Can’t find Nvidia RTX 3080 stock? These GeForce cards are coming back

Nvidia GeForce RTX shortage
(Image credit: Nvidia)

The Nvidia RTX 30-series stock disaster continues largely unabated; anyone who’s tried to find where to buy the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, in particular, will have faced weeks of sold-out stock. Such is the mass demand for these latest graphics cards that Nvidia has released additional stock of its older GPUs to partner manufacturers, just to get more GeForce GPUs on shelves.

Nvidia confirmed the move to PCWorld, with the last-gen RTX 2060 and the even older GTX 1050 Ti named as GPUs that would make their way to board partners. The company noted that these GPUs never formally reached end-of-life status anyway. But it’s telling that demand is so high Nvidia evidently believes these aged cards will still sell.

Of course, demand for the latest GeForce RTX 30-series cards isn’t simply being driven by PC owners wanting to upgrade. There’s a massively profitable reseller market, one which uses retail bots to instantly snap up stock the moment it’s released. 

Then there’s cryptocurrency mining, which relies on buying up as many powerful GPUs as possible, and is seeing a sizeable boom at the moment due to value rises in currencies like Ethereum.

It seems unlikely that anyone holding out for an RTX 3080 would settle for the entry-level GTX 1050 Ti instead. But raising the supply of desktop GPUs in general could help satisfy demand from cryptocurrency miners. Some have become so desperate they’ve even resorted to using RTX 30-series laptops instead. So if a wave of RTX 2060s becomes available that might take some heat off the newer models.

And who knows — not everyone wants or needs the very latest hardware. So there could be some takers for the RTX 2060 among the less profiteering PC gaming populace. It still supports the ray tracing and DLSS features of the RTX 30-series, including the upcoming RTX 3060.

That said, the underlying issue of RTX 30-series stock shortages won’t be directly addressed for some time. As the retailer Alternate revealed this week, Nvidia is suffering from a raw martials and chips shortage, so simply can’t make RTX 3080 or RTX 3060 Ti GPUs any faster than it currently is.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.