back to article Nvidia keeping mum on outlook for year as data centre slows, channel chokes on crypto crap

It might be a new financial year for Nvidia but familiar problems still dog the GPU specialist: the channel remains filled with too much stock and some hyperscale cloud providers aren't opening their wallets. The company reported revenue of $2.2bn for Q1 of fiscal ’20 ended 28 April, this was down a monster 31 per cent year-on …

  1. Ragarath Silver badge

    Gaming revenue dived

    Not surprised seeing that they are asking a stupid f-ton of money for a decent graphics card and did not reduce old stock prices expecting the crypto currency craze to help them out in this area.

    I know one person that purchased one of their new cards but for most of the games people play they've not added much value at all for the significant price increase.

    You're not going to make much if you price out your core users in that area which is the younger generation that do not have the spare cash. Streamers are not representative of the core users.

    Personally I'm waiting for Navi to hopefully bring reasonable prices.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gaming revenue dived

      Kinda. They know and have always been able to just put more silicone (double GPU, or in this case massive chips or added cores in the form of RTX/CUDA/etc) and charge more. That's a "skies the limit" product right there. So comparing the top only card/offering misses some of the point.

      It's more that their middle of the range/old stock/new releases are just not showing a reason for price or buyers to get it. Little of an upgrade, or little of a financial reward. 1080ti performs the same as a 2080 would, buy minus the currently unused raytracing (except 3 games) features. So you'd be paying more, for little to no return. Plus if prices don't drop, little reason to upgrade for the small performance boost. Early adopters get little to nothing in return until any games/engines support it.

      Meanwhile, AMD are sneaking up on them. Well, possibly not, unless they do the same with the GPUs they are with the CPUs and make a killing on an architecture jump/leap. They were hoping HBM would be their "chiplets" strategy. Sadly it was not.

      1. jonathan keith

        Re: Gaming revenue dived

        Navi's launch in (hopefully) July is likely to put the cat well and truly among the pigeons. Thank $deity that nVidia and Intel finally have some competition from AMD again.

      2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: Gaming revenue dived

        They also have a problem with people like me. I currently only have a 1050ti (Had a 750ti before that but started to get some artificats on textures otherwise probably would still be using it) as I have a 1080p monitor. I actually havent really felt the need to get a new monitor, so the 1050ti is more than powerful enough.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Gaming revenue dived

          Same. Just I've upgraded to a low profile card so I can fit it in a tiny case. Wish the 1080 or 2080 could. Lol.

        2. ds6 Bronze badge

          Re: Gaming revenue dived

          I still have a 1020. When it dies I'm going whole-hog AMD, mostly because their Linux and Vulkan compatibility is growing impressive.

          1. Portent

            Re: Gaming revenue dived

            Same here. I went with a Vega 64 last year and have no need to upgrade any time soon. But if I did then I'd stick with AMD because of their support for open architectures (freesync, although I know NV now support that too) and open source drivers in the Linux kernel.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Gaming revenue dived

          Not only you.

          Many people are shocked by the ridiculous prices of 20X0 cards vs. performance.

          That's why they don't upgrade and leave it to their old cards. I'm on a 970, and it's still doing well.

          The day the upper cards are under 500 E, I'll consider upgrading, but not before.

          1. renniks

            Re: Gaming revenue dived

            Same here - on the 970, and I am not interested in 4K. I recently bought a new 27" screen, and only went for a 1080 capable one, as it was way cheaper than the equivalent 27" 4K model.

  2. Ropewash

    to 2080 or not to 2080

    It doesn't help that software other than a few game devs didn't see any SDK's for the rtx until what? April? Of 2019?

    Not a great way to launch a card, leaving out the entire workstation market like that.

    I gambled on the 2080 gaining traction as a rendering card and am yet to see any payoff.

    It's a great card, no doubt, but a 1080 right now is better bang for the buck until the code catches up to the hardware.

