Great Graphic Card Shortage of 2018

Where are the graphic cards ?

They’re no where to be found, and if by chance you do find them they are over priced as hell. As if taken by surprise, the industry as a whole is struggling to cope with the surge in demand from crypto miners.

Nvidia wants retailers to sell to only gamers and not miners – but in all honesty no body can really dictate terms to retail partners – they’d rather sell 100 – 200 graphic cards in one go instead of going through stock individually. The kicker here is that crypto miners are ready to pay premium price for graphic cards.

Is there no end in sight ?

To be honest, the price situation doesn’t look very likely to normalize very soon. The problem is actually twofold – number one – production capacity challenges on the graphics chip itself & number two – DDR5 memory shortages – in combination these two factors threaten to disrupt the lives of hardware enthusiasts across the globe.

What should one do ?

Build your PC without the graphic card , 6-8 weeks is a cautious time line for the prices to settle down, and settle down they will – with the crypto bubble bursting; making mining  a lot less profitable with current valuations on these currencies. Additionally, PSU pricing is set to increase along with the steady rise in DDR4 memory (since every mobile is coming out with DDR4 memory now) – A good idea would be to lock in all your other components at somewhat acceptable rates and weather out the GPU pricing storm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to choose components for 3DS Max or Maya?

Some FAQ’s that we get asked a lot about builds needing suitable configuration for Modeling and Animation performance in Maya and 3DS Max –

What is the requirement for the best animation and modeling performance in Maya and 3DS Max?
Animation & Modeling are both single thread dependent – what you should be looking for is the highest possible clock speed in your budget; However core count shouldn’t really be given extra emphasis (core count really matters in rendering – see next question)

Do these software require additional hardware to do rendering effectively ?
Both 3DS Max (from 2018) and Maya (since 2017) use “Arnold” as their default renderer – this is a CPU based rendering engine which benefits greatly from a higher number of cores – in CPU comparisons it is found that performance scales well with more number of cores. Therefore configuration with high CPU core count help in rendering faster through Arnold – HOWEVER – you will need a decent to good graphic card if you are looking to use different rendering engines like Furryball, V-Ray, Octane etc.

What about RAM?
How much RAM you need is decided by the complexity of your scene & the resolution – higher RAM leaves headroom for more complex scenes. Regular users will find that 16 to 32 GB of RAM to be more than sufficient, for those who need more 64 GB is also an option.

Core Counts ? So do  i need a Xeon processor ?
Not exactly – higher core counts mean lower clock speeds. So what you really need is a processor boosting to higher clock speeds when fewer cores are working (for modeling and animation ) AND still have decent clock speeds when more cores work together for rendering.

In previous generation CPU’s, the XEON line up was much more robust than their core series counterparts. HOWEVER in the current generation line ups, there is very little functional difference left between the CORE and XEON product families.  We would recommend i7 and i9 CPUs for a Maya and 3DS workstation with a balanced performance across animation, modeling and rendering. For some specific rendering engines you may still need dual Xeon builds.

Does a SSD help?
Yes! SSD will help loading times across the board – right from booting up windows and launching these software as well.

So – Quadro GPU or Geforce GPU works fine ?
Maya & 3DS Max need a decently fairly powerful video card, unless you are exclusively rendering only. Officially Autodesk sates that Quadro cards are certified for these applications – however they do test Geforce cards too – so these will work fine for most users. However Quadro cards are purpose build AND optimized by Nvidia to be more reliable in the long term.

To Summarize – 
CPU – High Clock Speed for modeling & animation and Higher core count for rendering

Graphic Cards – A decent graphic card (GTX 1060 6GB and above ) will let you see the viewport in 60 fps and above for a smoother performance – Quadro cards are certified with these software , so selecting Quadro if your budget allows is a good idea.

RAM – 16 GB and above is sufficient for most users – however the complexity of your use case may need 32 or even 64GB of RAM

SSD – Yes for the loading times! With a secondary drive for storage; SSD should be used for Windows and software installations

 

What is Machine Learning?

We hear a lot about Machine Learning & Deep Learning these days – that the next wave of jobs are going to be in AI and Machine learning – we attempt to answer some questions here and give some insight on component selection.

What is it?

Machine learning is focused on using computer algorithms which draw predictive insight from static or dynamic data sources – this is done using analytic and probabilistic models – refined using training and feedback.

It uses pattern recognition, artificial intelligence learning methods, and statistical data modeling. “Learning” happens in two ways – Supervised Learning ; when the desired outcome is known and an annotated data set used to train / fit a model to accurately predict values outside the training set. Unsupervised learning ; uses raw data to seek out inherent partitions or a group of characteristics present in the data itself.

Machine learning combines varied disciplines of computer science, mathematics, graph and network theory, statistics and probability – practically endless areas of application

A lot more computing can be accomplished with a workstation and a few graphic cards than what the whole planet’s computing power could do in 1990 ! Let that sink in. Estimated worldwide data storage is in zettabyte ranges , 1 zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes. We’re probably staring down the golden age of Machine Learning right now!

Right time ?

