Nvidia Profits Grow On Strength of "High End" PC Gaming

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Nvidia Profits Grow On Strength of "High End" PC Gaming


Nvidia says the company's third-quarter profit growth was driven largely by increasing demand for high-end GPUs in gaming PCs that are now "dramatically better" than consoles.

Things are going pretty well for Nvidia. Third quarter revenues were a not-insubstantial $1.07 billion, up roughly five percent over the previous quarter, while net income came in at $178.3 million, compared to $151.6 million for the prior three months. Overall consumer GPU business was essentially flat, climbing a mere one percent, which isn't bad when you consider "the continued downward pressure on our revenue as we end-of-life our MCP [media and communications processors] products. MCP revenues declined $47.3 million to $22.4 million in the third quarter."

So what's making up for it? Everybody's favorite dying game platform, the PC. I don't know if it's still cool to proclaim the PC dying and/or dead but either way, it sure does seem to be pulling in the green for Nvidia.

"The strength in our GPU business in the third quarter was largely attributable to our desktop GPU products, with revenue increasing 23.0 percent over the prior quarter," Nvidia Chief Financial Officer Karen Burns wrote. "This was not only due to seasonal strength for desktop GPU in the third quarter, but also the increased demand for our high-end products as consumers geared-up their PCs for new titles such as Star Wars: The Old Republic [http://www.amazon.com/Battlefield-3-Pc/dp/B002I0HJZO/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1321028010&sr=8-4]."

"This happens every major game console cycle toward the second half of its product life, because PC technology advances on a regular basis instead of once every seven to ten years," Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang explained in a follow-up Q&A with investors. "And so you could imagine how PC technology is dramatically better than a game console today, and you're starting to see that now with a new generation of games that are coming out, such as Battlefield 3."

It's no secret that I'm a big PC fanboy but I'll resist the urge to point and laugh at all you button-mashers out there, because Jen-Hsun Huang just did it for me. Instead, I'll simply note that while the PC is unquestionably a niche platform these days, it also appears to remain a viable one. That's good news for the die-hards who value performance above all else - and who have spent a lot of time over the past few years being told that they were no longer relevant.

Sources: Seeking Alpha [http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=116466&p=irol-IRHome]


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Zhukov

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Dec 29, 2009
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Can we get a trollface to go along with that statement?
 

Callate

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Dec 5, 2008
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I tend to think this is a good thing, for console and PC gamers alike. Someone needs to have a financial incentive to keep pushing graphics hardware technology, or the next generation of consoles will either be further delayed or produce offerings that none of the developers are ready to take advantage of.
 

ASnogarD

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Jul 2, 2009
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I am actually on the verge of considering the whole PC gaming and hardware requirements a huge scam, I mean the majority of AAA games that would push the PC to its limits are multi platform and as such there is no need to spend huge sums of cash to push the limit of one platform ( especially the one with the least sales, and rampant piracy )... so why do the PC requirements go up so much still ?

Game comes on all three platforms, the 360 has 6 year old hardware yet it still gets all the AAA titles, yet the PC versions cant play 100% unless you get xyz CPU and the latest GPU in tri SLI / Crossfire / Hyperdupersuperunbelievabletillthenextvertsion... and the PC versions still show as mere ports with higher textures and resolutions.

I suspect there is some foul play afoot, and would bet that there are under the table deals between publishers and hardware manufacturers... add a few more idle cycles to the PC version so it artificially needs more power to grind through the excessive extra cycles... add a requirement to a specific shader model to bump up the GPU requirements.

What PC specific title actually struggles in a AMD Phenom II x6 3.2 ghz , 8 gigs DDR 3 ram, GTX580 ? Yet I cant run BF 3 in ultra and keep 30 FPS ( actually I never tried tbh ), would MW 3 run at the promised 60 FPS without any issues ( it does run that on a 6 year old 360, and my Pc is about 10x as powerfull )? Why cant Skyrim ( by many reports ) not be put to maximun on anything less than a 3 ghz CPU and 560ti ? Why does RAGE suffer so much texture popup despite new drivers, it doesnt really have PC specific features as ID said the game was console first.

