The nightmarish GPU market means the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is a miserable bargain at $1,200

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti render on black background
(Image credit: Nvidia)

Best Buy has listed the Founders Edition version of the brand new Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti at its $1,200 MSRP. And if you're in the market for one of the green team's ultra-enthusiast cards this is surely the one you want—it will be cheaper than pretty much any third-party card, and far cheaper than any you'll find from smaller retailers cashing in on the GPU mining nightmare.

And we don't even want to go near what you'll find them retailing for on Ebay.

The $1,200 price tag for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti might seem super high at first glance... who am I kidding? It really is super high. When the GeForce RTX 3080 can seriously deliver in the frame rate race for considerably less cash, the extreme sticker price of the RTX 3080 Ti feels painfully high, even if it can practically match the novelty sized GeForce RTX 3090 in games.

So yeah, it's a hugely powerful gaming graphics card, and eats 4K gaming for breakfast, and in a normal GPU world we'd be gleefully talking about it as the Titan-esque card it really is.

But when it gets a full retail release tomorrow, June 3, you'll still want to be in the queue for an MSRP Founders Edition version if you're after any sort of new graphics card at all. Sure, there are some third-party GPUs that will launch at MSRP, from the likes of Zotac and Asus, and they may come with slightly superior cooling, but will still probably have the same chip-chillers as their RTX 3080 forebears too.

And we think the shinier FE shroud looks nicer, don't we, Jacob?

GA102 GPU | 10,240 Cores | 12GB GDDR6X | $1,199.99 at Best Buy
Somehow a modern d...

GA102 GPU | 10,240 Cores | 12GB GDDR6X | $1,199.99 at Best Buy
The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is helluva graphics card for 4K gaming, in much the same way Nvidia's RTX 3090 is. Best Buy is your only shot at grabbing a Founders Edition card in the US, and it's arguably the best-looking version of the card too. There are a few MSRP third-party options out there, but many will be far in excess of this $1,200 price tag.

Okay, but what makes it a 'bargain'? 

Despite the recent dip in fortunes of the demon cryptocurrencies the GPU market is still a nightmarishly barren wasteland, populated only with mercenary groups scrabbling to make a buck from desperate PC gamers and voracious crypto mining freaks. 

Scarcity and unprecedented demand has meant prices out on the wild west frontier of retail have skyrocketed, and that's what makes the MSRP pricing for the RTX 3080 Ti a frankly depressing deal.

Over at Amazon, that $1,200 will only net you an AMD RX 6700 XT. It's a decent card in its own right, but a GPU that's not a patch on this ultra-enthusiast GeForce silicon. There are even GeForce RTX 3060 cards going for nigh-on $1,200. And the AMD RX 6800 XT? Well, that's practically shipping for the $2K you'll find some overclocked RTX 3080 Ti cards going for.

Seriously, guys? (Image credit: Amazon)

Hell, even the RX 580 is retailing for more than $700 today. It was ever one of the darlings of the crypto brigade after all.

The real-world comparative pricing is a marker for just how broken the graphics card market is today, and a miserable sign of the times. 

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.