Back in September, Nvidia launched a somewhat rocky release for the RTX 3080. Almost immediately, the demand for the GPU overwhelmed the market, seeing it sold out everywhere online and in-store. Over a month later, online retailers like Amazon and Newegg still list the card as "Currently Unavailable" or "Out of Stock."
There were even some users reporting that they had camped outside their local Micro Centers for days in order to secure one card out of an already extremely limited stock. Even the 3090, released on September 24th and retailing at a much higher price point of $1,499USD, is impossible to find right now.
The launch was so turbulent, in fact, that Nvidia announced on its forums on Monday that they would be pulling the founder's editions of the 3080 and 3090 from their own webstore and selling instead through partners like Best Buy (don't get too excited, though - the card is definitely still sold out there, too). An Nvidia rep posted the following explanation:
"We have heard your feedback regarding the NVIDIA online store and are working to improve the experience.
In the meantime, we will be selling our GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 Founders Edition through other partners. In the US, you can shop for Founders Edition at Best Buy - GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3090 . In Europe, we continue to review Founders Edition fulfillment options.
Founders Edition units are limited, and more will be available in the coming weeks alongside an increasing supply of boards from our global board partners."
Nvidia's CEO, Jensen Huang, said last week during a press Q&A that the company expects shortages for both graphics cards to continue until 2021. According to Huang, the issue is not with the supply, but rather with the astonishingly high consumer demand for the card.
"Even if we knew about all the demand, I don't think it's possible to have ramped that fast," he said. "We're ramping really, really hard. Yields are great, the product's shipping fantastically, it's just getting sold out instantly."
There is one more card in the RTX 3000 (the RTX 3070 for $499) series that Nvidia is still planning to release this year on October 29th. They pushed the release date back in hopes that they will be able to work with retailers in order to get more cards out to customers on launch day. If this launch goes like the others, though, I wouldn't get your hopes too set on acquiring the 3070.
AMD is supposed to reveal a new GPU series on October 28th, so if you're in the market for a new card you might have better luck waiting for that. Have you upgraded or built a new PC recently? Share your thoughts on your preferred cards!