Is the every increasing cost of tech and GPUs stifling creativity.

Andy001z Posts: 3,417 Ambassador

I raise this after watching a Linus Tech video on the new NVidia 3050 GPU and how this was not good news for the industry as the price of said unit was way above where a GPU of the same product band would of been 5 years ago. They focused on gaming, but I think it hits other areas too, especially in the creativity arena. Take Hitfilm, the minimum spec recently went up, but it also impacts other creative tools like Unreal or Blender.

Maybe we have been spoilt to have access to these tools with our gaming GPUs but it seems to me that if your serious about your creativity you are going to have to stump up some serious cash.



  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,609 Ambassador

    Prices have been dropping on everything across the board for decades, from cameras to media, computers, software, lights, mics, recorders, etc. GPUs are going up again, but some of that is supply issues. Either way, prices on everything dropped for decades and one can still do things for a couple of thousand dollars that would have literally cost a million 20-25 years ago, if it was even possible at all.

  • triforcefx
    triforcefx United StatesPosts: 1,488 Moderator

    A few thoughts.

    I think one of the great (and often overlooked) things about the current HitFilm licensing model is that you get access to every previous version (6 and higher) throughout the various minimum spec changes. Even if you could only run HitFilm 11 with your current hardware, buying Pro would still be worth it if you wanted to use the Pro features that were available back then... HitFilm has always been quite capable. When you’re ready to upgrade your computer, you get to update to a much newer version with no extra cost. AFAIK, this is the only editing software that has this ability, other than free and open source options.

    While there is some aspect of truth to the “manufacturers getting comfortable with new higher prices” bit (see $1000 smartphones in 2017), the overall cost of purchasing capable hardware has generally followed a downward trend. I could purchase a $500 desktop computer today that could run laps around an extremely expensive render farm from the 90s or early 2000s. The current supply chain and chip shortage issues are rough, but they’ll get better. It is hard if you wanted or needed to upgrade this year though.

  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Posts: 3,417 Ambassador

    @triforcefx agreed but the problem seems to be that manufactures are now setting the retail price at levels way higher than they had before, and yes that might be chip availability and product demand, only time is going to tell. With INTEL entering the GPU market we will see what happens.

    With regards to comparing like for like costs and how things appear cheaper, I think that it is still very subjective. For example I have been monitoring the price of building a new system, nothing OTT either a modest intel or AMD build and the cost of this, is around the same as my last major upgrade back in 2009. Which on the face of it sounds great, better performance, inflation not too much. But when you consider the developments in chip design and production, the expansion (not decline and some predicted) of the PC market I would expect it to be around the same if not cheaper. Of course it is very tricky judging apples and pears when the tech has changed to much.

  • spyresca
    spyresca Posts: 256 Enthusiast
    edited February 4

    Not such a great thing if you use Windows 11 and all those versions will never be compatible with Windows 11.

  • JBaymore
    JBaymore Posts: 372 Enthusiast

    Isn't a lot of the video card pricing actually being driven by cryptocurrency mining?


  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Posts: 3,417 Ambassador

    It's a big part, that and the shortage of chips for the boards. Some pricing seems to be stabilizing but who knows.

  • littlehausbigcity
    littlehausbigcity Posts: 124 Enthusiast
    edited February 23

    Jumping in here, I don't see PC's necessarily being LESS for MORE at this time. Back in 2009, I bought what was then a more than decent PC, a turnkey one from Dell, the Studio XPS/435T desktop box. It came with the Core i7 (920) processor, 4G of DDR3? memory, Vista (wished I'd gotten 7 instead, but oh well) and the AMD Radeon 4850HD graphics card when it still had 512MB of VRAM (they did later bump it to a full gig), and got Office 2007 and a new 22" monitor, all for $1700 or so.

    The current Studio XPS that Dell sells with a Core i5 processor, mind you it's the latest and greatest that needs the latest motherboard and runs DDR5 memory, so future proof, with I think 11, a new monitor if I recall for I think 16G of memory and the INVIDIA 3060 ($600, just for that through Dell) and the price was somewhere around $1200.

    On YouTube, Mattwhoismattjohnson has done PC builds in recent years and on the low to mid level editing boxes can be had for around $800-900 with a Ryzen 5 processor, a good, solid but not the bare minimum box for video editing capable of at least 1080P editing. I don't know if he's been able to do an update build last year due to chip shortages, but his top PC builds were I think around the $2K mark?

    That said, the days of really slow PC's is behind us I think, even the bare boxes sold for around $500 or so run Core i3 or Ryzen 3 CPU's that are more than capable of web browsing, but the rest are bottom feeding likely.

    In 2005, I helped my late mother get a new PC, an eMachines box for $500. It had a Celeron D processor, 512MB of memory and an 80GB hard drive (it's still working), though I hardly use that PC these days after I brought it home after her passing in 2012. Anyway, it's got a P4 northwood in it now and has I think a Gig of memory and had an old graphics card to bypass the integrated one (stuck at 16MB of shared memory) as the old 5200 from NVIDIA crapped out and to upgrade that and the audio card, had to run off the shared PCI buss and ran a piece of software to manage priority of the buss traffic to one card for a while. Mind you, this eMachine was not the top model as it was an AMD processored version with an AGP slot, which the lower models lacked, unfortunately. The slot is there, just not populated so not sure if I could have added the AGP after the fact?

    Anyway, it's mostly used for capturing audio (analog) via Audacity so it's been fine for that.

    But yeah, when prices begin to reach the stratosphere and us creatives can barely afford the new equipment, it's kinda hard to be a creative without raising even more money. in 2019, I bought my Dell Optiplex 9020 with a 120GB SSD drive and 8G of memory with Windows 10 for $219 refurbished. Had to get a copy of 10 recently to do a full install, and it's $200 now. So yes, prices are creeping up, but I think part of the issue is inflation right now.