The PC gaming industry, analysts and enthusiasts alike, have been buzzing about the meteoric rise in pricing for high-end video cards over the past two years. This has largely been attributed to a booming demand for them for the purpose of cryptocurrency mining. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and even "joke" cryptocoins such as Garlicoin and Dogecoin have been surging in popularity, dominating headlines across the world, investors and hardcore gamers alike following the rise and fall of Bitcoin with great interest.
Unfortunately, for the average player with a rig that they want to really deck out properly, this has meant a substantial hit to the pocketbook even if they have no real interest in joining the crypto craze. Though the price has dropped from precipitous heights in the last few months, NVidia has made a commitment to feeding the entry-level marketplace with new stock, announcing the GTX 1050 3GB model as reported by Engadget.
nVidia is on a serious growth spurt as the PC marketplace grows rapidly. The Motley Fool reports that the PC player base is set to expand from 1 billion currently to 1.4 billion by 2022, with a potential esports audience growth doubling up from 300 million currently to 600 million by 2020. Of that hungry demographic, nVidia currently controls 72.8 percent of the entire GPU marketshare, with primary competitor Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) trailing a distant second. While the Radeon vs. GeForce debate has perhaps seen better days as a clear winner – at least in the marketplace – emerges,
Strategically wedged in between its little brother, the standard 2GB model, and the 1050 Ti 4GB, the announcement should further deflate secondary market pricing as supply becomes available to those gamers on a bit of a budget who still want competitive results from their GPU. Expecting 60 FPS at 1080p on "Ultra" settings may be a bit far-fetched even with the most glorious of CPU, RAM, and motherboard supports for most new releases in 2018 and moving forward, but with a few tweaks, something like it can be achievable, and more importantly, smoothly and reliably playable.
While hardcore gamers will almost assuredly hold out for the rumored – imminent – release of the new 2000 series nVidia chipset, the company is still making a gracious and likely lucrative offer to the PC gaming community in the form of readily available, stable, energy-efficient graphics cards from a variety of trusted manufacturers. EVGA, ASUS, and Zotac will all be offering their own versions of the card.