Today the Nvidia RTX 3070 launched. For those not in the know, the 3070 is Nvidia’s brand new budget orientated GPU, sat right at the bottom of their new graphics card hierarchy yet still featuring 2080 Ti beating performance and a price point that’s hard to argue with.
The only thing is (if you haven’t been paying attention) that just because this graphics card has been released and is now available to buy, doesn’t necessarily mean that you are able to buy it. Nvidia proved this when the launch of their 3080 GPU was beset by low stock issues, bots ransacking different retailers to hoover up whatever available stock there was, and scalpers buying up all the available cards to sell online at ridiculous prices.
And all of this happened in minutes.
Then the 3090 released, the BFGPU, the card that the true hardcore gamers and people with deep pockets were waiting for. The very same thing happened again. Except this time it happened faster.
Since then, pre-orders and unfulfilled online orders have been sent out to customers, but not at all quickly, and not at all at the rate at which would satisfy the general demand for these cards worldwide. So when it was announced that the general on-hand supply of the RTX 3070 was much bigger in comparison to that of the 3080 and the 3090 during their launches, there were a few people out there that held their breath in anticipation.
But these people would be let down. As yes, it does seem like the initial stock levels of the 3070 were higher in comparison to that for the 3080 and the 3090 – but all that means is that it took a few extra minutes for this card to sell out than during Nvidia’s previous launches.
I mentioned before that more cards were set to be released by Nvidia during this launch, and it was such a big issue that the 3070’s release date was actually pushed back to accommodate the manufacturing of more cards ready for the launch date.
The question remains though, how did Nvidia with even an extra week of preparation time manage to put another graphics card out onto the market without having nearly the stock levels to satisfy demand?
Well, it could be that due to the global pandemic Nvidia might not have the resources to complete the manufacturing process in a satisfactory and timely way – but look at the other areas of technology and the production output of some of their gear. The new PS5 and Xbox for example are both highly sought after products, possibly more so than the RTX 3070 and yet they are still being produced in vast quantities, so whilst understand that this might be a contributing factor, I don’t believe that it is the true reason that the stock of these cards is disappearing in moments.
Instead, I think that Nvidia is a lot more directly responsible than they might initially appear. As a company, they have already relinquished the selling of their graphics cards via their own website, instead passing off the sale of the Nvidia made ‘Founders Edition’ cards to region-specific retailers, who can handle this for them.
Even then, it didn’t go perfectly. Retailers like Best Buy featured a lot of different issues when it came to users actually checking out their cards, with lots of users being booted out from the site, or being asked to make an account and when they were returned to the checkout screen they had lost their GPU. In the UK, retailer Scan’s website was operating as if their servers had been doused in glue, slow speeds and server errors eventually giving way to the sites DDOS preventative measures stopping searches and any further usage on the site. So not a lot of joy was had from third party retailers either it seems.
Either way, the removal of the Nvidia store seems to be a confession from Nvidia that their ability to fairly and safely distribute their own cards is actually not up to scratch, which as we have seen in their past few releases seems to be the case.
Realistically, the combination of a hungry market for the product and a lack of supply are the two crucial factors that have led to yet another disappointing Nvidia launch for fans of the brand who were hoping to buy the newest GPU.
I’m sure that Nvidia will release a statement on the availability of their products in due course, and that we can sit around all day discussing the different reasons that the Nvidia 3070 launch was once again such a disappointment, but the fact remains that this is a problem – its just not our problem.
Think about it. Nvidia has just released their brand new line of graphics cards, and had all of their stock bought up almost immediately – some to bots, some to real customers, and a lot of the potential customers waiting for their own Ampere GPU are left disappointed and out in the cold by Nvidia, with no idea when they might actually be able to get a 3080, 3070 or 3090 in their life.
AMD could have just lit a huge fire under Nvidia…
Yesterday AMD got on stage to show off their new graphics cards. Their 6000 line GPUs include the 6800, the 6800 XT, and the 6900 XT – each of these opposed to the 3070, the 3080, and the 3090 respectively. And what could be worrying for Nvidia is not just the fact that AMD is waiting in the wings with stock levels that can easily beat them out, but that their posted benchmark scores of the AMD 6000 line GPUs are actually in some cases better than Nvidia’s.
In fact, let’s look at the 6800. On its own, this card has more VRAM than its green counterpart, the 3070 – 16gb in total. Combine this with the features like AMD’s smart access memory, the RDNA2 Big Navi chip that the card is built off of, and the fact that its 4k 60fps API scores are easily outstripping the 2080 Ti, and you have a card that is superior to the 3070 not only in current performance but also solidly futureproofed as well.
I can tell you from personal experience that I have talked to several friends, all familiar with tech, who have changed their vote from Nvidia to AMD following the reveal last night. It’s not just the power in the cards either – it’s the price. The 6900 XT is poised to go blow for blow with the 3090, but it costs around $500 less, and is perfectly optimized to work alongside the brand new zen 3 products.
So what’s the issue I’m driving at? That basically, this holiday season, AMD could be receiving a lot of orders from customers who were at one point happy to fork out their cash to Nvidia. So really, this isn’t our problem. Employ a little bit of patience, and it’s more than likely that Nvidia will realize that they are losing a lot of their customer base to the competition just by not having their products ready to buy, and they might just start upping their production.
Right now you have two choices. You can wait for your 3070 to become available at your local retailer, or you can be a little more patient and try to get yourself an AMD card when they launch. It’s up to you, but look into both options, and decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth waiting for a concrete restock date from Nvidia.
Otherwise, we can write this off as another failure of a launch from Nvidia. For whatever reason, they just can’t get enough cards onto shelves to please everyone. In fact, it doesn’t seem like they can get enough stock on shelves to please a decent portion of their fanbase. Anyway, here’s hoping that the AMD launches go better and that we receive word on restocking soon enough!