Imagine Scrooge McDuck and the Money Bin, and now imagine that money bin was just filled with RTX 3080 GPUs. That’s the only analogy you need to understand this morning’s investor with for Nvidia, where the chip maker gleefully reported absurd highs in revenue despite continued supply shortages in silicon manufacturing.
There wasn’t a single number for the GPU and AI manufacturer for their fourth quarter that wasn’t in the green. The biggest headline figure was a massive jump in quarterly revenue to $6.275 billion ($US5 billion) from $3.9 billion ($US3.11 billion), a jump of 61 per cent.
Gaming — driven by the RTX 3000 series cards — enjoyed a record quarter as well, which helped drive Nvidia to an eye-opening 124 per cent jump in full-year revenue to $8.4 billion ($US6.7 billion). Everything Nvidia did basically struck a literal goldmine. Even Nvidia’s $US40 billion buyout of ARM is still going ahead, although complaints have been growing from various vendors and major competitors (like Microsoft, Qualcomm and Google).
The real kicker amongst all of this, as Nvidia noted to investors this morning, is that the RTX 3060 hasn’t even been released. Nvidia’s 60-series cards are always a huge deal, because they tend to be the biggest sellers. They’re the kinds of affordable cards that see mass adoption in entry-level PCs and laptops. It’s a huge part of why Nvidia is expecting gaming to be the core driver of their growth over the next three months, both in the desktop and laptop market.
“We’ve only upgraded approximately 15 per cent of the install base to RTX [graphics cards],” Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang told investors.
The GTX 1060 is still the most popular video card on Steam, for instance, followed by the GTX 1050 Ti and the GTX 1650. A proper upgrade to that could result in millions of new GPUs being shipped, provided Nvidia’s capable of getting them all made. Nvidia’s also releasing a new set of graphics cards specifically for cryptomining, an interesting move given the company’s chief financial officer said “nobody is aware of any real demand at this time for crypto” only a few months ago.