Nvidia’s RTX 3070 officially hits retail stores tomorrow. After the fiasco that was the RTX 3080 release, actual buyers will hopefully be able to get their hands on these cards rather than see them snatched up by bots to scalp on eBay.
After that previous incident, Nvidia said it was not prepared, nor were its partners, for such overwhelming demand. But Nvidia forum members and Twitter users were quick to point out that Nvidia hadn’t been using a CAPTCHA to prevent bot purchases at checkout, which led to many, many potential customers seeing “out of stock” notices as soon as the RTX 3080 went on sale.
Nvidia said it not only implemented a CAPTCHA at checkout this time around, but it also moved its store to a “dedicated environment with increased capacity and more bot protection” and “implemented additional security protections to the store APIs.” How these will work with the launch of the RTX 3070 tomorrow remain to be seen.
If it goes well, great! But the RTX 3080 stock is still sold out everywhere. Amazon, gone. Newegg, gone. Nvidia shop, gone. Best Buy, gone. One of the only ways to get hold of an Nvidia RTX 3080 right now is to buy a pre-built PC, and not everyone is going to want to do that (or needs to). You might be able to find some at a Micro Center, but you have to buy one in person and there are only a handful of stores around the U.S. Of the 3080s I was able to find listed for sale, sellers on Amazon were not letting them go for under $1,000.
It’s also hard to know if anyone who tried to get a 3080 will opt for a 3070 instead. My guess is likely not. The performance increase from the 3070 to the 3080 is worth the extra $200. If this stock situation continues into next month (and for the moment there’s no consensus on when retailers, or what retailers, will start restocking the RTX 3080), that leaves the door open for AMD to attract more buyers, especially if its upcoming RX 6000-series cards do get equivalent or better performance than Nvidia’s 3000-series for a cheaper price.
But AMD will have to prepare for that potential influx of customers, and hopefully it takes every measure possible to prevent bots and scalpers from ruining all the fun. Nvidia’s cards are the more popular cards, but nefarious individuals might be looking to take advantage of the situation. For now, the best thing consumers can do is wait and hope—both that AMD’s new cards not only have the performance the company says they do, and that there’s stock to go around.