ITs been nagging me for a while now... each time a big multi platform game comes out, PC gamers go update thier PC to max it out... yet it was designed to run on 360's, even the PS 3 is not fully used.
 

thethingthatlurks

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Feb 16, 2010
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My PC is ATI based (been a loyal fanboy since my first RAGE 128pro), but good for Nvidia! Somebody needs to keep innovating hardware, lest the consoles stagnate the whole enterprise entirely. Plus there are other applications for GPUs outside of gaming. I read an article in a journal about a year ago in which the speed of molecular modeling calculations was greatly increased by incorporating the gpu in addition to the CPU. It ain't all just fun and games folks, just mostly...
 

draythefingerless

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Jul 10, 2010
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ASnogarD said:
I am actually on the verge of considering the whole PC gaming and hardware requirements a huge scam, I mean the majority of AAA games that would push the PC to its limits are multi platform and as such there is no need to spend huge sums of cash to push the limit of one platform ( especially the one with the least sales, and rampant piracy )... so why do the PC requirements go up so much still ?

Game comes on all three platforms, the 360 has 6 year old hardware yet it still gets all the AAA titles, yet the PC versions cant play 100% unless you get xyz CPU and the latest GPU in tri SLI / Crossfire / Hyperdupersuperunbelievabletillthenextvertsion... and the PC versions still show as mere ports with higher textures and resolutions.

I suspect there is some foul play afoot, and would bet that there are under the table deals between publishers and hardware manufacturers... add a few more idle cycles to the PC version so it artificially needs more power to grind through the excessive extra cycles... add a requirement to a specific shader model to bump up the GPU requirements.

What PC specific title actually struggles in a AMD Phenom II x6 3.2 ghz , 8 gigs DDR 3 ram, GTX580 ? Yet I cant run BF 3 in ultra and keep 30 FPS ( actually I never tried tbh ), would MW 3 run at the promised 60 FPS without any issues ( it does run that on a 6 year old 360, and my Pc is about 10x as powerfull )? Why cant Skyrim ( by many reports ) not be put to maximun on anything less than a 3 ghz CPU and 560ti ? Why does RAGE suffer so much texture popup despite new drivers, it doesnt really have PC specific features as ID said the game was console first.

ITs been nagging me for a while now... each time a big multi platform game comes out, PC gamers go update thier PC to max it out... yet it was designed to run on 360's, even the PS 3 is not fully used.
Ive played a plethora of games on PCs that are on consoles, but since the devs took some time to make sure it was up to par, i cna actually play Skyrim or the Witcher 2 in a level of beauty in graphics n physics nowadays that no console cna match. Unfortunately, there are also games that simply barely use that power because theyre poor console ports, see the examples you gave for example. And dont even compare BF3 in a console to the pc. that is one good example of how fucking beautiful the game iS more in the PC than the consoles. It runs on consoles, but consoles use nowadays the equivalent of your MEDIUM video options in these games, maybe less even.
 

ASnogarD

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Still, does it really need over 10x the power of a £150 360 to gain some resolution and higher textures ? That is what you get when you get the PC versions of a multi platform title.

BF 3 started a PC lead, but switched over to console lead mid way due to time constraints... EA simply had to get BF 3 out before MW 3 hit no matter what had to get cut or left behind.
This piece of information was simply not paraded around quiet as loudly as the PC is lead information.

Why is it so hard to think that nVidia, Intel and AMD dont do deals... the CPU/GPU logos appear on certain releases is proof that deals are made, so why not add a few more loops to the cycles ? Use a shader with higher GPU requirements ?

Gears of War PC had a DX10 requirement for AA, amongst other features but AA could be forced on via driver controls... it was simply denied to promote Dx10 and specifically Vista which was the Dx10 OS, Crysis 1 had a lot of features it could of used in Dx 9 but held back to promote Dx10 and Vista... this is proof enough some deals are made to push gamers to buy certain software and hardware, even if its artifically induced.

