Will Claney, Tech Talk

Understanding the drive for high-end video cards

Will Claney, Tech TalkCONCORD, CA (Jan. 26, 2022) — Are you one of “those people” who needs the latest and greatest computer components, or are you just wondering about the high-priced hype?

The most sought after, and most expensive, component is the video card (adaptor). But if you are budget-minded, can it adversely affect your computer performance?

The current worldwide shortage of very high-end video cards puts pressure on prices. Extreme high-end graphic adaptors, whose primarily design is for game play, may be overkill if you play games no more demanding than solitaire. Appropriate uses for such power and the three to four grand price include graphic designs, photo and video editing, auto CAD and other applications with demanding video outputs.

Understanding the drive for high-end video cards
Good luck finding Nvidia’s RTX 390 card for less than $3,500 due to shortages and the overenthusiastic demand.

Professionals and gamers are demanding these things, and shortages are driving up prices.

One of the most popular card manufacturers is Nvidia. Its flagship RTX 3090 card has a manufacturer suggested retail price of $1,500, but good luck finding one for less than $3,500 due to shortages and the overenthusiastic demand.

Crypto mining and high-end games

The two largest factors driving the demand for these devices is crypto mining and high-end games. This card, and others like it, can create crypto coins out of thin air – with the help of lots of electricity.

According to Bing, crypto mining “is the method of acquiring cryptocurrency via the use of computers to solve cryptographic equations.” The process of crypto mining “entails verifying data blocks and adding transaction records to a publicly accessible (ledger), referred to as a Blockchain.”

Gamers are buying these high-end cards for only one reason – bragging rights. (And ray tracing, but that’s an article for another time.)

I hate to burst your bubble, but a RTX 3090 is overkill for all but a very few games. Most extreme video games are Internet-based, and your play with the game is dependent on your Internet speed. Anything over a mid-range video card is overkill. It only ensures bragging rights for your rig.

If you are not a braggadocios person, then skip the expense and get a nice mid-range card like the GTX 1650 for less than $400. This level of performance is not only good for games, but it’s a perfect fit for non-gamers.

However, if you are one of “those people” who wants the swag at any price, then I have a deal for you.

Now go do the right thing. Then brag about it.

Will Claney
Will Claney

William Claney is an independent tech writer and former owner of Computers USA in the Clayton Station. Email questions or comments to willclaney@gmail.com.