Humongous amounts of data from scientific instruments, business records, mature and well annotated databases – things look to be falling in place for ML. Inexpensive computing resources and established programming methods for utilizing GPU acceleration AND there is the money. Money in research, startups and big business budget allocations – Data Scientist is the hottest job title.

Quite understandably, the single biggest driving force for the rise of Machine Learning is to try and sell you stuff! High paying jobs in places like Google, Baidu, Microsoft & Facebook – some really amazing work is being done to improve marketing and advertising.

The applications ?

ML has huge potential for scientific discovery – terabytes of data generated by research instruments open up possibilities for discovery in chemistry, bio-medicine, economics etc. Great potential for robotics, autonomous vehicles, translation and voice recognition is a no-brainer.

To realize how far computing power has come along , here’s a short note for perspective. In 2012 Google set out analyzing YouTube data using a neural network with unsupervised learning – the feature extraction classifier discovered (on its own) that Cat videos are the most popular on YouTube. This work was accomplished using a conventional computing cluster for training – consisted of 1000 nodes with 1600 cores! Today you could run a model with the exact same complexity using 2 workstations with 4 GPU’s in each. This makes for a great use case for GPU acceleration in ML.

What configuration should i choose?

Short answer is – it depends. On your data set and your work load
Part selection guideline would be some thing like the below –

  • One or Two Nvidia Pascal GPU’s
  • Intel i7 or i9 CPU
  • 32GB to 62GB of system memory (RAM)

Recommended configuration –

  • GPUS – 2 nos. (GTX 1070, GTX 1080ti or Titan Xp) (Cuda Cores are your friends!)
  • Core i9 7900X (10 Core)
  • 64GB of Memory
  • 1 TB SSD/HDD (SSD is preferred for faster data transfer)

A more basic configuration can be arrived at, optimizing part selection based on budget and use case – not every application will need a i9 7900x – an i5 8400 can do the job for smaller data sets (although not as fast)

Do comment if you want to see a more detailed reasoning on component selection or shoot us an email at support@themvp.in for any questions or queries.

Until next time.
theMVP.in – High Performance Systems

 

 

MvP Store & Experience Center

Phew – what a journey it has been so far. We’ve manged to open our very first store – no mean feat considering we’ve been a purely online setup for the past 3 years. This gives an opportunity to focus on peripheral sales – as always our focus will remain on getting those elusive components which aren’t available everywhere.

If we look back to see what got us this far, we realize that it’s been our focus on customer satisfaction – aside from sounding like a cliche – it really is what drives us. We knew far too many people duped by local computer shops with sales guys who part time at vegetable stalls. That’s where the idea began – our primary aim will always remain to get you the best deal you can for every rupee you spend – with practical advice on your component choices.

So what’s different about our store ? Aside from a premium gaming zone – it will showcase our best builds – feature regular e-sport tournaments (we’re mighty excited about this)

We’re just getting started and this is day 0.

Cheers

Team MvP Gaming

Version 2.0 – We’re Up!

And we’re live!

Our refreshed website is up and running – finally! It’s been a frantic two weeks getting all the bugs sorted and the kinks ironed out.

The need for a refresh was long due – since there is no other website in India which allows you to customize and choose your own parts for a PC build – this had been a frequently requested feature by many of our users! Do check out Build a PC on our website – drop in some feedback, any parts you’d like to see there (drop a quick line to support@themvp.in).

Parts compatibility is “baked” in the module – so you need not worry on compatibility when making your selections – will detail how this module works in a separate blog post.

It’s been quite a journey – these last 3 years. From trying to explain to our folks and extended family on exactly what we were up to; being featured in a national newspaper ; gaining customer trust and love and finally getting our refreshed website live! We believe, the reason we’ve still kept going strong is that no one in our team see’s this as a “job” – this is our passion.

We’ve got a few more things lined up, number one of  which is a refreshed and updated version of our RGB lighting kit. We’re exploring gaming merchandise, adding more peripherals to our lineup – stay tuned.

 

Still day zero for MvP Gaming 🙂

Cheers

One of the most in depth reviews ever!

Just wanted to share something which warmed our hearts 🙂
This is what we live for.
Sampath from Chennai, had this to write about us :-
A complete review from a happy costumer!

 After years of gaming at compromised resolutions and abysmal frame rates decided to upgrade to a best yet affordable setup but I wanted a turnkey solution rather than me hunting for the parts and searching for discounts. There came in The MVP. Stumbled on their website from Amazon and was surprised to see many rigs for all ranges of budget. I sent

a mail with my doubts and there was an immediate reply, something which is a rarity these days. They’ve answered every question without skipping a detail and I took some time but finally ordered the Horizon rig.

Right from the day I ordered the build, there was a steady communication from MVP detailing the progress. You can send a mail to them and there would be a reply right and then.
So the day has come: I bunked the office just to receive the rig. I was amazed how safely it was packaged and shipped. There was no scope for any shipping damage. They’ve even placed a foam under the GPU to prevent the sag while shipping.

For pics go to : http://imgur.com/a/PsrRa

So after unpacking it, what lay in front of me was a clean white box with pretty powerful guts. And the cable management was noteworthy. Right from the push of the button it just performed. No bloatware, no unnecessary apps.

