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HW News - Investigating Dying 2080 Tis, 1080 Ti Stock Almost Gone

Posted on November 4, 2018

Hardware news coverage has largely followed the RTX 2080 Ti story over the past week, and it's one of dying cards of unknown quantities online. We have been investigating the issue further and have a few leads on what's going on, but are awaiting for some of the dead cards to arrive at our office before proceeding further. We also learned about Pascal stock depletion, something that's been a curious topic when given the slow uptake on RTX.

Further news items include industry discussion on Intel's outsourcing to TSMC, its hiring of former AMD graphics staff, and dealings with 14nm shortages. Only one rumor is present this week, and that's of the nearly confirmed RX 590.

GTX 1080 Ti Stock Almost Gone

GamersNexus has heard through multiple industry sources that US-based supply of GTX 1080 Tis is dwindling, with manufacturers running low on inventory of the previous flagship. The GTX 1080 Ti Pascal GPU is no longer in production, so we would not expect a refill of stock in the future. The high-end GTX cards will soon be supplanted by the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti cards, although the second-hand market is still flush with cards from ex-miners. Given that the 1080 Ti is NVIDIA’s biggest competition to its own 2080, this shift in availability will be interesting to observe for its impact on pricing, if there is any.

Separately, we’ve heard that hardware manufacturers are trying to pull-in inventory to fill Stateside warehouses prior to the tariff increase in January. Anything that comes in ahead of the tariff increase will dodge the charges. This affects nearly every company in the US market.

Investigation: Dead 2080 Ti Testing

We’re asking for your dead 2080 Tis on loan, if you have them.

Digital Trends reported last week that early RTX 2080 Ti adopters were facing die-off issues. Comments on Reddit and Nvidia’s forum range from bricked cards, crashes and artifacts, BSODs, and CTDs. What’s more, some are reporting that after going through the RMA process with NVIDIA, the replacement cards are faring no better, suggesting a component-level defect. When we asked NVIDIA to comment, the company noted that it is working with individuals on a per-card basis, but is not seeing wide-spread issues. Talking to all of our board partner contacts off-record, none of them have reported higher RMA requests than normally. We trust our contacts on these and spoke with nearly everyone in the market. The most common RMA reasons haven’t changed from previous generations, and actual RMA rate is exceptionally low right now. Some board partners are at under 0.01%, which is just because these devices are so new that no one has even had a chance to encounter serious problems yet.

The problem seems to me somewhat concentrated to FE RTX 2080 Ti models, but there have been users with Gigabyte and ASUS cards who have come forward with similar issues.

Speaking with two of our SI contacts, we heard similar responses: Neither company has seen abnormal RMAs for these devices.

We’ve seen a lot of theories on this: Some of them stem around memory overheating, but we haven’t been able to validate this yet. We published thermal data for our 2080 Ti on the review date and found that GDDR6 thermals never exceeded 81 degrees Celsius on the hottest module. That doesn’t mean it can’t, but we haven’t seen it yet. We noticed that NVIDIA uses different thermal pads on its cards when we tore-down the launch models, so one area of speculation might be thermal pad contact with the cooler. That vapor chamber blocks all air access to the PCB, leaving no backup plan if there’s missing component contact. Still, this is just speculation. Instead of speculating endlessly, and we could easily do that, we’re asking you to contact us if you have a dead or dying 2080 Ti so that we can analyze it. You can email us at [email protected] with information on your card, what it’s doing, and what country you live in. This will help us bring in more defects. We will pay for shipping both ways and will send some GN merch back with the card once we’re done testing. If you have any questions about what our plan is for the hardware, please feel free to email them along.

Thus far, our reddit thread has garnered about 5 dead 2080 Ti samples, at time of this video going up. We’re still looking for more to try and find a correlation between serial numbers on the components, the PCBs, GPU markers, and behavior. We’ll also be troubleshooting whether the issue is thermal by blasting cards with air or using waterblocks, as this will eliminate the cooler from the equation. We’re hopeful that we can start to narrow-down the cause of problems. NVIDIA has not shared more information than the statement earlier noted.

