Nvidia RTX 3080 could he hard to find at launch — here’s why

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
(Image credit: Nvidia)

With the GeForce RTX 3080 set to launch in a week’s time on September 17, excitement for Nvidia’s high-end next-generation graphics card is building. But it could be difficult to get hold of one. 

Our colleagues at Tom’s Hardware reported that cryptominers are showing a big interest in the capabilities of the RTX 3080 for ‘mining’ cryptocurrencies. Referencing a tweet by regular leaker @momomo, Tom’s Hardware noted a lot of interest is coming from China around the power of the GPU and the price tag of $699, presenting strong bang-for-the-buck when it comes to cryptomining. 

For the uninitiated, the mining of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, involves using computers to solve complex equations to generate digital currency. Such calculations can be very demanding. But the use of parallel processing - something GPUs are very good at - can crunch through such calculations faster than CPUs. So graphics cards, especially those with a lot of power, can be very attractive to cryptominers. 

As such, people keen to set up machines to mine cryptocurrencies can rush out and snap up a lot of the latest graphics cards. That has the nasty knock-on effect of reducing the supply of new GPUs and then seeing retailers push the prices up. We saw this happen in some nations with the GeForce RTX 2000-series graphics cards. 

There have also been rumors of potential stock shortages for the new Nvidia cards, which also include the GeForce RTX 3090 and RTX 3070. Combined with a high demand, it could be a challenge to find a new RTX 3000-series graphics card at launch. 

This is all speculation based on rumors and hearsay. But it’s worth bearing in mind if you plan to build a new gaming PC in the closing months of 2020.  

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.