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Message boards : Graphics cards (GPUs) : Buy another Maxwell NOW or wait for Pascal

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Message 43092 - Posted: 27 Mar 2016 | 12:04:35 UTC
Last modified: 27 Mar 2016 | 12:05:57 UTC

What do you knowledgable people think.

New GTX980ti or wait? Held its price even though Pascal is due out soon.

PS, This forum used to be alive with debate but has slowed dramatically last 12 months. Core crunchers have remained stubbornly the same despite apparent new registrations everyday. What can we do?

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Message 43093 - Posted: 27 Mar 2016 | 14:51:29 UTC - in response to Message 43092.
Last modified: 27 Mar 2016 | 14:53:10 UTC

What do you knowledgable people think.

New GTX980ti or wait? Held its price even though Pascal is due out soon.

PS, This forum used to be alive with debate but has slowed dramatically last 12 months. Core crunchers have remained stubbornly the same despite apparent new registrations everyday. What can we do?



Well, the decision is mute for me, because I am already crunching with 980Ti cards, and the reason for that was because last September one of my 690 cards died after 2 and half years. So, the decision was made for me back then, to upgrade before the other cards died. That's is basics of the story. If I was still crunching with 690 cards, I would wait for the Pascals.

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Message 43094 - Posted: 27 Mar 2016 | 18:15:19 UTC - in response to Message 43092.
Last modified: 27 Mar 2016 | 18:32:54 UTC

New GTX980ti or wait? Held its price even though Pascal is due out soon.

Most of the GTX900 series cards have held their price really well since their release. While that's good if you have one and want to sell it, isn't a good thing if you want to buy a new one now!
I'm waiting for Generation Pascal (GP) before I buy anything else GPU but there are many considerations that people might regard in different amounts. Here are a few,

Pros of getting a GTX980Ti now:
The GTX980Ti is a great high-end/enthusiast card, works well and will likely function well for the foreseeable future (next 18months/2 years). The GTX980Ti was also a late release (end of run) so it might have more staying power than earlier big GM's such as the GTX980 and GTX970.
We don't know when a comparable Pascal GPU will turn up (could be next month or in 6 months) and when it does we don't know if it would immediately be compatible with the GPUGrid apps, or if the apps would need to be augmented to facilitate the new cards (highly likely IMO), or how long that would take (weeks or months).
To get the best out of a high end Pascal, you might need high end system (which haven't come out yet).

Cons:
A GTX980Ti is pricey, probably won't last as long as a comparable GP and will probably cost more over the next 2/3years in terms of power usage & performance/Watt. It will probably not hold it's value long after the release of an equivalent or better Pascal. Being likely to use more power it will keep your system hotter.

My guess is that smaller GP's will arrive before a comparable high end card (at least in the GTX line-up), but that's probably what I would initially be looking to buy anyway and then a mid-high end card a bit later (I'm not into enthusiast level cards).
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Message 43095 - Posted: 27 Mar 2016 | 22:16:14 UTC - in response to Message 43092.
Last modified: 27 Mar 2016 | 23:13:25 UTC

New GTX980ti or wait? Held its price even though Pascal is due out soon.

There's not enough information available yet to make a perfectly reasonable decision about this question.
If it's not "urgent" because of any other reason I would refrain from buying a new GTX980Ti (or any present GPU) from now on because any new card based on the Pascal architecture and the 16nm manufacturing process will be more energy efficient than the present cards. We don't know when the new high-end gaming cards will come out (it could even take months, but I hope it won't), but even the release of the smaller cards could decrease the price of the present high-end cards. However the "general" advice still stands: do not buy cards based on outdated technology for crunching, and on the brink of the release of the new series every present card is considered as outdated.

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Message 43096 - Posted: 28 Mar 2016 | 7:18:38 UTC

GTC2016 session listing:

S6176 - Deep Dive into NVIDIA's Latest Architectures

Mark Harris Senior Architect, GPU Computing, NVIDIA
Highly-Rated Speaker

Lars Nyland Senior Architect, NVIDIA
Highly-Rated Speaker

Level: All
Type: Talk
Tags: Supercomputing & HPC

Day: Tuesday, 04/05
Time: 13:00 - 13:50
Location: Grand Ballroom



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Message 43100 - Posted: 29 Mar 2016 | 2:07:41 UTC

If you buy a 980Ti now, you can look at it as an initial investment which you may be able to take advantage of later by selling it and using the money toward a new card.

For instance, I just sold two 750Ti cards and bought two 960s. Net, I paid $100 for two 960s. In a year or so, I plan to sell those and upgrade yet again. As long as you don't wait too long in between upgrade cycles, you can usually sell your older cards and not pay too much extra out of pocket for newer cards.

There's always a market. I put my 780Ti cards up for sale shortly before the 980Ti came out and they sold right away. I sold two 680s around the same time.

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Message 43101 - Posted: 29 Mar 2016 | 7:56:56 UTC - in response to Message 43100.

