The RTX 3060 Launch Update

The PC buyers have been living in the dry desert of GPU-lessness for 5 months now, and a few days ago, nVidia promised that relief is coming with the RTX 3060.

But let us get the usual things out of the way: $330, great performance for the price, runs cool. It is a modern nVidia launch, and you typically only need to ask if they have messed up the price or not. This time, the price is good.

Or is it?

The Reality of the RTX 3060

Finding this card for $330 is a dream, a mirage. In fact, finding second-hand mid-tier cards from the previous generation at $330 would be a miracle! A visit to our friend Mr. Google would show that if you were to search for “mining profitability of”, you would get a suggestion for which crypto is currently getting you $5-$10 per day, per card. With those sorts of returns, is it any wonder that card prices are $800+?

And this is on top of the issues already plaguing the market across the past year due to the global pandemic, as detailed in our previous update post

But wait! nVidia says they have the solution: nVidia says that these new RTX 3060 cards will have much lower mining capability, making them less attractive for miners. If miners are not buying them, maybe PC builders will have a chance to get a properly priced card!

Ah, but it will not happen. Within seconds of the launch, all 3060 cards were sold out. Whether because the miners were undeterred by the loss of mining efficiency, the PC builders were so starved for good gear, or the reseller bots didn’t get the memo about the hardware changes, the result was the same: the cards simply vanished as soon as they were available.

So here we are again, for the 8th time in a row: a great card has released, that you cannot buy. At any rate, as much for posterity as for accuracy, the RTX 3060 will be added to the ‘Superb’ tier of our main chart, where we hope to see it available… some time this year.