Over the years, nVidia has gotten better and better at GPU launches. Each new card performs well, runs cool and quiet, and is better than what it replaces… and no exceptions to this come readily to mind.
nVidia’s sole (and rare) issue with modern launches is the pricing, which can sometimes feel like highway robbery: $1800 for a graphics card? Want my firstborn with that, too, nVidia? Or just an arm and a leg?
This year, though, it is a bit different.
Complications to The RTX 3070 Launch
Yes, the good things are all still there: nVidia’s latest launch, the $500 RTX 3070, is stellar in performance, runs cool and quiet, beats last year’s flagship for half the price, etc etc. An excellent launch for the card, and the price is reasonable, all par for the course for a modern nVidia launch.
But 2020 is different.
We have seen the rise of a global pandemic that has hurt millions, and kept hundreds of millions of people confined to their homes. Millions of people now work from home full time, and some may prefer to continue working from home even if the pandemic is over. Many people stay at home without going out for entertainment, instead finding entertainment at home… maybe via PC gaming?
Logical Increments does not have the exact data or statistics, but we have been monitoring hardware inventories since early in the year, and we have been watching inventories run dry. People are staying at home more, working and playing at home more, wanting better PC hardware more, and buying hardware till there is no more.
RTX 3070 (and 3080 and 3090) Availability
We have seen the results of this: nVidia’s RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 sold out in minutes. In some cases, inventories were sold out in a few seconds! Yes, thousands and thousands of cards selling out… in a few seconds!
The new RTX 3070 was no exception: nVidia delayed the launch by two weeks to let retailers build inventory, but it did not matter. The RTX 3070, like the 3xxx cards before it, sold out in minutes. It is a good card, and people really want it!
So, here we are, in a most unusual year, facing an unusual situation. Three different products have been launched, and all are mostly sold out everywhere. Oh yes, AMD recently announced that it has its own stack of three cards, going for a one-vs-one scenario against nVidia and launching in just 3 weeks… but let us not kid ourselves: AMD’s cards will likely be sold out in minutes, too. If you are able to upgrade your graphics card at all this year, count yourself lucky.
But perhaps that is enough negativity for today: Feeling upset does not solve anything. With AMD cards dropping very soon, and manufacturers (surely?) increasing production, the situation should improve over time.
For now, the RTX 3070 finds itself in our “Outstanding” tier, as an outstanding option (for those who can find one available). Kudos to nVidia, and sorry that this year has been so different.
Maybe next year will be better.
(Many thanks to the people at these subreddits for collating these:)