The roll-out of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 has been anything but smooth. Between stock that sells out in mere seconds and an unchecked scalper market that has seen the going rate of the already-pricey cards driven up by as much as double the usual price, it’s been a disaster.
If you were hoping that the stock situation would alleviate in 2021, then European tech retailer Alternate has some rather unwelcome news: it won't, at least for a few weeks.
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The stockist has received confirmation from Nvidia that the availability of its latest GPU set — specifically the RTX 3080 as well as the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti - will in fact worsen throughout the first quarter of this year.
The news comes by way of a statement on the retailer’s website (translated via Reddit) which said: “We’ve received the word from both manufacturers and Nvidia that the availability of the RTX 3000-series graphics cards will continue to worsen through the first quarter of 2021.
“This is caused by shortages of certain raw materials and the Nvidia chips, but also by the Chinese New Year, during which time factories are temporarily closed.”
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3060 Ti stock will be the most impacted, with “very few deliveries” and “many open orders expected." So it would seem even those who have managed to find pre-orders aren’t guaranteed to get their graphics cards any time soon.
The less popular GeForce RTX 3070 and GeForce RTX 3090 will be easier to find. But there still won't be a flood of these cards hitting the market as the retailer only expects “small quantities” of these cards throughout the first few months of the year.
Don’t expect to nab one for a bargain price either. Alternate warned that prices are set to rise in the near future due to “market forces,” though it did at least confirm that prices will stay the same for anyone who has already secured a pre-order.
While on the one hand, it’s refreshing to receive such a candid statement from a retailer instead of the usual, vague “we hope to have more stock soon” posts, it does make for slightly miserable reading for anyone hoping to score one of these coveted cards anytime soon.
If you’ve been patiently waiting to upgrade your gaming rig after missing initial orders last year, now might be a good time to consider the alternatives such as the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT, though rival GPUs are in similarly short supply.
If however, you have your heart set on a new GeForce card then we have a handy where to buy the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 guide to help you out, but maybe prepare for a bit of a wait.
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Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.