Graphics card manufacturer Nvidia put its powerful RTX 3090 on sale this morning. Within minutes of it going on sale at 6 a.m. Eastern, it had sold out on Nvidia’s official site, online electronics retailer Newegg, and B&H.
The RTX 3090 is a ludicrous GPU and the most powerful video card Nvidia is currently offering average consumers. It’s physically massive, costs $1,500, and according to numerous reviews that were published ahead of the launch this morning, only delivers a 10 to 15 percent performance boost over the $699 RTX 3080. According to Nvidia, this card could play video games at 8K resolution and 60FPS. That’s if the game could even handle that resolution and you could find a monitor or screen capable.
Nvidia launched it’s RTX 3080 last week and sold out in seconds. Scalpers and bots scooped up many of the graphics cards and they ended up on eBay where a different set of bots drove the prices up to ludicrous amounts. The launch was such a mess that Nvidia apologized for it publicly and promised to make changes to its online store to prevent bots and scalpers and manually review orders.
Nvidia apologized for the impending launch of the RTX 3090 last night before the sales went live. “We want to apologise upfront that this will be in limited supply on launch day,” Nvidia said in a blog post. “We know this is frustrating, and we’re working with our partners to increase the supply in the weeks to come.”
The RTX 3090 is a specialty card. It’s one of the fastest gaming GPUs on the market, but it’s also powerful enough for AI grunt work and cryptocurrency mining. People lined up outside of stores like Microcenter 24 hours before the card’s launch to make sure they got one. They slept in truck beds in the parking lot outside the store while they waited. It’s a big launch for a niche card.
Like the 3080, the PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series S, the RTX 3090 will be available to the average consumer, eventually. For now, these cutting edge gaming products belong to the bots, the cryptocurrency miners, and the gamers mad enough to wait all night outside a store during a pandemic.