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Yes, you guess it...
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We’ve talked a number of times about how disastrous the RTX 3080 release went both in terms of the Founder’s Edition and the third-party variants but, did the RTX 3090 launch go just as badly?
As the 3090 graphics cards launched on both Nvidia’s site as well as retailers around the globe, there was a sea of consumers flocking to get their hands on the most powerful GPUs around. However, as expected, a frightening number of prospective buyers failed to get their orders in. But, it wasn’t down to website crashes and bots/scalpers getting in there far too quickly, it was simply because most of the cards never actually came in stock. There was also some more price altering going on, again, taking advantage of customers eagerly trying to get their payments through.
Let’s first talk about those fishy price points. Last week we noticed that retailers were upping the price of the RTX 3080’s either just before and while customers were trying to checkout. This time though, it seemed that there was more strategy in it with a slow increase in 3090 prices as the release day drew closer.
As you can see in the image above, UK retailer Overclockers had been slowly increasing prices from September 17th until the September 24th launch. As mentioned in our RTX 3080 verdict, it’s awful for consumers to experience this and there should be some sort of regulation in place to prevent this.
Speaking of price, we speculated in a previous article that, due to the cost of the RTX 3090 graphics cards, there could potentially be more stock available, ultimately meaning more successful purchases could made. How wrong we were… This time round, Nvidia really did fail consumers wanting to get their hands on a new GPU with the Founder’s Edition showing out of stock on their website even before the button to purchase went live. Moreover, there was extremely limited stock on third-party retailers, even more so than the RTX 3080, which was quite an impressive feat actually. Nvidia did put out a statement curbing consumer expectations but, this just isn’t enough:
“Since we built GeForce RTX 3090 for a unique group of users, like the TITAN RTX before it, we want to apologize up front that this will be in limited supply on launch day,”
“We know this is frustrating, and we’re working with our partners to increase the supply in the weeks to come.”
Yes, stock levels are expected to be lower than usual, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic but, to notify buyers a day before while also gifting a number of graphics cards to YouTubers certainly isn’t a good look.
Now, let’s talk about those pesky bots and scalpers. The whole bots and scalpers fiasco has been a consistent failure across all preorders and releases, not just the RTX 3000 series graphics cards but, with the Xbox Series X, S, and PS5 all failing to counter bots and scalpers from snatching stock from the clutches of genuine customers. So, it was fantastic to see that retailers we’re putting measures in place such as multiple CAPTCHAs for both logging in and checking out as a prevention process. Dont get us wrong, some still slipped through the net, especially on sites that weren’t able to put extra measures in place but it was certainly better from a consumer’s point of view. The major problem was, there was no stock to grab, so it was essentially a moot point for the 3090’s release…
To sum it all up, The RTX 3090 launch followed similar mistakes that the RTX 3080 had but there were some actual improvements. However, it completely failed in one key area – stock levels. The bots and scalpers were at obviously large, trying to scoop up and resell the graphics cards but, it seems retailers actually took note of what happened last time and implemented some changes. It was simply down to what Nvidia call “unprecedented demand” as the reason why 99% of people weren’t able to buy them. With the RTX 3070 being next on the agenda and being a more budget option, we definitely expect the same scenario to occur. It could be different but as always, we won’t be holding our breath.
If you did somehow manage to get your order in on an RTX 3090 then congratulations, you’ve managed to pull of some wizadry! If you want to keep pressing that F5 button refreshing retailer pages, head to our where to buy page where we have all those links for you.