There's always a market. I put my 780Ti cards up for sale shortly before the 980Ti came out and they sold right away. I sold two 680s around the same time.

If you buy a 980Ti now, you can look at it as an initial investment which you may be able to take advantage of later by selling it and using the money toward a new card.

So you did exactly the opposite than what you are suggesting to others.
Extrapolating what you did with your 780Ti cards those who plan to upgrade now it's time to sell their GTX980Ti's not to buy one.

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Message 43103 - Posted: 29 Mar 2016 | 11:16:33 UTC - in response to Message 43101.

There's always a market. I put my 780Ti cards up for sale shortly before the 980Ti came out and they sold right away. I sold two 680s around the same time.

If you buy a 980Ti now, you can look at it as an initial investment which you may be able to take advantage of later by selling it and using the money toward a new card.

So you did exactly the opposite than what you are suggesting to others.
Extrapolating what you did with your 780Ti cards those who plan to upgrade now it's time to sell their GTX980Ti's not to buy one.


I guess you could look at it that way. I actually sold the 780Ti cards without any plan to upgrade anytime soon. For a while, all I was running on were the 750Ti cards. All I was trying to illustrate with that example is that every time I've put a card up for sale I had no problems selling it and one could then use the money to upgrade if one wishes.

Sorry for any confusion.

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Message 43104 - Posted: 29 Mar 2016 | 13:07:04 UTC

I have concluded that Nvidia is an expert at stringing people along. They release dribs and drabs of information to keep you interested, while delaying the card. Or at least I suspect it is being delayed; the 16 nm technology is hard enough to do in any case.

But it makes perfectly good sense: AMD provides them no real competition, and they will sell new cards mainly just to the upgrade market. So they are their own competition, and the Maxwell cards have done very well. Therefore, they have every incentive to wait until those sales drop off.

Pascal will come sometime this year, but who knows what version they will release first? At any rate, to make a long story short, I bought another GTX 980 a couple of months ago rather than wait for Pascal. But it depends on what your timeline is for upgrading. I am now inclined to skip Pascal entirely and wait for Volta.

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Message 43107 - Posted: 29 Mar 2016 | 14:39:36 UTC - in response to Message 43104.
Last modified: 29 Mar 2016 | 14:44:44 UTC

I have concluded that Nvidia is an expert at stringing people along. They release dribs and drabs of information to keep you interested, while delaying the card. Or at least I suspect it is being delayed; the 16 nm technology is hard enough to do in any case.

But it makes perfectly good sense: AMD provides them no real competition, and they will sell new cards mainly just to the upgrade market. So they are their own competition, and the Maxwell cards have done very well. Therefore, they have every incentive to wait until those sales drop off.

It's no wonder as they (all, not just NVidia) are profit-oriented companies, not social institutions.
However if there's no real competition (their new products compete against their previous products) then NVidia could sell the new series at a higher (1.5x~2x) price than the previous ones, while keeping the old series on the market at the same price, so there's no point in delaying the release of the new series. In reality (usually) the old card's price drops immediately at the new card's release even if there's no significant competition from other manufacturers, so they are waiting for the stockpiles to deplete (that could be the business side of the delay). As the PC market is declining, it takes more time than before. Perhaps they know that they are selling their cards over and over again for the same crowd, that's why it takes longer every time. Besides I'm sure they are powering the next generation supercomputers with their new chip for different organizations called by three letters, and the professional GPGPU market comes only second, and the gaming market comes only third.

Pascal will come sometime this year, but who knows what version they will release first? At any rate, to make a long story short, I bought another GTX 980 a couple of months ago rather than wait for Pascal. But it depends on what your timeline is for upgrading. I am now inclined to skip Pascal entirely and wait for Volta.

If the leaked specifications will turn out to be true, then Pascal will be a bigger step in energy efficiency than Maxwell was. Depending on the local electricity prices it's probably worth it to upgrade to Pascal. Perhaps Volta will be delayed too, as it gets harder to shrink the minimal feature size while maintaining the yield.
I'm in the same shoes as I've just finished upgrading my cards to Maxwell, soon I have to begin upgrading to Pascal.

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Message 43110 - Posted: 29 Mar 2016 | 18:04:06 UTC - in response to Message 43107.

It's no wonder as they (all, not just NVidia) are profit-oriented companies, not social institutions.

If they were a social institution, they would not be using cutting-edge technology to make the most advanced GPUs in the world. As for maximizing their profits, they are far better at that than you or I, which is how they stay in business (and conversely, AMD is not so good at it).

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Message 43112 - Posted: 30 Mar 2016 | 6:37:57 UTC

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Message 43113 - Posted: 30 Mar 2016 | 13:39:37 UTC - in response to Message 43112.

@sic (?)
-All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Anyways, it seems with Intel for example, the past generation CPU's dont fall much in price sadly. I don't follow Nvidia's pricing much, but I doubt they will fall much in price either :(

I'd like these Pascals, but I can't warrant buying a high power card really, so I'll have to stick to a 970 equivalent, when Pascal arrives some day (which is still fairly high powered). BTW these 970's sell like warm bread here used, so it would be possible to get rid of it for a reasonably price, and then upgrade.