Never needed to check the graphic settings because all the games were optimized to Ultra but you may want to crank up the MSAA to 8X or 16X. I was bit worried about the temperatures with Chennai being always a dead hot area but the excellent cooling systems on CPU and GPU kept the high temps at bay. (I consider anything above 85 °C as hot). I have the below custom fan curve and CPU Cooler is on balanced mode.
http://imgur.com/VYMQE6F

I noticed considerable difference in cooling if you keep the GPU fans at always 100% and CPU cooler at performance mode.

Didn’t try overclocking it as I felt there was no need for it. Below are some FPS and temp tests at 1080p(everything cranked up to Ultra & MSAA 8X (16X if available, if not, I’ve mentioned the MSAA setting in the brackets) and at room temperature of 25°C:

1)Metal Gear Solid-Phantom Pain:
FPS(FPS cap is 60): A constant 60
CPU Temp(Min,Max,Avg):45°C,69°C
GPU Temp(Min,Max,Avg):60°C,76°C

2)GTA V(with all the Advanced graphic options turned on)
FPS(Min,Max,Avg):50,79
CPU Temp(Min,Max,Avg):40°C,80°C
GPU Temp(Min,Max,Avg):65°C,80°C

3)Battlefield 4(MSAA 4X)
FPS(Min,Max):70,200
CPU Temp(Min,Max):43°C,75°C
GPU Temp(Min,Max): 43°C,80°C

4)Shadows of Mordor
FPS(100 limit): A consistent 100
CPU Temp(Min,Max,Avg):40°C,79°C
GPU Temp(Min,Max,Avg):54°C,74°C

5)Rainbow Six Siege(with Ultra texture pack):
FPS(Min,Max):50,74
CPU Temp(Min,Max):41°C,74°C
GPU Temp(Min,Max): 67°C,82°C

7)Mirrors Edge: Catalyst (Hyper settings):
FPS(Min,Max,Avg):65,105 (mostly around 80)
CPU Temp(Min,Max,Avg):55°C,80°C
GPU Temp(Min,Max,Avg):54°C,83°C

8) Didn’t test Skyrim for numbers but FPS was averaging around 80-90 FPS(More than 100 in interiors) with Tetrachromatic ENB and 150 other mods.

All the games are pretty much comfortable having their FPS above 60 with rare dips below 60 when there is too much vegetation to render like in Forza Horizon 3 or GTA V.

Here is a link to the mashup video which I’ve created from the recordings on this rig, there will be FPS and temp data on either top left or top right of the video . Please note that pixelation is due to rendering it at 6 mbps bitrate to keep the output file size down, The videos were captured at more than 37 mbps bitrate :

https://youtu.be/Op7bOPhx5Wk

These are some screen captures:
http://imgur.com/a/3YPMQ

To close it, all I can say is that I found MVP as a rare blend of gaming enthusiasts, excellent workmanship and proactive customer support. You don’t have those many companies around which call you up after delivery to see if you are satisfied with the rig and to help you out if you have any concerns. If you are on the fence on buying that new rig, take the leap and believe in the good guys of MVP.

What RYZEN means for gamers ?

The hype around RYZEN is finally dying out a bit, and we’re seeing the benchmark wars begin. Specifically – most of these benchmarks focus on how much of a performance improvement RYZEN has over Intels X99 chipset processors.

What does this mean for the gamer who is looking for a serious upgrade –

Let the benchmarks do the talking – 10 games tested i7 6800k Vs Ryzen 1700X

Pretty evenly matched – but the price point is the kicker here – there is simply NO REASON to pick 6800k over 1700X

Hold on a minute; how much do i have to shell out ?

It’s been no secret that Intel has been using its market leader / tech leader tag to overcharge consumers for ever so minor improvements to their line ups.

And now they’re worried – big time , just look at the price cuts across the range of their processors – Source

capture

The benchmarks trickling out almost unanimously place RYZEN head and shoulders above Intel’s priciest offerings – but you did miss a trick if you thought this points to a resurgence of AMD as the go to processor for gaming.

Will it be cheaper for team red? 

Now RYZEN’s pricing and target market is decidedly the “enthusiast” who wants the latest and the greatest available – when put into the context of gaming – SINGLE CORE performance is king, which is where Intel excels. It also helps that Intel has a wider product line up , going from entry level all the way to enthusiast.

AMD is doing the smart thing buy tackling Intel where it matters – Intel being Intel will not go down easily. Having resorted to underhanded tactics, with their humongous distribution network – forcing distributors to not stock AMD in return for discounts – this battle is far from over.

From a performance per dollar (or INR) perspective RYZEN has blown Intel out of the water in the top end of the bracket.

HOWEVER..

It’s still cheaper for someone to build an 7th generation i5 build (i5 7600K – happens to be our best pick for gaming), giving you all the processing power you need for the next HALF a decade at least!

On the upside – cutting edge performance is no longer monopolized by greedy Intel folk!

Do leave a comment – your take on this matter

Until next time

*peace*