Public service announcement

GTX 1080

Reading an article on Destructoid of all places, I was made aware of a bizarre situation involving video cards, and thought I would pass it along here.

NVidia recently released a powerhouse graphics card known as the GTX 1080. Before this card, their flagship was the Titan, a very powerful card that ran about $1000. The new 1080 is significantly faster, quieter, and most importantly, much cheaper at around $699. That’s still a lot, I know, but it’s a beast of a card. I have one in my office machine, which is beyond overkill. I can run Word documents So fast!

GTX 1080 in my office PC

GTX 1080 in my office PC

So of course people scrambled to buy one. I did. It’s a powerful card, able to push multiple monitors at 4k and games in full detail without the need for three Titans, which would cost more by themselves than it would to buy even the most powerful gaming machines.

But as with anything, the rush caused a curious chain of events. First, they sold out everywhere. When things sell out rapidly, jackass entrepreneurs see an opportunity to gouge, and started selling them on eBay and Amazon at wildly inflated prices. You can see it in the images below from Amazon and Ebay, where some enterprising citizens are selling them for as much as $1400! I did see a couple that were going for the correct price, but they were rare.

1080 on Amazon

1080 on Amazon

1080 on ebay

1080 on ebay

So what’s the problem? People are allowed to exploit a product shortage, they’ve been doing it throughout history. And likewise, people are allowed to pay those inflated prices, or not, and wait for stock to replenish, which it will, and the prices will settle down.

The problem, then, is the effect on card manufacturers. Notice the reviews in the Amazon image above. They’re not good. Which is odd, because the cards themselves are great. Not only that, everyone knows they’re great. So why the bad reviews? They’re not for the card, they’re for the gouging. The problem is, if someone isn’t that familiar with the situation, they may see these reviews and think the cards aren’t that great, and sales will be lost.

I don’t know if that will happen, or what effect the negative reactions have had, but the poor reviews for what enthusiasts know is a good product may serve to backfire in the long run. It may not, but there’s a risk there. That leads to the actual public service announcement I’m making – the GTX 1080s are good cards. GREAT cards. Well-priced, comparatively, and I would recommend anyone who is thinking of getting one to do so. Don’t be swayed by the reviews, they are for the sellers, not the cards themselves. And stock will return soon; don’t pay these outrageous prices. Let everything fall out and then you can play Fallout in glorious max res / max detail as it was meant to be played – On a Fallout 4 PC! Or even a Fallout 3 PC. Or my favorite, the Vault Boy PC.

We see price gouging when food supplies are low, or on flowers around Valentine’s day, or even on game consoles around the holidays. But video cards? That’s a new one for me.

What a time to be alive!

Going Up