Reddit thread by GN:

Initial report by DigitalTrends:

Intel Poaches More AMD Talent

Darren McPhee now joins the growing list of former AMD talent Intel has recruited to get its discrete GPU business off the ground. According to McPhee’s Twitter, he has joined Intel as their Director of Product Marketing for Discrete Graphics.

McPhee joined AMD when the company acquired ATI Technologies, and served as Product Manager. McPhee is in good company, with the likes of Raja Koduri, Chris Hook, and Jim Keller, all formerly of AMD. Technical analyst and former tech reviewer Ryan Shrout also joined the ranks, leaving PC Per to become a Chief Strategist at Intel.


SSD Prices Could Hit $0.08 Per GB in 2019

In a new report from Digitimes, NAND prices are expected to continue their downward trend in 2019. That’s likely not news to anyone who’s been following our HW News installments. However, what is news is that projections are calling for prices to be as low as 0.08 cents per GB.

Expanded production capacity as well as the adoption of 96-layer NAND is expected to give way to much cheaper storage.

Checking Amazon to confirm, we found 250GB Crucial MX500 SSDs for cheap, and that’s a decent SSD. Samsung’s 860 EVOs are also available at around $0.24 per gigabyte at 250GB. 1TB SSDs have been in the $150 range lately, which is also a massive move in price. We’ll link some affordable SSDs in the description for those who want to pick them up now. That said, it really doesn’t look like prices will be going up anytime soon, so no need to panic purchase.


Rumor: RX 590 Faster vs. 1060, Could Release in November

Rumors have been circulating regarding AMD’s latest polaris refresh, and we reported on the rumored RX 590 last week after it landed in the 3DMark database. Now, the RX 590 has shown up on Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV benchmark score board.

At various resolutions, the RX 590 comes in anywhere from 6 to 9 percent faster than the competing GTX 1060 6GB. This would appear to be a more realistic performance compared to other rumors, even though Final Fantasy XV’s benchmark is far from ideal.

Additionally, the RX 590 could release as soon as November for a price of $300. The rumors and leaks have suggested a 12nm shrink, but no architecture change. This means slightly higher clocks and power efficiency would be the chief upgrades.  


TSMC Now Making Intel Celeron, Atom, and Pentium CPUs

DigiTimes reports that amidst Intel’s manufacturing crisis, the company is offloading its bottom-end SKUs to TSMC. This comes after Intel made it known TSMC would be fabricating some of their low-end chipsets to help free-up fab space for high-demand 14nm silicon. As TechPowerUp notes, Digitimes does not expressly name that TSMC has the fab to which the parts are being outsourced, but TSMC is currently the only fab to meet Intel’s criteria.


ASUS Launches New TUF Gaming Laptops

ASUS is taking preorders for their latest “TUF” series of gaming notebooks. These models are the TUF FX505 and TUF FX705. Interestingly, both of the new models conform to the MIL-STD-810G standard, which is a military testing standard that requires devices to withstand harsh or extreme conditions.

As such, ASUS claims the new laptops can withstand solar radiation, high altitude, and extreme climate exposure. The new TUF models will ship with Coffee Lake mobile parts, 144Hz IPS panels, and GTX 10-series GPUs. Check out the product pages for more specs.  


Walmart Tries to Break Into PC Market

Walmart, not content to be left out of any market, has partnered with ESports Arena to bring their own gaming PC line to market. Dubbed Overpowered, Walmart’s line of gaming machines will comprise one desktop and a pair of laptops.

The desktop will offer an i7-8700, a GTX 1080, 32GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and a 2TB HDD. It will reportedly go for $1,900. The laptops will come in 15” and 17” variants, offering 144Hz screens (with unknown panel types), 10-series GPUs (1050 or 1060), and either an i5-8300H or i7-8750H. Prices are $1000 for the 15”, while the 17” is $1,700.

While the specs don’t suck, it’s hard to say the same for those prices.