Article Changes Coming in the Video Card Reviewer Industry — HardOCP

biostud

Lifer
Feb 27, 2003
16,229
1,591
126
The thing is, that the difference between different types of hardware has simply diminished the last 20 years. Whatever brand of hardware you buy, it will be fine and it will all work together. Sure there are some few cheap brands of PSU you probably want to avoid and some prebuild PC's as well, but all major brands are more or less the same quality and have the same functionality, so for most consumers all these small details aren't really important. Once I've seen one or maybe two reviews of a new video card, then I don't read the next 20.

For those of us who like to tinker and tweak our computer, we can still meet in communities and discuss our hobby, but even overclocking is kind of dead, so what is really left to tinker and tweak? Except if you go custom water or in other way mod your case.
 

igor_kavinski

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2020
3,187
1,743
96
Some review sites test a lot of games (Techpowerup) or employ a testing methodology that reveals interesting differences in terms of limitations or performance in games optimized more for either AMD or nVIDIA cards. Every review site can't test every game so it's fun to read different sites testing performance on unique games that nobody else thought to test. I think I would still prefer to read a diverse number of reviews on launch day.
 

Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
11,450
5,191
136
Interesting point from Kyle: "Have you noticed how more hardware reviewers are constantly and continuously pushing merch in its content? This is very telling that the underlying revenue generation from traditional content is currently failing"

The amount of time spent pushing merchant on the top YouTube hardware sites I watch is getting nuts. LTT pushes merch like crazy, same with more old school sites like GamersNexus and Jayz2cents (A bit less with Jayz). Even Paulshardware is upping his merch catalogue.

I wonder if this is part of the reason Linus has talked about 'retiring'.
 

In2Photos

Senior member
Mar 21, 2007
319
71
101
As a 40+ year old father of 2 teenagers this might be the only time I'm ok with being part of the "dumb teen masses". I enjoy the reviews of content creators.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Ajay

In2Photos

Senior member
Mar 21, 2007
319
71
101
Interesting point from Kyle: "Have you noticed how more hardware reviewers are constantly and continuously pushing merch in its content? This is very telling that the underlying revenue generation from traditional content is currently failing"

The amount of time spent pushing merchant on the top YouTube hardware sites I watch is getting nuts. LTT pushes merch like crazy, same with more old school sites like GamersNexus and Jayz2cents (A bit less with Jayz). Even Paulshardware is upping his merch catalogue.

I wonder if this is part of the reason Linus has talked about 'retiring'.
Linus posted a pie chart recently that shows where their revenue comes from. I believe merch was #1 which was up from previous years. I don't mind the 5 second "commercial" or even the occasional 30 second spot, just don't give me the 30 second spot on every video.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ajay

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
25,135
2,429
126
I mean... how long has it been since Anandtech reviewed a GPU?
Seriously, though... when was the last time you read an Anandtech hardware review? It has to be months for me at this point. I just visit this place for the forum mostly. If I'm looking for a product review, odds are I will find it on YouTube before it's posted anywhere else.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ozzy702

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
23,913
6,466
146
If I were under 40 and read that, I'd be insulted. He is unfortunately correct however, that people do not read anymore. I have seen surveys that point to "Idiocracy" being in progress. Hence, no one under 40 will read it? :p Any written content is in trouble though, no doubt. His prognostications concerning tech tubers? Well, I don't share his POV on that topic.

The views being down so much, is due to market conditions we are all aware of. Remove those conditions, and views will increase again. Few want to watch content about GPUs they can't buy without selling a kidney, and getting bent over by scalpers. And aside from 12th gen, the CPU market has been fairly unexciting for a long while too. Pricing and availability has also been less than ideal, which compounds the lack of interest.

Tech tubers are going to be around a long time yet. E.G. Gamers Nexus and Hardware Unboxed; both have doubled their subs in the last couple of years, despite the chaotic market they cover. All it took was a push from LTT and Jay, and some good old fashioned IHV drama. Or in GN's case, some good consumer advocacy helped a lot too.

How the day one thing shakes out? I don't care, even a little. If some reviewers get better access, and scoop everyone else? I would ignore whomever got that level of access. And I would prefer reviewers had to buy everything off the shelf, as we do. No swag, no cherry picked models, no ideas from the manufacturers about editorial directions.

The prediction that younger buyers will depend on influencers for purchases? Duh. It has always been thus, at least in my lifetime. Sports stars got me to eat Wheaties. That cereal is nasty. :D And brand loyalty is nothing new either. When and where I grew up, it was Ford v. Chevy. v. Dodge. It didn't keep the smart ones from reading car mags, or talking to their mechanic friends about a potential purchase though. Nothing has changed.

There is a whole new generation of PC DIYers, and they are every bit as interested in the topic as we are. LTT is buying a bunch of expensive testing hardware, and so is GN. It isn't primarily for our crusty crowd. Many of you won't even watch the vids. Certainly techtubers will fail, but that is more because they are shameless shills, boring, and talentless. Quality content creators will keep growing.

