Okay just bear with me. You’re walking out of the computer electronics store with your new Nvidia 1050 Ti graphics card, breathing some nice fresh air when suddenly a masked individual emerges from a portal to confront you. “We’ve come for the 1050 Ti technology,” they demand in a desperate, dangerous tone. This all sounds quite strange doesn’t it? So I have to ask you, what is going on in 2021 where we need Nvidia to supply 4+ year old 1050 Ti GPUs to meet demand?
According to a retailer that spoke with Tech Yes City, the Nvidia Pascal-based GTX 1050 Ti is coming back to fill stock in the graphics card market. It sounds absolutely absurd (and it is), but it does make sense when you dig into what it takes to make the component.
A large part of the current supply shortages has to do with production capacity limitations on cutting edge processes. AMD and apparently Nvidia each face limitations with how many cards they produce. These limitations are tied to substrate shortages, booking capacity (for TSMC 7nm and Samsung 8nm silicon wafers), and even a lack of GDDR6 memory availability. Graphics cards are complex pieces of hardware that require a lot of different components to be made. Even just one issue can immediately constrict production. In this case, however, it’s more like a perfect storm that has resulted in this consumer disaster.
Going beyond Turing
You may recall that we reported on the apparent return of the Nvidia RTX 2060 and 2060 Super last month. This move could have been for several reasons. Nvidia could have seen it as an opportunity to sell leftover GPU supply. Alternately, the decision could have been made to produce more die on the older 12nm node that should now be in less demand. However, Nvidia still requires GDDR6 memory to make its RTX 2000 Series cards. Enter the GTX 1000 Series.
Taking things back to the Pascal days means several issues are now removed from the manufacturing dilemma. Not only do the older designs pair up to 16nm, but they also work with GDDR5 memory. Furthermore, Pascal is the most-produced architecture that Nvidia has ever conceived. Back during the first crypto-boom, it was pumping these GPUs out like there was no tomorrow and cashing in on it all the same. The company actually ended up with a huge surplus back in 2018, and it’s not entirely clear if it ever managed to move all of the old inventory.
An opportunity for Nvidia?
This could be why we’re now seeing the return of the 1050 Ti, despite how dated it is. If this is the case and Nvidia is finally able to find interest in the old supply, Jensen is probably more than ecstatic to bring back the 1050 Ti. The budget cards are indeed on sale from vendors across the web, though even these fetch some harrowing prices. The 1050 Ti might find a market though for those who just want to buy something without hassle.
The 1050 Ti doesn’t exactly fit the bill these days in terms of running the latest games, but those who don’t need anything fancy can still at least opt for the card as a temporary measure to run 1080p 60 in a number of titles. It’s all madness if you ask us, but things clearly aren’t getting better anytime soon when it comes to Nvidia GPU supply. If Intel or AMD would like to step in, the world may be about ready.