Nvidia have issued their second apology this week, this time for the launch of the RTX 3090. The so-called “BFGPU” isn’t due to go on sale until 6am PT / 2pm BST later today, September 24th, but Nvidia’s apology confirms previous reports that there will be a “limited supply” of GPUs available when it goes on sale. “We want to apologise upfront that this will be in limited supply on launch day,” Nvidia said on their GeForce website. “We know this is frustrating, and we’re working with our partners to increase the supply in the weeks to come.”
While it may seem odd to be apologising for a graphics card that isn’t even out yet, Nvidia are no doubt trying to avoid another RTX 3080 debacle here, which sold out almost instantly when it launched last Thursday. Retailers reported it took all of five minutes for their RTX 3080 stock to disappear last week, dozens of others crashed or were overwhelmed by bots, including Nvidia’s, and stock alert emails failed miserably. In the end, Nvidia had to publicly apologise for being so under prepared, and have since taken extra measures to make sure their own site doesn’t fall over in the future.
Interestingly, Nvidia also confirmed a few extra details about the RTX 3090’s performance in their apology post, stating that its 4K performance was on average only around 10-15% faster than the RTX 3080. While not an explicit apology, you can’t help but think Nvidia are also trying to head off some potentially negative reviews about its gaming capabilities here when they go live later today. My RTX 3090 review won’t be ready in time for when the card goes on sale at 2pm BST, but I wouldn’t be surprised if its reception was more muted than its RTX 3080 sibling.
Indeed, an extra 10-15% is pretty ridiculous considering the huge leap in price. The RTX 3090 is set to start at £1399 / $1499 when it goes on sale later, which is more than double the starting price of the £649 / $699 RTX 3080.
Nvidia emphasise in their apology post that the RTX 3090 isn’t really for typical gamers, saying that, “Similar to Titan RTX, GeForce RTX 3090 will appeal to the most demanding users. It’s great for creators making movies and rendering cinematics. It’s sure to appeal to researchers building systems for data science and AI. And, of course, it’s ideal for extreme gamers who want to experience the new world of 8K gaming.”
And yet, you know that just because it’s the best GeForce card in Nvidia’s new Ampere family, there will no doubt be scores of people itching to get one regardless come release time. Really, no one should be buying a new graphics card right now until we’ve seen what AMD’s got in store with their upcoming Big Navi GPUs, which are due to be unveiled on October 28th – although given the low stock situation with both the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090, you probably won’t be able to physically buy one until then anyway.