Hardware stub

HW News - RTX 30 Inventory Details, New RTX GPU, Intel Rocket Lake, & MSI's eBay Cards

Posted on October 15, 2020

Hardware news this past week has been busy, with the main coverage being AMD's Zen 3 CPUs (5000 series, like the 5950X, 5900X, 5600X, and 5800X), which we covered in a news piece previously. Following that, for this news recap, we've been updated on the MSI "scalping" story, RTX 3080 and 3090 inventory numbers for a European retailer, and how EVGA is still getting through day-one orders for the RTX 3080. Additional stories include Intel's quasi-announcement of Rocket Lake's timelines, NVIDIA's A6000 and A40 GPU specs, and Razer's cringe-worthy credit card.

02:47 | MSI Scalping Story Update

Last week, we did a quick livestream to discuss MSI’s sort-of first-party sales of 4 of its video cards at 2x MSRP on eBay. We already said everything we think about that story in the stream archive and won’t recap it here, but we do have an interesting update from one of the 4 customers.

MSI promised that it would offer a refund of the delta against MSRP or a full refund and order cancelation. After this offer was posted, we had one of the 4 buyers reach out to us and update us on the situation. The buyer said:

“Follow-up to the MSI ebay debacle. So without my asking, as of about five minutes ago, Starlit Partners has refunded me the difference between MSRP and the price originally posted. This would hopefully indicate an intent to ship the product. I have attached a screenshot of the change. As a footnote so pitchforks and torches aren't in my future: I decided to purchase this card at the higher price after NVIDIA made it clear that card shortages would last into 2021, which is beyond the point in which I would need it. I reluctantly went ahead with the purchase as the full cost of a 3090 had already been set aside for an upgrade and seeing how those are doing right now, I felt the 3080 would hold over just fine. Thank you for all you and the rest of the crew do for the PC community. Let me know if there's any other information about this that would help out.”

That viewer did update us a few days later. The update was that the viewer is having issues getting the card to properly boot and load drivers, and we are currently trying to help troubleshoot the issue and may involve MSI directly if it becomes evident that the card is the issue. It’s possible that this is a QC reject, but until we find out more, we can’t say.

That said, we did get an update from the viewer that showed a $496.88 refund on the original purchase, which brought the order total down to $801 shipped. In the least, MSI delivered on this promise. We’re trying to help the viewer get the card working, assuming it is within our power.

Source: GN viewer

06:58 | Danish Retail Store Lists RTX 30 Inventory Numbers

European retailer Proshop.de posted its RTX 30-series order requests and order intake in a more detailed insight to retail than we typically get. The retailer posted these numbers as a result of high volume of custom inquiries regarding the 30-series, and seemed hopeful that this transparency may help reduce requests relating to availability.

The company posted this statement:

“The interest in the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-Series is enormous. At Proshop, this generates a lot of questions regarding what cards we’ll get, how many we’ll get, and when they’ll arrive.Unfortunately, we – like most of the board partners – are unable to say anything with certainty. Our Category Managers are in almost daily contact with NVIDIA as well as the board partners such as ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, and Inno3d.”

The table is being updated regularly, and may be updated in between this video being filmed and it going live. These numbers are as of Monday the 12th. The “customer orders” column indicates outstanding customer orders, but does not include canceled orders. The “ordered from manufacturer” column is self-explanatory, as are “incoming cards” and “received.” Proshop makes it a point to say that “received” is not the number of cards received on one day, but rather the total since launch.

Starting with just orders, Proshop says that 341 RTX 3090s have been ordered, with the most popular being the 3090 Strix OC -- by massive margin -- and then the 3090 TUF after that. Some of this may be sample bias as to what the store promotes, as we’re not very familiar with Proshop. The RTX 3080s have 3625 outstanding orders -- or 9.6x the volume of the 3090 -- with the highest volume attributed to the 3080 TUF and TUF OC, making up 2000 units alone, followed by the MSI Gaming X Trio and Strix. ASUS seems popular with this particular retailer; note that regions impact these numbers too, as the US would have high volume of EVGA and ASUS, whereas EVGA is weaker in Europe. The RTX 3070s obviously have 0 orders as of now, seeing as they have not yet been posted for order.

