It has recently come to our attention that the availability of these highly clocked, insanely good performing cards are rather rare and a little difficult to find on the market. We’ve come up with a speculation as to why this might be. The reasons, which TechPowerUp uncovered recently, may have something to do with that.
The samples which were being sent out for review by a number of manufacturers were shipping with (sometimes) significantly higher clock speeds than the retail samples. What’s the reason? Well, one would guess that the reason is to get it to top the charts and then to make every man, dog, and pet furball rush out to buy that particular card. The reality of it is, though, that those incredibly highly clocked GPUs are stupidly difficult to attain high yields from. In fact, we have heard from our sources that there is roughly a three per cent retention rate on such highly clocked samples, which makes them difficult to assemble, and even more difficult to have enough for the retail channel, which is purely down to high demand and low yields. You’d think that would just make them more expensive, which may be true, but the reality is that there is just no way to consistently deliver these cards to the consumer without a long wait. That’s if you are even able to get one at all. You have to remember that three per cent is a very, very small number in the grand scheme of things.
In that article which I linked above, it is clear that they are only showing MSI and ASUS as being the bad guys in this story (not just for this generation, either.) However, do not be fooled. There are other manufacturers that are also having issues (from what we gather) and they include companies such as Inno3D with their ‘iChill’ series, and possibly even EVGA with their Super Clocked cards. In fact, MSI are actually one of the leaders in ensuring stock levels for their cards are high as they haven’t suffered from the same issues. Over zealous clock speeds from certain manufacturers such as ASUS, Inno3D have caused serious delays. I know that there is a k|ngp|n edition coming to market, but no one knows when just yet. It is unfair that only ASUS and MSI are being thrown under the bus in this ordeal. In fact, even GIGABYTE have a GPU with a >1930 MHz boost clock, so I’d expect that these will be strictly on a first come, first served basis only; we expect this model to have the same problems too!
You have probably all seen that the GTX 1080 can do 2100 MHz on the core, and all of the PR stuff that followed. However, the fact of the matter is that this was more than likely done on some cherry picked samples, along with added voltage which the manufacturers should not apply to the core as a default option. They don’t do it either, and this is why: the reasoning for this is pure and straightforward, it will shorten the lifespan of the GPU, something which none of us want.
If you believe we are making this up, just take a look at the amount of pre-orders on the retailer websites and then you will soon see that there may be some truth to this. There is just no way to guarantee such high clocks with a new architecture like Pascal. Unfortunately, it looks like the low yielding GPU dies may be here to stay for a while, and it is unpredictable how long it may last.