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Message 43115 - Posted: 30 Mar 2016 | 15:24:07 UTC - in response to Message 43104.
Last modified: 30 Mar 2016 | 15:25:27 UTC

I have concluded that Nvidia is an expert at stringing people along. They release dribs and drabs of information to keep you interested, while delaying the card.

Marketing is really important to NV. They have to get the releases right from a business point of view and to that end timing is key.

AMD provides them no real competition, and they will sell new cards mainly just to the upgrade market. So they are their own competition, and the Maxwell cards have done very well. Therefore, they have every incentive to wait until those sales drop off.

AMD competes with NV on the gaming front, from entry level to high-end/enthusiast level. Intel compete at the entry level and mobile gaming market (to some extent) with their more recent integrated GPU's, but their i-GPU's are not competitive with NV's and AMD's mid-range discrete GPU's never mind their high end/enthusiast cards.
Much of the scientific research performed en silico tends to occur on the high end Tesla's in clusters, but some also use high end AMD cards for Open CL based research. Distributed Computing differs in that it predominantly uses gaming GPU's for scientific research.
If NV and AMD wait too long, other companies will seize the opportunity; to remain 'competitive' both AMD and NV need to adopt and facilitate new standards and technologies. This time round the battlefield will be 4K and greater functionality. As AMD are going with 14nm (NV 16nm) there will be a greater difference in underlying technology which might allow others to bed themselves into niche market areas and subsequently expand as the edges of the bastions of computing blur ever further into each other.

Pascal will come sometime this year, but who knows what version they will release first? At any rate, to make a long story short, I bought another GTX 980 a couple of months ago rather than wait for Pascal. But it depends on what your timeline is for upgrading.

My guess is that low to mid range gaming cards will appear first along with mobile versions, as those are the biggest market areas and NV did that the last time round with the GTX750Ti and GTX750. The high end GTX970 and GTX980 followed some time after with extra-high end/enthusiast GTX980Ti only appearing after their pseudo-professional card, the Titan X ;p
If the GP release follows suite then there will not be a direct replacement for the GTX980Ti for some time (perhaps Sept or later), but it's likely that a lesser equivalent would be as powerful. IMO there is a decent chance something along the lines of a GP GTX1070 will turn up shortly after the release of the smaller cards and match/outperform a GTX980Ti. The problem with that is the cost of a GTX980Ti is high and would likely fall significantly. >$600 for a GPU that is likely to be out of date within a year doesn't make sense. Better to sell what you have while the return is high and buy early-ish (after the apps work) when GP turns up.

I am now inclined to skip Pascal entirely and wait for Volta.

Don't do that!
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Message 43116 - Posted: 30 Mar 2016 | 15:30:16 UTC - in response to Message 43113.

Anyways, it seems with Intel for example, the past generation CPU's dont fall much in price sadly. I don't follow Nvidia's pricing much, but I doubt they will fall much in price either :(

That is all too true, since the cost of building new fabrication lines has gone through the roof, and can only continue to go up. And each succeeding generation of processing technology will take longer to arrive. I would not be surprised if Nvidia built Volta on the same 16 nm process that they will use for Pascal, in much the same way that Maxwell uses the same 28nm process as Kepler. Otherwise, it will take even longer for Volta to arrive. But that decision may not have even been made yet, and will depend on what TSMC can do for them.

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Message 43117 - Posted: 30 Mar 2016 | 17:40:42 UTC - in response to Message 43116.

Anyways, it seems with Intel for example, the past generation CPU's dont fall much in price sadly. I don't follow Nvidia's pricing much, but I doubt they will fall much in price either :(

That is all too true, since the cost of building new fabrication lines has gone through the roof, and can only continue to go up. And each succeeding generation of processing technology will take longer to arrive. I would not be surprised if Nvidia built Volta on the same 16 nm process that they will use for Pascal, in much the same way that Maxwell uses the same 28nm process as Kepler. Otherwise, it will take even longer for Volta to arrive. But that decision may not have even been made yet, and will depend on what TSMC can do for them.

CPU performance hasn't went up much in recent years - That's why the prices of older CPU's remain high.
Even the 'jump' from 22nm to 14nm didn't bring any out and out performance improvements for 24/7 environments. Most gains came from power reductions and some of the new instruction sets, which came with issues/at a cost. An i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz is only ~15% 'faster' than an i7-3770K @3.5GHz (released almost 4 years ago). In terms of clock for clock performance, they are basically the same. CPU crunching has only improved a little over the last few years as people upgrade their systems to the 2011 level.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/551?vs=1555
Unfortunately, Intel was working a lot on their i-GPU's and almost totally ignored the gaming community. If you want a real example of competing with yourself, that's Intel for the last 5 years. By the end of this year, hopefully AMD will have its act together and be selling cheap 14nm CPU's that are competitive.
GPU's still have some way to go before performance stops improving.

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