Gaming

Nvidia is going to re-release discontinued GPUs to alleviate GTX 3080 shortages

It won't help gamers who want the best performance, though.

Smith Collection/Gado/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Nvidia has been unable to meet the insatiable demand for its latest 30-series graphics cards, so the company has found a temporary solution: it's bringing back older GPUs, the GTX 1050 Ti and RTX 2060.

Consumers have been spending a lot more money on at-home entertainment as a result of the pandemic, and new graphics cards that enable innovative ray-tracing graphics rendering in games are all the rage, leading to tight supply and desperate customers. Oh, and it doesn't help that unscrupulous scalpers have capitalized on the moment by scooping up inventory to mark it up to sky-high prices.

The RTX 2060 was released in 2019 and still supports ray tracing, though it won't be able to render high-resolution games at the same frame rates as the 30-series lineup. The GTX 1050 Ti, meanwhile, was released in 2016 and is quite a bit slower, but perhaps the thinking is that it will be sufficient for new PC gamers who want to play less-demanding games.

Nvidia's RTX 2060.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Capitalism, baby — Nvidia is able to find supply because the latest cards are built on an 8nm manufacturing process, whereas the older cards use a 12nm process. The latter can be pumped out more affordably since that process has long been established while the newer 8nm process is still relatively new and in high-demand. Few contract manufacturers are able to create chipsets on an 8nm process, with Taiwan's TSMC being the current leader.

But while these older cards were originally released at low prices — $140 for the GTX 1050 Ti and $350 for the RTX 2060 — the high demand for GPUs right now is also affecting them. Gizmodo reports the cards have been selling online for as high as $400 and $700 respectively.

Considering the older cards are a compromise in performance, you really might just sit this one out and wait for a newer RTX 30-series card to come available. Don't allow Nvidia to profit off your pain by buying an older GPU.