Don't waste time queuing IRL for the Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti: Founders Edition is 'Online only' at Best Buy

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition graphics card at various angles
(Image credit: Future)

Just a week after the in-store only launch of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, 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 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, 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. 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 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
Online Only

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition | 8GB GDDR6X | 6,144 CUDA Cores | $599.99 at Best Buy
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.

Your next machine

(Image credit: Future)

Best gaming PC: the top pre-built machines from the pros
Best gaming laptop: perfect notebooks for mobile gaming

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, Palit, Zotac, and Asus—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, 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 for a nightmarish $220. No-one's going to do well out of having that card, however pretty it is.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.