The Nvidia RTX 3080 (opens in new tab) launched today and it's been rather popular. Well, the card has, not the actual launch day retail experience. Nvidia "encountered an error" on its own store when it went live and is now apologising to customers "for this morning's experience."
The green team is also hard at work trying to keep cards out of the digital hands of bots and the filthy hands of Ebay resllers. Though that's going to take some doing.
The impressive new Ampere-based GPU outpaces the former "fastest graphics card in the world," the RTX 2080 Ti, by quite a margin, and for significantly less cash. Via traditional retail outlets anyways. Unfortunately cards have appeared on eBay as soon as conventional stock ran dry, for upwards of $80,000 (opens in new tab). But those bids may not be legitimate.
The demand has been so massive that both Nvidia's own RTX 3080 Founders Edition, from its storefront, and third-party cards from more than 50 different retailers across the globe, were snapped up almost immediately. Social media reports of disappointed would-be buyers provide anecdotal evidence of the problem:
3080 in my cart just to hit checkout and get hit with this pic.twitter.com/zd4QqM7VzBSeptember 17, 2020
Me: buying a 3080 at 9am when it releases Store page: "Coming soon"*F5Store page: "Out of stock"Me: pic.twitter.com/HMvdKxUsu1September 17, 2020
When the 3080 sells out in 1 second #RTX3080 pic.twitter.com/R006fDrOnXSeptember 17, 2020
How I feel after ordering my 3080 from Amazon Germany pic.twitter.com/ESMkaGW38VSeptember 17, 2020
Our own Phil sat on Nvidia's site at 6am PT trying to pick up an RTX 3080 FE—because it's kinda the best version—and in the blink of an eye the purchase button went from "Notify me" to "Out of stock."
We've spoken with Nvidia representatives today and they've now told us about an error that occurred first thing.
"This morning we saw unprecedented demand for the GeForce RTX 3080 at global retailers, including the Nvidia online store. At 6am PT we attempted to push the Nvidia store live. Despite preparation, the Nvidia store was inundated with traffic and encountered an error. We were able to resolve the issues and sales began registering normally."
We do know some real humans that have managed to purchase cards, so they're not all going to fakers, but Nvidia is aware that it's an issue.
"To stop bots and scalpers on the Nvidia store," they continue, "we’re doing everything humanly possible, including manually reviewing orders, to get these cards in the hands of legitimate customers.
"Over 50 major global retailers had inventory at 6am PT. Our Nvidia team and partners are shipping more RTX 3080 cards every day to retailers.
"We apologize to our customers for this morning's experience."
We'll continue to monitor the situation around RTX 3080 availability (opens in new tab), and there are full systems that you can order today. But please steer clear of whatever listings you see on eBay. It's a great card for sure, but it's not worth spending over $1,000 on one. And definitely not $80,000. The RTX 3090's coming next week, after all.