Nvidia’s most powerful graphics cards are fetching more than $40,000 on eBay as demand grows for the processors needed to train and deploy artificial intelligence software.
John Carmack, a 3D gaming pioneer and former technology director at Meta Consultancy, took to Twitter to observe the cost of Nvidia’s H100 chips. At least eight H100s were listed on eBay on Friday, with prices ranging from $39,995 to just under $46,000. Some vendors have previously sold them for around $36,000.
Nvidia H100 GPUs going for $40k on eBay. pic.twitter.com/7NOBI8cn3k
— John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) April 14, 2023
Nvidia’s next flagship AI processor, the H100, was launched last year, following the A100, a nearly $10,000 chip that was described as a “workhorse” for AI applications.
The H100 is used by developers to create so-called large language models (LLMs), which are at the heart of AI applications such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT. These systems are expensive to run, requiring powerful computers to process gigabytes of data for days or weeks at a time. They also require significant computing power to allow the AI model to generate text, images, or predictions.
Training AI models, especially large ones like GPT, requires the collaboration of hundreds of high-end Nvidia GPUs.
Microsoft invested hundreds of millions of dollars in tens of thousands of Nvidia A100 processors to help develop ChatGPT. Nvidia owns most of the AI chip industry.
Nvidia also provides the DGX, a supercomputer with eight GPUs working together. Earlier this year, the company unveiled new services that would allow companies to rent access to DGX machines for $37,000 a month. The machine would use Nvidia’s older A100 processors at that price.
According to Nvidia, the H100 is the first processor tuned for its unique AI architecture, known as Transformers, which underpins much of the latest developments in AI. According to industry analysts, more powerful CPUs will be needed to develop even larger and more data-hungry models than those already accessible.