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Nvidia RTX 30-Series GPU Availability to Worsen in Q1: Report

Nvidia
(Image credit: Nvidia)

When Nvidia launched its RTX 3000 GPUs, the availability of the cards was less than great, with demand far outstripping supply, leading to a shortage. Now a new report suggests the problem is about to get worse. 

European hardware retailer Alternate, which operates in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium, has spoken with Nvidia about availability and confirmed that, throughout the first quarter, the cards will be even more difficult to come by than before. There are multiple factors at play, including the surge in Ethereum mining, none of them good news.

What to Expect?

Alternate spoke with Nvidia about each of the cards, with the following situations:

  • RTX 3090: Very few deliveries, but only a few open orders
  • RTX 3080: Very few cards coming with many open orders
  • RTX 3070: Few cards incoming, but few open orders
  • RTX 3060 Ti: Very few cards coming, and a moderately high amount of open orders

The chart is clear: If you're in the market for an RTX 3080 or an RTX 3060 Ti, chances are you'll have to sit through quite a wait before a card is available for you due to a high number of open orders and very few card deliveries from distributors. 

The retailer has a waiting list with a first in, first out criteria for placed orders. Your luck will apparently be better with RTX 3070 and RTX 3090 cards, as despite fewer incoming shipments, they aren't nearly as popular and thus have shorter waiting lists. The 3080 and 3060 Ti are in higher demand, still with very limited cards being delivered.

Multiple Contributing Factors

The most obvious factor at hand is that demand is far outstripping supply, and Nvidia simply cannot make enough GPUs amidst the current pandemic. But that's not all, and Q1 is set to be especially bad for two additional reasons: Chinese New Year, and reduced availability of raw materials for making the new cards.

Like many other companies, Nvidia is unable to source enough raw materials for GPU production, likely due to shortages further up the supply chain — similar to how chip packaging is holding up AMD's supply due to a shortage of substrate packaging. GDDR6 and GDDR6X are both in high demand and are the most likely components to cause further limitations on supply, but other elements like VRMs, capacitors, PCBs, and wirebonding equipment can impact the supply of finished cards.

Meanwhile, the Chinese New Year is taking place on February 12th. That means many factories will close for one or two weeks, further contributing to the manufacturing shortages. There's usually more planning around the Chinese New Year, but with all of the other ongoing issues, most places haven't been able to build up a surplus to get through the holiday closures.

Prices On the Rise

Alternate goes on to explain that if you had already placed an order previously, your price will remain and you will keep your position in the waiting list. However, prices will be on the rise due to the reduced supply.

Dutch retailer Megekko is also filtering open orders and canceling and crediting those with multiple GPUs per order to try and weed out scalpers.

While this is all information stemming from European retailers, from what we're seeing, the situation is no different in the US. Both continents' products come from the same production lines, and the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3080 also appear to be most popular here. In other words, buckle up, because we're in for an extended bumpy ride.

  • Heat_Fan89
    This is all a boon for the PC builders like Alienware, HP etc. Currently an RTX 3080 can be had from scalpers for around $1K or more. I had no choice but to order a prebuilt HP Omen with an i9-10850K, 32GB DDR4, 1TB Nvme, 2TB and RTX 3080 which cost $2200.
    Reply
  • thepersonwithaface45
    Wild seeing 3090 going to 2k, 3080s hitting 3090 MSRP, and now the 3070s are costing as much as a 3080 MSRP.
    Reply
  • bigdragon
    I'll just keep holding on to older GPU hardware then. There is no way I'm paying more than the price of a game console for a decent GPU. I've already avoided buying CP2077 because of not being able to acquire a new GPU. I wonder what other games are going to get avoided until hardware becomes available.

    The article does make the RTX 3070 look like the least popular option. I'm not surprised given the high cost given the performance and VRAM. The 3080 and 3060 Ti seem to be in more demand.
    Reply
  • roadrunner343
    It's somehow going to get worse? I guess not even the bots will be able to buy them then. I've not seen one in stock (Or the new AMD CPUs) since they launched.
    Reply
  • 1_rick
    roadrunner343 said:
    It's somehow going to get worse?

    The next post on the front page as I type this is "how to optimize your GPU for Etherium mining" so Tom's is doing its part to help make things worse.
    Reply
  • LolaGT
    For the average consumer that is not willing to pay a crazy price or search several times a day hoping to get lucky, they won't notice a difference, out of stock is out of stock.
    Reply
  • hannibal
    This almost like watching a comedy ;)
    Tragedy comedy... Luckily my pc is not terible old, but those who really need new pc... are getting really in trouble. Who knows if nvidia gt1010 may be the most popular gpu at 2021....
    Reply
  • hasten
    bigdragon said:
    I'll just keep holding on to older GPU hardware then. There is no way I'm paying more than the price of a game console for a decent GPU. I've already avoided buying CP2077 because of not being able to acquire a new GPU. I wonder what other games are going to get avoided until hardware becomes available.

    The article does make the RTX 3070 look like the least popular option. I'm not surprised given the high cost given the performance and VRAM. The 3080 and 3060 Ti seem to be in more demand.
    3070 is a fine card. I didn't realize that 2080 ti performance is poor. Let's be serious even at that performance it's geared towards 1440 in which 8gb should not bottleneck. Pricing has already adjusted and is going to go up greater not only from demand but looks like memory costs will be increasing. We are creeping towards msrp $1k for 3080 and $650-700 for 3070. 3070 performance and price seems pretty reasonable to me in comparison, but certainly getting high for a mid grade gpu (this generation is redefining the tiers tho).

    3080 is popular cause people think they need that much power or bragging rights and 3060 is popular because people that can't afford the big boys want to get into the action. 60 and 80 series cards are almost always the most popular.
    Reply
  • imsurgical
    thepersonwithaface45 said:
    Wild seeing 3090 going to 2k, 3080s hitting 3090 MSRP, and now the 3070s are costing as much as a 3080 MSRP.

    It's definitely ridiculous. I had put myself in a que with EVGA shortly after such a bad launch and was lucky to pay MSRP for a gpu when they emailed me in January about my que. I have to say it's really sad still to see such ridiculous pricing, and it get worse for that matter.
    Reply
  • Punkfarter
    KKKAAAAAHHHHNNNNN!!!!!!!!
    Reply
  • artk2219
    Punkfarter said:
    KKKAAAAAHHHHNNNNN!!!!!!!!

    "To the last, I will grapple with thee... from Hell's heart, I stab at thee! For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee!"
    Reply