During the annual investors meeting with NVIDIA top-brass and the powers that hold the money on Wall Street, an interesting slide was presented in a somewhat veiled answer to the questions we (among many others) have had to the availability and yields of their latest Kepler GPUs.
At first glance, the graph would seem to validate claims that the stock and shipping rate of the new GeForce GTX 680 is simply unable to keep up with higher than expected and higher than normal demand. The line on the bottom represents the GTX 580 (both lines are mislabeled as GT rather than GTX) launch, the top the GTX 680 with the lower axis represented as weeks after launch. The vertical axis is labeled as "Units Sold Out Globally" but there are no numbers attached to it, making things incredibly vague.
When I asked for clarification all I was really given was that "it means sales of boards from AICs to distributors, system builders, e-tailers and retailers." This indicates that we are talking about boards either on Newegg.com, at Fry’s or being sold through system builders like Maingear and Puget Systems.
NVIDIA’s GTX 690 – one of the Kepler based cards MIA
The term "sold out" gave me a bit of pause – but when questioned "is it fair to translate ‘units sold out globally’ to ‘units sold globally’?" I received an affirmative.
If we take NVIDIA’s information as it is presented, then we see that after six weeks of product availability, the GTX 680 has sold and shipped at a rate 60% higher than that of the GeForce GTX 580 which launched in November of 2010. If that is true then we can agree with NVIDIA that demand is much higher for the GTX 680 than any other flagship GPU launch in recent memory and the continued stock and availability problems for Kepler are buyer created and strictly an NVIDIA yield issue.
NVIDIA has told me many times that they would obviously love to have more GTX 680s to sell to consumers as having them out of stock is only costing themselves money. How long it will take NVIDIA to balance out capacity with demand has yet to be seen though, so you can continue to check out our sort-of-weekly updates on GPU stock.