The GPU shortage of the past few months has persisted, but there may be hope for buyers. After a Quasar Zone user sent in a GTX 1080 Ti for RMA, they discovered something interesting about their replacement. The serial number indicated that the card was made in 2021, suggesting Nvidia's four-year-old giant from Pascal could see a comeback.
The GPU in question was an EVGA GTX 1080 Ti SC, which is still covered by the warranty. On Twitter, harukaze5719 tracked the serial number and confirmed that the card was made in 2021. EVGA likely has around 1080 Ti from before the card was discontinued, plus spares for repairs. That doesn't explain why an entirely new map is popping up in 2021.
Or why it's a GPU from a few years ago. Hopeful as it may seem, Nvidia is likely no longer producing GP102 GPUs in the GTX 1080 Ti, and the original poster has yet to confirm that the GPU itself is new. The GTX 1080 Ti also lacks features like DLSS and ray tracing that Nvidia is pushing forward as part of its brand.
In terms of performance, the GTX 1080 Ti can still keep up in 2021. It offers about as much performance as an RTX 3060 Ti, which under normal circumstances would show how far graphics cards have come. Now it shows what many PC manufacturers are willing to give up in order to get their hands on a graphics card.
With miners, gamers, and enthusiasts all vying for the latest cards and some high tariffs, it's great to see a GPU from the past few years. However, you shouldn't get your hopes up. EVGA and other manufacturers may have parts for cards on hand that are still under warranty. EVGA offers a three year warranty on its cards, and new 1080 Ti were available a few years ago.
Nvidia will continue to develop its latest GPUs. We hope that Nvidia and AMD will develop solutions to provide more graphics cards to customers who need them. However, there is probably no world where these solutions should involve republishing maps from a few generations ago.