If you’ve tried to get buy one of Nvidia’s line of RTX 30 graphics cards, you’ve likely have come up empty handed. Demand has massively outstripped supply, leading to stock vanishing almost immediately and price gouging on pre-owned marketplaces. You may even have ended up with an unboxed version thanks to those supply issues.
Now we have a better idea as to why, thanks to Nvidia’s chief financial officer Colette Kress, who provided some insights into the supply problems facing the company during the Credit Suisse digital financial services conference (opens in new tab).
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As some had previously speculated, this is in part due to a shortage of wafers with chips from Samsung Foundry, but there’s more to it than that. “We do have supply constraints, and our supply constraints do expand past what we're seeing in terms of wafers and silicon, but yes, some constraints are in substrates and components,” explained Kress. “We continue to work during the quarter on our supply, and we believe, though, that demand will probably exceed supply in Q4 for overall gaming.”
‘Overall gaming’ is a strange catch-all term, but it is appropriate. Few industries have truly flourished in 2020 for obvious reasons, but gaming is one of the areas that has, with people forced to spend more time at home thanks to pandemic-induced lockdown restrictions. The flip side, of course, is that companies are struggling to keep up with demand, due to the same restrictions and need for social distancing measures in factories.
In other words, it’s a perfect storm for an unbalanced supply-and-demand situation, and something we’ve seen in everything from millions struggling to find where to buy PS5 and where to buy Xbox Series X to a sudden rush for older Switch hardware.
Nvidia RTX 30 stock: When will things improve?
So, with all that in mind, when might you be able to order an Nvidia RTX 30 card without having to worry about stiff competition from eager consumers and scalping bots?
"We do expect it probably to take a couple months for it to catch up to demand, but at this time, it is really difficult for us to quantify," Kress continued. "So, we stay focused on trying to get our parts to the market for this very important holiday season. Each day things continue to improve. But before the end of the quarter, we will be able to provide some more information."
If that’s disappointing to you, you may want to set an alarm on December 8, which is when the AMD Radeon 6900 XT is due to go on sale. But despite the company’s early optimism, if the availability of the 6800 is anything to go by, the $999 RTX 3090 rival will likely sell out in the blink of an eye.