Just a week after the in-store only launch of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti (opens in new tab), Best Buy seems to be rowing back on that commitment to getting folk together during a pandemic. Either that or it believes it has enough stock of the new GeForce RTX 3070 Ti (opens in new tab) graphics card to once more be able to sell a viable quantity online.
It seemed a strange release for the exclusive Nvidia Founders Edition retailer to only allow you to bag one of the new high-end cards in-store last week, especially given the socially distant the times we find ourselves living in. But for the RTX 3080 Ti Best Buy chose not to sell online (opens in new tab), which was at least one way of ensuring non-corporeal bots couldn't get their coded claws into a new GeForce GPU ahead of us gamers.
I'd have to say it looks likely that gambit was only really employed because there were precious few Founders Edition cards to go around at launch. Indeed, it was only specific Best Buy stores who found themselves with allocation of the new GPUs.
"Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition graphics card will have limited quantities available on Thursday, June 3, at select Best Buy stores only," the company said in a post (opens in new tab). Which sure sounds like 'we don't have enough,' but could there ever really be enough?
However, we've spoken to Best Buy today and it seems the current listing of the RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition (opens in new tab) is correct in that it will indeed be 'Online only'.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition | 8GB GDDR6X | 6,144 CUDA Cores | $599.99 at Best Buy (opens in new tab)
The GeForce RTX 3070 Ti delivers frustratingly variable performance, often too close to an RTX 3070 for a price smack between it and the RTX 3080. It doesn't have quite the same impact as Ampere's best cards, but at the very least offers PC gamers another chance to pick up a graphics card at MSRP this year.
That means it's going to be a free-for-all for everyone, bots included, when the new card goes on sale tomorrow at 9am... and likely out of stock at 9.03am. That said, I know an actual human who picked up an RTX 3080 Ti FE in the UK some 30 minutes after stock went live at Scan.
I know, crazy, right?
Retail prices are tough to parse at the moment given the way some manufacturers and retailers are cashing in on the obscene demand for graphics cards, but there should at least be some third party variants on sale at launch around the same $599 MSRP as the reference Nvidia Founders Edition card.
We've been told of four cards—from Gigabyte (opens in new tab), Palit (opens in new tab), Zotac (opens in new tab), and Asus (opens in new tab)—which will be sold at the UK MSRP of £529 alongside the Founders Edition card. There's the chance that those same variants might also be MSRP SKUs in the US too, so keep an eye out for:
- Palit RTX 3070 Ti 8GB GamingPro
- Zotac RTX 3070 Ti 8GB Trinity
- Asus RTX 3070 Ti 8GB TUF Gaming
- Gigabyte RTX 3070 Ti 8GB Eagle
We've not been as blown away by the proposition that the RTX 3070 Ti makes, especially not compared with the almost mythical Radeon RX 6800 (opens in new tab), but in these card-starved times if you can get yourself a new GPU close to MSRP you're doing well whatever one you pick.
Well, unless you're talking about a bright pink RX 550 (opens in new tab) for a nightmarish $220. No-one's going to do well out of having that card, however pretty it is.