At GTC 2018 there was a big sign during the keynote that said the Titan V is out of stock.
Cryptocurrency prices are expected to increase massively in 2018 as consumer confidence grows which is going to make it increasingly hard…
Cryptocurrency prices are expected to increase massively in 2018 as consumer confidence grows which is going to make it increasingly hard to get a VR Ready PC at a reasonable price compared to what you could get in 2016.
Written by Micah Blumberg, host of the Neural Lace Podcast at VRMA.io
If you are in the VR market, maybe you have an HTC Vive Pro on pre-order or a Acer Mixed Reality headset, how and why should you get a reasonable priced VR Ready PC when the prices for cryptocurrency this year have massively driven GPU sales, leaving fewer options for people who need high end GPU cards for Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality and this problem promises only to continue as consumer confidence in cryptocurrency products is expected to increase in 2018 causing prices for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and various Altcoins to go sky high again.
The rush to buy GPU of any type, but in large part to build crypto-mining rigs is part of why I asked the CEO of Nvidia: Jensen Huang at GTC 2018 if would make sense to sell the DGX 2 to Cryptocurrency Miners for Proof of Work operations. Although it turned out the answer was no it does not make sense to use the DGX 2 for Mining.
See the previous story in which I outline what I asked Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang where I paraphrased his response.
After a mind exploding keynote at GTC 2018 I got the chance to ask Jensen Huang the CEO of Nvidia…
I wanted to know about Blockchain, whether it will be necessary for Self Driving Cars to become Self-Aware Networks…medium.com
So how does a consumer get a good deal on a VR Ready PC when prices feel like they have almost doubled for the almost the same value you could get two years ago in 2016 for $499.
2016: AMD and Oculus Shattered VR Barriers With $499 CyberPowerPC VR Ready System
During my career as a tech journalist I covered PC gaming from all angles, and there was one unswerving trend: hardware…gaming.radeon.com
VR Ready PCs that cost $499 US Dollars in 2016 are apparently now no where to be found, and instead the low end of a VR Ready Desktop, that is similar to what you could get for $499 two years ago is now in the ball park of $1000 USD. In that price range you get a PC that has something like a GTX 1060 GPU with 3GB of memory which is closer to the performance of GTX 980 Graphics card from years ago. That’s close to the low end of GPUs that still qualifies as VR Ready.
The reason for this has everything to do with the rise in enthusiasm for Cryptocurrency Proof of Work Mining, technology that is used with a Blockchain in part to secure and prove transactions in a distributed or decentralized way.
Unfortunately for would be purchasers of VR Ready PCs the enthusiasm for Cryptocurrency Mining seems to be growing, not shrinking and it is expected that enthusiasm for popularly cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and many altcoins is going to spike again in 2018, leading to another massive increase in the price of these coins as the public becomes increasingly confident in their long term ability to retain value better than the US Dollar and other State issued currencies also known as fiat currency.
We might see a decrease in PC and GPU prices if and when Cryptocurrency Miners decide that they can make more money with Proof of Stake Crytocurrency as an alternative to Proof of Work Cryptocurrency.
So prices are higher right now but you need a VR Ready PC anyways:
What should you buy? I would say that if you are looking for a VR Ready PC consider VR Backpacks, consider VR Laptops, and VR mini-towers, try to score a GTX 1070 or better, because the GTX 1060/980 was a great card like 4 years ago, now its the lowest end for VR. Some folks have made VR work with the 1050ti, I can’t recommend that. You can also look up comparable AMD cards which I did not mention simply because I’m also interested in AI applications, AI runs on Cuda (mostly), and Cuda runs on Nvidia, so I do not really even look at AMD cards usually, but if you have your heart set on AMD, the new series is called Ryzen, Ryzen 7 is the best (I think) and you might be able to get a good price/value for VR with a Rzyen card as your GPU, once you have shopped online to find the best VR Ready options in your price range you may want to read benchmarks.
Hard drives in my experience SSD drives like NVME make loading VR applications seem a lot faster, but I don’t like having an SSD that is less than 500GB because you will easily fill up 250GB with VR applications, and then they would have to go on the second drive, that runs more slowly, and in the past I have had trouble, a lot of trouble, trying to get SteamVR to recognize application from two different hard drives. I suspect that most people do not really need their VR apps to load faster so getting a traditional harddrive is a good place to save money.
Even if you have a lot of money to burn on a VR Ready PC there is a reason to limit your spending on one, and that is because the whole AR VR industry is potentially going to change in the next two years.
I predict that the time will come when people think of the VR Ready PC as something absurd like a car phone, why would you have your cellphone tied to a car? why would you have your VR headset tied to a computer?
The future will be mobile headsets that contain substantial onboard computing systems like the upcoming Oculus Santa Cruz that is the only mobile all in one VR headset that lets you have both of your hands in VR with six degrees of freedom on each of two motion controllers and six degrees of freedom in the headset so you can walk around inside VR.
The Oculus Go which does not have the ability to walk around in VR, and does not offer to put your hands in VR but is an all in one system with pretty good optics, and graphics that are at least as good as the Gear VR, will cost only $199 and it will probably be the fastest way to get into VR, and it won’t require a phone or a computer.
Two years from now we may be streaming cinematic quality VR graphics to mobile headsets over wireless networks to devices like the Oculus Santa Cruz and the ODG R8.
A concept that I spoke about with Jules Urbach at GTC in 2017
GTI 2017 GPU Technology Conference, The Neural Lace Podcast #5 Guest Jules Urbach, CEO at OTOY
The Neural Lace Talks is a podcast about Science and Technology.
Main website http://vrma.io Contact via firstname.lastname@example.org
I had a more recent conversation with Jules Urbach at GTC 2018 its mostly about using AI for Rendering but also the Render Token, a way to make money with a blockchain/cryptocoin for rendering.
So the idea of VR Ready PC is perhaps a very short term idea, it makes sense to get the cheapest one that still offers the best value considering that everything is going to change in the next 2 years or so.
Be sure to write a reply to this article if you have other ideas about the future of the industry, the future of PC prices, the future of the cryptocurrency market this year, or some really interesting points or counter points that you would to make.