Nvidia recently suffered an online fiasco when its RTX 3080, and later, RTX 3090, went out of stock within minutes of going live for pre-order. Multiple online and offline outlets were overwhelmed and failed to meet the huge demand. Now, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang has revealed that this situation could last till the end of the year.
Since the Nvidia RTX 3000 series was announced last month, it has garnered remarkably positive reviews and thus attracted fans’ attention. The lineup currently offers three models: 3070 for $499, 3080 for $699, and 3090 for $1499.
The 3080 and 3090 became briefly available on Sep 17 and Sep 24 respectively. On the other hand, the 3070 — hailed as an affordable entry to 4K gaming — is set for release on Oct 29.
Recalling The Overwhelming Response To 3080 & 3090
It’s hard to argue that Nvidia was poorly equipped for the launch of 3080 and 3090. Stocks across all online vendors were exhausted as soon as the GPUs became available for purchase. Customers, who swarmed at physical stores, could not all receive a GPU either as the vendors only had a small stock.
The Verge reported encountering a queue of customers outside a retail store, many of which went back empty-handed. The media outlet itself could not get its hands on an RTX 3080.
In a bid to make the most of this launch day mess, some people, who were lucky enough to grab an RTX 3080, listed it on eBay against a ridiculously exorbitant price. The $699 model was on sale for as high as $2500, the same source reports.
Amidst all this chaos, Nvidia issued a public apology on its website. The GPU leader confessed, “We were not prepared for this level, nor were our partners. We apologize for this.”
The outrageous understocking of RTX 3000 GPUs at online and offline outlets, despite the known hype around the product, has left people disappointed with Nvidia. Even days after launch, 3080 and 3090 are still hard to bag, as is clear from this Twitter user’s experience.
Nvidia Admits Supply Will Fall Short Throughout This Year
During a Q&A session at the GTC 2020, Huang said, “I believe that demand will outstrip all of our supply through the year,” highlighting the enormous demand for the new GPUs. He noted that the already huge demand is expected to grow even more as the holiday season arrives.
Defending Nvidia’s rate of production of RTX GPUs, Huang explained, “Even if we knew about all the demand, I don’t think it’s possible to have ramped that fast. We’re ramping really, really hard. Yields are great, the product’s shipping fantastically, it’s just getting sold out instantly.”
According to Huang, there is little Nvidia can do to tackle the graphic card shortage. The CEO has compared the current demand for RTX 3000 to that of Windows 95 and Pentium processor back in the day.
The 3070 Release Will Be Better … Hopefully
On the back of previous release debacles, Nvidia pushed back the original launch of its 3070 model from Oct 15 to Oct 29. This move was done to “help our global partners get more graphics cards into the hands of gamers on launch day,” Nvidia’s official blog stated.
If all goes well, the postponed release of 3070 will allow the GPU giant and its vendors to be better prepared with a bigger stock than last time.
However, based on the CEO’s latest statements, it would be realistic to assume not every interested buyer will be getting an RTX 3070 at launch.