    Definitely not going to plonk for the rtx quatro until seeing how much difference the rt can really make.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: to 2080 or not to 2080

      We found a MSI version of 2080 on offer for cheaper than a 1080ti.

      However, we are now facing a CPU upgrade to get the most out of the card.

      1. Cederic Bronze badge

        Re: to 2080 or not to 2080

        The problem is that the 1080 was already more than capable at 1440p and the 2080ti still doesn't cut the mustard at 4k. There just isn't a market segment in which it's a sensible purchase.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You sold your soul

    to sell to bitcoin wankers. So they are they making you such money now?

    Ah diddumms. Maybe you should have stuck by your gaming people instead of sellimg to (at inflated prices) bitcoin tossers.

    Kharma is a bitch

    Cheers... Ishy

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: You sold your soul

      Not just bitcoin wankers, AI seems to be getting more popular on the domestic front if only people learning about it. As far as I can tell an £80 Coral USB dongle which can be driven from a RaspberryPi outperforms a £300 graphic card that needs a similar priced PC to host it.

      1. Cederic Bronze badge

        Re: You sold your soul

        What are the home AI uses for such a device?

        1. msroadkill

          Re: You sold your soul

          A PA for Alexa.

  4. cirby

    Pricing

    The first thing they need to do is drop prices at least 10%, probably 20%.

    The RTX line of cards is pretty neat, but the price differential over the 10x0 series is too much.

    Until they get enough games and other software to support the RTX features, they're just higher-priced versions of similar cards.

  5. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    No tears here

    Drop the card prices............ who has the cash for a £800+ video card... hell I was waiting for the 1080ti to drop to 400 before buying

    Lower prices mean lots of people may want to look at upgrading/new PC, rather than soldiering on with an older machine.

    But..... if you current card runs Elite dangerous in ultra mode..... what point is there in upgrading?

  6. CheesyTheClown

    Alienating their core?

    So, gaming cards are twice as expensive as they should be.

    V100 is WAY more expensive than it should be... and it is cheaper to spend more developer hours optimizing code for consumer GPU then to use V100 which is a minimum of four times as expensive as they should be... at least to justify the CapEx for the cards. If the OpEx for consumer GPU is way lower than the V100 cost, why would I buy 10 V100s rather than 100 GeForce?

    Then there’s Grid.. I don’t even know where to start on that. If you use Grid, there is no possible way to justify the cost. It is so insanely expensive that absolutely every ROI or TCO excuse you have to run virtualized evaporated instantly with Grid. Grid actually increase TCO by a LOT and you can’t even force nVidia to sell it to you. I mean really, you knock on their door begging to buy Grid for 1000 nodes and they don’t answer emails, they refuse to demo... I mean... sitting there with cash in hand waving it under their nose and looking for a dotted line to sign on and they blow you off.

    They are too busy to bother with... well customers.

    You know... they deliver to important customers like Microsoft, Amazon and Google. They don’t need the rest of us.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Alienating their core?

      But look at what is happening in their traditional markets - gamers are moving to consoles, the midrange gamers that used to cover the costs of the next generation of cards don’t as the majority have a GPU and one or more HD screens and don’t have the resources or justification to spend more. In the meantime, the low end is being killed off by Intels builtin GPUs.

      Crypto may have given them a few more unexpected years of boom times, but custom hardware and low crypto prices has killed that while cloud providers moving to their own ML hardware makes that a market that’s getting tougher too, particularly when cloud providers appear to be waiting for real cpu improvements before renewing hardware.

      I suspect the 2080 was a risk at a biggest/best type product, hoping the crypto market hadn’t peaked and introducing a new feature to drive another generation of card sales to gamers. Instead it missed the end of the crypto boom and showed they should have waited 9 months for 7nm for a real upgrade.

      Easy to say in hindsight, but I’m sure nVidia knew the performance wasn’t where it needed to be to justify a new card launch with 7nm so close and raytracing wasn’t going to win them next gen console designs.