As for the order volume, Proshop has ordered 6972 of the 3080 and 3090 cards, combined, with 5042 of those 3080s alone. Thus far, Proshop has received 78 units of RTX 3090 cards and 416 units of RTX 3080 cards, a total of 494 RTX 30 units. Proshop has therefore met 12.5% of its total demand, at 494 units shipped of 3966 units ordered. Unfortunately, without similarly transparent numbers for other launches -- like the PS5 or Xbox, for example -- it’s tough to know how this compares to other recent launches that have also sold out instantly. We’d like to see how far above or below the norm this figure is. This is the first set of truly detailed numbers we’ve seen from a retailer, though. We don’t expect many others to follow, but Mindfactory is most likely to provide its own figures next. The US retailers are typically quieter on order volume. Our thanks to our viewer Thorsten who sent this news tip to us -- if you have similar news tips, you can email tips [at] gamersnexus [dot] net.

Source: https://www.proshop.de/RTX-30series-overview

11:49 | EVGA Digital Queue System

EVGA has taken the RTX 30 launch as an opportunity to improve its first-party sales avenues. The company isn’t much of a retailer and has historically mostly used its store to dump b-stock, but it is filling the role rapidly as it experiences spill-over from retailers who can’t meet demand. Recently, EVGA added an auto-notify list to users accounts, so that users can take note of what cards they’ve applied for and whether they’ve received notice on availability. Because hundreds of cards will sell out in seconds right now, the standard auto notify implementation became useless: Typically, retailers will send a notify email right when stock is added, but that hasn’t been helpful with the 30 series. EVGA now adds you to a notify list, then it works its way down that list when cards are added; for example and using made-up numbers, if EVGA adds 100 cards to inventory, it will go down its list chronologically and notify the next 100 people on the list. Each of those people receives a unique URL that only works for that person, and that URL is active for 8 hours. 8 hours was chosen because EVGA believes it’s a reasonable amount of time where someone could receive the notice while working or sleeping and likely still have enough time to act after that period. If the card isn’t purchased within 8 hours, it’ll go back into the pool and go to the next person on the list.

This part is important if you’re trying to make sure you’re available for a notify: First off, EVGA has confirmed with us that it is still working through day-1 notifies, so it hasn’t even shipped through the 9/17 demand. Secondly, EVGA says it will only send the notifications between 9AM and 6PM pacific time, so you don’t need to monitor email outside of that window.

EVGA told GamersNexus that “demand far outweighs supply at this moment,” and further stated that, “in 15 years at EVGA, this product has the highest demand out of any of them that we’ve seen, but it doesn’t have the lowest supply out of them.”

Source: GN via EVGA

Source: https://twitter.com/EVGA_JacobF/status/1314077075028860934/photo/1

15:32 | NVIDIA RTX A6000 & A40 GPUs

To further split its silicon supply, NVIDIA announced about a week ago that it would be bringing new GPUs to market for non-gaming sectors. Annoyingly, literally the third word in its press release is “pandemic,” because we can’t just talk about GPUs for three words without talking about “in these unprecedented times.”

We’ll do the job for them, then, of talking about just the hardware:

The A6000 and A40 GPUs are the new ones. NVIDIA has built both on Ampere, and notes that both include RT cores and Tensor cores alongside the CUDA cores. The A6000 GPU has a blower cooler and appears to be a standard two-slot design. The A6000 specs page lists 48GB of GDDR6 non-X memory with ECC, 4 DisplayPort 1.4 outs, but has an option to disable them in software, it mentions max power consumption of 300W, PCIe Gen4 support, NVLink support, vGPU software support, and vGPU profiles from 1GB up to 48GB in divisions of 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8GB, and so on. Pricing has not officially been announced at this time.

As for the A40 GPUs, those require an EPS12V connector, similar to some existing Teslas, and also offer 48GB of GDDR6 memory with ECC. The A40 does not have an active cooler and requires external fans, often via a server chassis. The A40 also includes secure boot and root of trust features. This is also a 300W part.