AvP3 made a huge song and dance about using Dx11, in the end the amount of Dx11 use was limited to nearly impossible to see features... but it sold a lot of ATi video cards at the time.

Reality is that without the software pushing the demands for new hardware, the hardware vendors would be out of business but the software developers are developing mainly for the console market and its static hardware requirments... PC development is expensive, adding a few extra CPU cycles to the load isnt.
Changing the resolutions in a game is easy, so is adding high def textures ( in fact most texture start as high def and are brought down till a balance of performance vs appearance is found ).

I cant say wether it is really happening but the rate that hardware is going up but the number of dedicated PC titles has dropped is immensely puzzling to me.
 

twm1709

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Nov 19, 2009
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now that the pc hardware needed to run current games has become more affordable, there will probably be more people interested in investing on a video card.
Personally, I'd rather wait until 1 or 2 years into the next Console generation to upgrade my gpu. I bought my current one for $200 in 2008 and I haven't had problems maxing out anything ever since.
 

BrotherRool

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Oct 31, 2008
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I'm kinda glad that I don't have to continually pay money like that, even if it looks a little worse
 

antipunt

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Jan 3, 2009
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I upgraded my PC solely for Skyrim (and general catch up). These folks know me well
 

MercurySteam

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I was considering going ATI/AMD but I decided on Nvidia as I've really wanted to check out PhsyX and the ForceWare drivers have less issues than the ATI Catalyst drivers. For price however, it's not hard to see why people buy ATI.
 

lacktheknack

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Jan 19, 2009
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MercurySteam said:
I was considering going ATI/AMD but I decided on Nvidia as I've really wanted to check out PhsyX and the ForceWare drivers have less issues than the ATI Catalyst drivers. For price however, it's not hard to see why people buy ATI.
<link=http://i41.tinypic.com/tarp6w.jpg>Also, they're a bit hard to update (BSFW).

OT: I'm not surprised. I've bought three cards throughout this console generation alone (mostly because I'm full of fail and didn't even try to future-proof myself). Plus, I've seen a lot of people on this very forum asking about building their own gaming computers.
 

Jaeger_CDN

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Aug 9, 2010
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I'm glad they're making money hand over fist but I wish they would spend a bit more of that in driver development. The last few WHQL released drivers and even their betas have brought more than a few people with 'high end' cards nothing but problems with TDRs and artifacting.
 

Nalgas D. Lemur

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ASnogarD said:
Still, does it really need over 10x the power of a £150 360 to gain some resolution and higher textures ? That is what you get when you get the PC versions of a multi platform title.
It's not just "some resolution". The higher resolution by itself is a rather large amount in some cases. Most console games run at below 720p and are scaled up. I play stuff at 1920x1200 on my PC, which is about 2.5x as many pixels as the consoles are pushing. 2560x1440 is 4x as many. Then you throw in higher quality textures, more detailed geometry, and do everything "for real" instead of with cheap hacks to simulate effects, and it takes a hell of a lot more processing power. Console games at this point tend to use post-processing AA filters instead of true AA, which are a lot faster but don't look nearly as good. I've seen some of them actually using interlaced filters for motion blur and cutting back as much as they can just to get it to even run on the console hardware. Even with all those sacrifices, most of the games still only run at 30fps and even drop below that at times.

So yeah, if you want to run it at 2.5-4x the resolution with more MB/GB of textures simultaneously than a PS3 and 360 have RAM combined, plus SSAO and "proper" AA and non-hacky post-processing and effects, you do need much faster hardware. Do all games need that much? No, some of them are crappy ports and/or are poorly optimized. There certainly are ones that do take advantage of it, though.
 

The Lunatic

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Jun 3, 2010
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Nalgas D. Lemur said:
There certainly are ones that do take advantage of it, though.
And think for a moment, if developers, rather than spending all the time squeezing the last drops from a console instead tried squeeze PC hardware.

But alas, not where the money is these days.

Honestly, more PC sales is better for everybody. Consoles especially.