Cases in point - RandomGamingInHD, BudgetBuildsOfficial, and zWORMz Gaming. They are average joes, buying cheap and used stuff mostly, then testing it. Their channels continue to grow, because they are providing the content that is relevant to most young gamers, and not just in N.A. I know if I lived in a country where these GPUs cost a month or more of my wages, I would not even watch the content. But these guys testing stuff I can afford would have my attention.

Anyways, I wrote more than people will read now too. If you made it here, congrats, you are old like me.
 

dlerious

Golden Member
Mar 4, 2004
1,215
341
136
Interesting point from Kyle: "Have you noticed how more hardware reviewers are constantly and continuously pushing merch in its content? This is very telling that the underlying revenue generation from traditional content is currently failing"

The amount of time spent pushing merchant on the top YouTube hardware sites I watch is getting nuts. LTT pushes merch like crazy, same with more old school sites like GamersNexus and Jayz2cents (A bit less with Jayz). Even Paulshardware is upping his merch catalogue.

I wonder if this is part of the reason Linus has talked about 'retiring'.
I don't mind merch , it's better than paid promotions disguised as reviews. Gamers Nexus is putting money into improving their content (like their new fan testing), which I doubt they'd be able to do on ad revenue alone.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,989
979
126
IMO hardware only became so good because of the critical eye reviewers placed on it, to a depth a typical influencer on youtube can't match, so I suspect a new balance will be reached where there is still the need for more thorough reviews.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DAPUNISHER

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
23,913
6,466
146
I don't mind merch , it's better than paid promotions disguised as reviews. Gamers Nexus is putting money into improving their content (like their new fan testing), which I doubt they'd be able to do on ad revenue alone.
Exactly.

Another example is Linus showing where they are going to be putting all the new testing equipment. He then said he would be recruiting the talent to use it. Then threw down the gauntlet by saying that if you were watching, and thought to yourself he couldn't afford you? His emphatic response was TRY ME!

These big techtubers will mix consumer advocacy with deep dive testing, and all the fluff stuff to give as many pie slices on the demographic chart as possible, what they want.

As to that pie shrinking - It will grow when the fruit filling is not outrageously overpriced and hard to buy.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Leeea and dlerious

Tech Junky

Senior member
Jan 27, 2022
842
272
96
YT is for seeing things you can't figure out yourself or cat videos.

Why would someone buy anything based off a video? Infomercials have been around for decades for cheap crap.

For tech gear I look at the specs and make sure they are compatible with what I'm trying to accomplish. I took my laptop from a FHD crappy panel and reverse engineered it to use a 4K panel instead that was never offered as an option from the OEM.

Routers - I got sick of the crappy firmware that's always buggy and a potential security risks. I built my own instead and since every networking device uses Linux anyway under whatever skin they apply to make it more appealing. Using the raw power of a PC CPU vs the cheap little chips they put on consumer black boxes for $500/ea prevents most of the issues most users complain about in the lack of functionality.

Cars - with everything getting more electronic it's easier to take a little box and laptop to make tweaks to the performance rather than getting under it to make physical changes. Over engineered and hobbled for the consumer only takes some $ and clicks of software to unlock things.

YT is good for stuff like figuring out how to do something if you run into an issue that is common and there's a bunch of videos on how to get from start to finish.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ryan20fun

maddie

Diamond Member
Jul 18, 2010
3,888
2,966
136
If I were under 40 and read that, I'd be insulted. He is unfortunately correct however, that people do not read anymore. I have seen surveys that point to "Idiocracy" being in progress. Hence, no one under 40 will read it? :p Any written content is in trouble though, no doubt. His prognostications concerning tech tubers? Well, I don't share his POV on that topic.

The views being down so much, is due to market conditions we are all aware of. Remove those conditions, and views will increase again. Few want to watch content about GPUs they can't buy without selling a kidney, and getting bent over by scalpers. And aside from 12th gen, the CPU market has been fairly unexciting for a long while too. Pricing and availability has also been less than ideal, which compounds the lack of interest.

Tech tubers are going to be around a long time yet. E.G. Gamers Nexus and Hardware Unboxed; both have doubled their subs in the last couple of years, despite the chaotic market they cover. All it took was a push from LTT and Jay, and some good old fashioned IHV drama. Or in GN's case, some good consumer advocacy helped a lot too.

How the day one thing shakes out? I don't care, even a little. If some reviewers get better access, and scoop everyone else? I would ignore whomever got that level of access. And I would prefer reviewers had to buy everything off the shelf, as we do. No swag, no cherry picked models, no ideas from the manufacturers about editorial directions.

The prediction that younger buyers will depend on influencers for purchases? Duh. It has always been thus, at least in my lifetime. Sports stars got me to eat Wheaties. That cereal is nasty. :D And brand loyalty is nothing new either. When and where I grew up, it was Ford v. Chevy. v. Dodge. It didn't keep the smart ones from reading car mags, or talking to their mechanic friends about a potential purchase though. Nothing has changed.

