Buying An RTX 3080 Or 3090 Isn't Going To Get Easier Until At Least 2021

Don’t expect to get your hands on Nvidia’s RTX 3080 or 3090 cards before Christmas, unless you get very lucky. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang gave the bad news during a Q&A with press for the company’s GPU Technology Conference, as reported by Tom’s Hardware.

“I believe that demand will outstrip all of our supply through the year,” Huang said. Though the Q&A was intended to be about new announcements out of GTC, the issue of the RTX 3080 and 3090’s messy launches still came up.

Huang blamed the issues not on a lack of supply, but on unprecedented demand. “The 3080 and 3090 have a demand issue, not a supply issue,” he explained. “The demand issue is that it is much much greater than we expected–and we expected really a lot. Retailers will tell you they haven’t seen a phenomenon like this in over a decade of computing. It hearkens back to the old days of Windows 95 and Pentium when people were just out of their minds to buy this stuff. So this is a phenomenon like we’ve not seen in a long time, and we just weren’t prepared for it.”

The company is working hard to increase production and get new stock out to retailers, but what stock is available just gets snatched up immediately–with some stock drops dominated by bots buying up product for resellers.

“Even if we knew about all the demand, I don’t think it’s possible to have ramped that fast,” Huang continued. “We’re ramping really, really hard. Yields are great, the product’s shipping fantastically, it’s just getting sold out instantly. I appreciate it very much, I just don’t think there’s a real problem to solve. It’s a phenomenon to observe. It’s just a phenomenon.”

People looking to buy the new cards at the moment have very few options, with scalpers listing cards at over seven times the recommended retail price. Part of the reason this generation of cards has seen such high demand is the attractive base price point, meaning a $2000 RTX 3080 isn’t worth the investment.

Nvidia has recently delayed the launch of the RTX 3070, which is bound to see a huge surge in demand at launch since it boasts better performance than the 2080 Ti at less than half the price. Though the company is taking the time to shore up stock levels before launching the 3070, it’s likely to face the same issue of limited supply into 2021. The RTX 3070 is now launching on October 29.

GameSpot has reached out to Nvidia for further comment.

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