      The next 12 months will be interesting - if the Win10 upgrade cycle doesn’t help nVidia and Navi is ok but proves to be very cost competitive, we may see a new, much smaller nVidia, a longer upgrade cycle to justify the design costs and the real beginning of the end of PC gaming.

    2. Starace Silver badge

      Re: Alienating their core?

      Grid and their 'pro' products are a stupid rip off, the pricing is bad enough then you hit the licensing.

  7. quxinot Silver badge

    Am I the only one....?

    Read article whilst laughing so hard that the tears rolled down my cheeks?

    Poor NVidia. Poor, poor you. You may have to bring your prices in line with what a non-crypto market is willing to bear, and actually have enough worthwhile products available to buy! You know, like in the old days, when you made video cards that were used as display adapters.

    1. whitepines Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Am I the only one....?

      I'm also enjoying the sweet, sweet schadenfreude here. Not because of pricing per se, but because nVidia's attitude to developers and especially open source. Too many times I've had to waste weeks of company time on projects in the past because nVidia decided it wanted to play God and mandate from on high "you shall use our signed (buggy as hell) firmware, drivers, and CUDA stack, you shall pay for software licensing on top of the hardware itself, and you shall not use the cards in any way we don't want you to".

      Even the basic information required to use their cards in a system they haven't blessed is locked away behind NDAs that make Intel's famous NDAs look tame -- if it's available at all. Things like which register bits to set to make the chips perform correctly, since most of them ship out of the box in a mode that is non-PCIe-compliant but some type of deal was worked with Intel/AMD so it seems to sorta kinda work anyway to the layman. And did I mention the payments needed if they even deign to provide any info under NDA?

      This is a company that has a serious God complex, thinks that people will come crawling bent over to beg to pay for their hardware and software, and to top it all off consistently releases mandatory drivers with remote exploits and shoddy coding at the kernel or root userspace level. After actively preventing development of anything else with signature checking harwdare so that they can sell expensive, time limited driver and application stack licenses.

      Karma's a bitch. The faster nVidia dies off the better for literally everyone that isn't Microsoft or Intel.

  8. HamsterNet

    Mining!

    Not sure why they thought the RTX woudl be good for mining anyways.

    Vega has any Nvida card smashed in Hash per $, Vega Vii is the king, as GPU mining is usually limited by Memory bandwidth. 1TBs HBM2 on Vii compared to 616GB/s on a 2080ti (even a moderatly overclocked memeory on a old Vega 64 has more memeory bandwidth than a 2080Ti).

    So ridiculously overpriced RTX series not fit for mining, even if ETH price was still high, Gamers getting not a lot more for 2x the price. But will they do the sensible thing and drop the margins to clear the stock? Nope they will just delay launching anything new untill the old crap is gone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mining!

      As far as I am aware, the RTX models were never aimed at mining - they were targeting ML/CUDA applications with professional products with a few given to gamers as a teaser for next gen and premium margins.

      nVidia's mining issues came from pushing a LOT of 1060's into the channel (days of inventory jumped from 15 days in Jan 2018 to 125 days in Jan 2019) in the hope they would move - they didn't... On top of this, they had planned to launch the 2060, but the large inventory meant they had to hold off.

      I suspect it was optimism on nVidia's that if the crypto prices had continued to skyrocket then every budget gamer or chancer would have fitted a new midrange GPU to get that easy money.

  9. Thunderpants

    The PC gaming market seems to be in general decline anyway. Activision Blizzard for one said they were looking to the mobile market going forward and I can see this being reflected by the other major game development houses as time goes on. There will always be PC die-hards (I am one) but even I baulk at cost fo the RTX cards and if my view is similar to others, there won't be enough people willing to spend on high-end cards to make them viable.

  10. adam payne Silver badge

    Gaming revenue dived 39 per cent on the year ago period to $1.05bn.

    Revenue for gaming has gone down because the newest cards are so expensive no one in the right mind would buy one. From £1000 anywhere up to £1600 for a graphics card is insane.

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