There is a whole new generation of PC DIYers, and they are every bit as interested in the topic as we are. LTT is buying a bunch of expensive testing hardware, and so is GN. It isn't primarily for our crusty crowd. Many of you won't even watch the vids. Certainly techtubers will fail, but that is more because they are shameless shills, boring, and talentless. Quality content creators will keep growing.

Cases in point - RandomGamingInHD, BudgetBuildsOfficial, and zWORMz Gaming. They are average joes, buying cheap and used stuff mostly, then testing it. Their channels continue to grow, because they are providing the content that is relevant to most young gamers, and not just in N.A. I know if I lived in a country where these GPUs cost a month or more of my wages, I would not even watch the content. But these guys testing stuff I can afford would have my attention.

Anyways, I wrote more than people will read now too. If you made it here, congrats, you are old like me.
On a serious note. Can you advance or even maintain a high-tech society if only a minority really reads? I for one can get a lot more by reading a few pages than wading through an equivalent video and in truth, time is the only resource that you can't increase.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,989
979
126
Routers - I got sick of the crappy firmware that's always buggy and a potential security risks. I built my own instead and since every networking device uses Linux anyway under whatever skin they apply to make it more appealing. Using the raw power of a PC CPU vs the cheap little chips they put on consumer black boxes for $500/ea prevents most of the issues most users complain about in the lack of functionality.
You lost me at routers, I've gotten a great combo of functionality and performance for dirt cheap, buying Amazon warehouse routers that can run DD-WRT, and they use a lot less power so the electric bill is easily >$100 less over the lifespan of the router too.

Main downside is something I've commented about in other posts, those !@#$ wall warts fail, but this is more an annoyance than anything, power saved still more than pays for a new wall wart and I have spare warts and preconfigured routers I can swap in.

Last PC based router I built was during the dial-up era, was the host w/modem. IIRC it used an IBM Cyrix socket 7 processor, because I had no other good use for it, lol.
 
Last edited:

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
23,913
6,466
146
On a serious note. Can you advance or even maintain a high-tech society if only a minority really reads? I for one can get a lot more by reading a few pages than wading through an equivalent video and in truth, time is the only resource that you can't increase.
Cult Mechanicus will handle that.
 

igor_kavinski

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2020
3,187
1,743
96
I have an idea to get people to read again. I should patent this idea but I'm generous :p

Create a snazzy youtube review video. Then give clues in it. Put a link to an accompanying review and say that they will gain something from that. It could be points for future use to buy merch, it could be a score to increase the reader's XP, granting them special access to certain forum areas or mod-like powers to vote and nuke undesirable or trolling posts (set a threshold to avoid abuse. like 80% dislikes end up hiding or nuking the post) OR even prizes.

The viewer clicks the URL and reads up to a certain point but to go to the next page, he/she needs to enter a code or answer a multiple choice question, the answer to which is mentioned in the video. Once they reach the end of the written review, they get points or entry to the prize draw. This way, the fates of the video and review article are intertwined and the number of readers increase. This might have been done somewhere before. It's not easy but someone committed to solving this problem could really make this work.
 

Tech Junky

Senior member
Jan 27, 2022
842
272
96
@mindless1

Cheap ass routers work for some remedial connectivity where you're just surfing the web or watching cat videos.

When you venture into more aspects of networking though it becomes a bottleneck to deal with when there's smore bandwidth waiting for you for free.

With a 1gbps plan you can actually get more by enabling more than 1gbps of connections to the modem. I use a MB8600 which has 4 1GE ports that can be bundled for more BW but, on the router side there's few devices to choose from that can get the job done.

By bundling 2 ports together i get another 50% in download speeds to 1.5gbps at no extra charge.

Now there are modems being released with 2.5GE and routers with 2.5GE (WAN) but, then you get screwed on the LAN with 1GE ports.

Cheap routers won't get you the best speeds if you're hooking up a NAS to them either as their backplane usually bottlenecks things giving you slow speeds on the LAN.
 
  • Like
Reactions: igor_kavinski

Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
11,450
5,191
136
I don't mind merch , it's better than paid promotions disguised as reviews. Gamers Nexus is putting money into improving their content (like their new fan testing), which I doubt they'd be able to do on ad revenue alone.
I don't mind. I was just saying that I've noticed what Kyle was referring to. Better that than some of my favorite content producers going under.
 

Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
4,639
1,215
136
But these guys testing stuff I can afford would have my attention.
I've always felt testing mainstream gear was somewhat lacking. Top-tier stuff easily gets pored over by everybody, but those things people actually buy? Not so much.

Anyways, I wrote more than people will read now too. If you made it here, congrats, you are old like me.
I don't feel old. Unfortunately my birth certificate says otherwise.

Main downside is something I've commented about in other posts, those !@#$ wall warts fail, but this is more an annoyance than anything, power saved still more than pays for a new wall wart and I have spare warts and preconfigured routers I can swap in.
You can try to hunt down better quality and more efficient wall warts too. Every watt shaved off adds up over the lifetime of a device, but of course the cost-benefit ratio may vary quite a lot.

I try to get things as efficient as possible, even before the current electricity price surge here in Denmark. My attitude has saved me quite a lot of money currently.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY