Update: PC gamers, now is not the time to buy a new graphics card.
Nvidia unveiled the RTX 3090 Ti last month during CES 2022. At the time, the company said it would have more information about the upcoming flagship GPU at the end of January.
We’re now a few days into February and have yet to hear anything substantive regarding the graphics card. A Nvidia spokesperson recently told The Verge: "We don’t currently have more info to share on the RTX 3090 Ti, but we’ll be in touch when we do." Which isn't exactly the most forthcoming statement.
This has naturally led to speculation about the state of the GPU and if Nvidia has hit any snags with its production. According to some rumors, this is precisely what’s happening.
According to Wccftech’s sources and those of YouTuber Moore’s Law is Dead (via TechRadar), the problem lies in Nvidia’s inability to get enough GA102 GPUs to produce the RTX 3090 Ti in meaningful quantities. This GPU is what the RTX 3090 and RTX 3090 Ti are built on, and Nvidia reportedly needs high-quality GA102 chips to enable the RTX 3090 Ti to reach higher clock speeds than the RTX 3090.
Then there’s the matter of pricing, which is quite devastating. Though the card’s release date is up in the air, some retailers have listed unreleased custom models priced around $4,000. A retailer in Vietnam has begun taking pre-orders for prices starting at 88 million VNĐ ($3,885.21) for Galax's Gamer EX Black model. The HOF Extreme, which is the top model from Galax, could be priced around $6,000.
As things stand, we have no idea when the RTX 3090 Ti will actually come out. We have to assume that Nvidia knew manufacturing the GPU amid the ongoing global semiconductor shortage wouldn’t be easy; thus, it's a bit baffling that Nvidia chose to announce a new GPU at CES 2022 and promise more details within the month.
There was no reason to announce the RTX 3090 Ti so soon, especially since most folks still can’t get their hands on the current crop of RTX 30 series GPUs. Wccftech suggests it may have been a bit of chest-thumping on Nvidia’s part, and we’re inclined to agree with that.
Also, and this needs to be said, what’s the point of an RTX 3090 Ti if, as reports suggest, RTX 40 series cards may release in late 2022?
But with AMD’s rumored RX 6000 GPUs also slated to release in late 2022, perhaps Nvidia wanted to flex and show it was still the top dog in the graphics card arena. That’s understandable, but if this GPU is a “show card” meant to break “world records” instead of something people can actually buy, then why should the average PC gamer even care about the RTX 3090 Ti?
Hopefully, we’ll hear something official from Nvidia regarding the RTX 3090 Ti sooner rather than later, just to clear up the confusion.