning of the year, there were very few video cards with reasonable gaming performance on sale;
with the summer collapse of the bitcoin rate, there were noticeably more video cards on sale, but their price remained inadequately high;
in the fall, large coins again updated their own records, but there was no next total exodus of video cards from sale, and for several months now their prices have been on average twice as high as recommended.

Here is a sign you will find in the December issue of “Computer of the Month”:

If this or that video card is not in the above list, it either was not on sale at all, or was of no interest to me for some reason. We see that at the end of 2021, the prices for gaming video cards that are actively used in mining no longer react so zealously to cryptocurrency rates. There are more and more devices on sale, but in autumn and winter their prices still rose rather than fell. Only conditionally budget models, such as the GeForce GTX 1650 and GeForce GTX 1660, have fallen in price.

But the cards that are actively used in mining have only risen in price – naturally, this is due to the November growth in the rate of cryptocurrencies, because the BTC and ETH coins have updated their records. Apparently, we will continue to drift from month to month, stating either a slight decrease in prices, or a return to previous indicators – until AMD, NVIDIA and their technical partners start producing products in the right quantity.

But somehow spontaneously the thought creeps into my head that it is profitable for the largest chipmakers to work in deficit mode. Judge for yourself: both AMD and NVIDIA report record revenues, but representatives of both companies claim that the situation in the cryptocurrency market does not significantly affect this. Only for the whole year we have been observing one simple rule: the price of any gaming video card in 2021 is proportional to the number of mega hashes issued by the device.

In 2021, several new graphics cards from AMD and NVIDIA saw the light of day. As part of the Ampere microarchitecture, the “greens” introduced the GeForce RTX 3060, GeForce RTX 3060 It, GeForce RTX 3070 It and GeForce RTX 3080 It – the latter two have a reduced hash rate when mining ETH or performing similar algorithms.

The rest of the models (including those released in 2020) received LHR GPU modifications, which means that they mine ether with an efficiency of 50%. However, the hardware blocking of GeForce RTX 30 video cards has long been bypassed almost completely. The same GeForce RTX 3080 It mines ETH with an efficiency of 80%. And yet not a single “kefir” – there is a whole bag of coins mined with 100 percent efficiency.

In my subjective opinion, the appearance of LHR video cards is more of a marketing ploy that should somehow reduce the flurry of criticism from the gaming community. We did not see truly radical and effective actions from AMD and NVIDIA in 2021, in contrast to the release of solutions specifically for miners. So, at the end of the year.

a 12-gigabyte version of the GeForce RTX 2060 went on sale – in Moscow it costs an average of 20,000 rubles more than a 6-gigabyte modification. For whom it came out – a rhetorical question, of course. It is known that next year there will be updated versions of the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, GeForce RTX 3080 and the new GeForce RTX 3090 It. Do you think these video cards will get a more reliable blocking from mining? No, of course not, because even Confucius said: “Double revenue is good, but triple revenue is even better.”

AMD decided not to take any action in defense of gamers and all those who need a powerful video card and who have no desire to somehow fight off its inadequate price in mining. I think the “reds” released the Radeon RX 6000 series in time: the new AMD adapters imposed competition on the GeForce RTX 30 series and finally returned to the High-End segment, despite the fact that they are technologically inferior to the competitor.