Source: https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2020/10/05/nvidia-ampere-pro-graphics/

Specs of A6000: https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/design-visualization/quadro/rtx-a6000/

17:40 | Intel Announces Rocket Lake -- Sort of

In a post on Medium by Intel, the company sort of officially announced Rocket Lake, which has been the heavily delayed successor to Comet Lake and which was originally intended to socket into Z490 boards -- although that may not happen, at this point. Let’s play the “how soon do we talk about unprecedented times” game again: In competition with NVIDIA, who mentioned the words “coronavirus” and “pandemic” in 2 of the 3 first words, Intel uses the phrase “it’s been a challenging year” as its opening dependent clause. Intel then tries to identify with its non-robot audience by saying that gaming is an escape.

Intel spends another paragraph talking about gaming becoming more equitable and diverse, and that Intel is leading PC gaming. It then talks about DNA and how Intel is, in fact, human, and says a few things about Pentium CPUs and the mid-2000s.

We suffered through reading the whole post so that you wouldn’t have to: Many sentences that said shockingly little later, and after enduring a painful few minutes where we wondered how we got here, Intel says something important: “Rocket Lake is coming.”

Intel says that it’s going to happen and it will be stable. It also says, “Though as you’d expect, we’re constantly looking ahead at what’s next and how we can make our desktop CPUs even better. With that said, I’m also happy to confirm that the next generation 11th Gen Intel Core desktop processors (codenamed “Rocket Lake”) is coming in the first quarter of 2021 and will provide support for PCIe 4.0.”

Intel has probably done enough looking ahead for the next decade, given its 10nm and 7nm promises that fell flat, but we’ll take it. Intel then really dives into the details, saying “. It’ll be another fantastic processor for gaming, and we’re excited to disclose more details in the near future. There’s a lot more to come, so stay tuned!”

So... all that to say that, basically, check back in on Intel in 1Q21.

Source: https://medium.com/intel-tech/intels-commitment-to-gaming-and-a-sneak-peek-at-intel-technology-to-come-83677833be7f

21:07 | Razer Maxes-Out Cringe Limit with LED Credit Card

Razer last week announced its newest effort to dump waste into the world, this time by shoving LEDs into prepaid credit cards. Razer has seemingly learned that the next best way to aggressively commercialize its over-priced, on-the-nose gamer branding -- aside from selling toasters and water for gamers -- is to further gamify credit card rewards on burner cards. For example, if you want to completely obfuscate your spending in ways which become arcane and difficult to decipher, you can first invest into Razer’s prepaid card ecosystem, then use that card to buy something on its store for 5% cash back. Razer has not yet disclosed its reward tiers or what they may be. Actually, they sort of did -- but the image that says “exclusive beta rewards” also says in fine print that “products displayed in picture may not be reflective of actual prizes.”

We now have beta adopter rewards for credit cards.

We admire Razer’s full commitment to upholding cringeworthy levels of “gamer” in its product marketing, because the “beta” version of this prepaid credit card -- yes, that’s the point we’ve gotten to -- is limited to 1337 initial buyers.

In other news, we’re at a point where people are apparently willing to be an early adopter of a credit card that’s in beta. Nothing at all seems insecure or wasteful about this. But it does have a green LED in it, so we can all feel good about further complicating an otherwise simple transactional product in a way that’s designed to manipulate customer psychology to get that dopamine hit on every LED-illuminated purchase.

Source: https://www.razer.com/razer-card

23:35 | Answered: RTX 3090’s VRAM Can Run Crysis 

To close on a fun story, we learned via PC Gamer that twitter user @Strife212 used software called “GPU RAM Drive” to create a 15GB NTFS partition on their RTX 3090, then Strife installed Crysis 3 and played the game at 4K/High. The 24GB VRAM capacity on the RTX 3090 allows enough space to install the game and still play it. Strife took to reddit to explain that “I found it really funny” and said “the load times are pretty much the same as on a fast NVME drive.”

Source: https://www.pcgamer.com/you-can-install-and-run-crysis-3-on-a-geforce-rtx-3090s-vram/

Host, Editorial: Steve Burke
Video: Keegan Gallick, Andrew Coleman