I would say that the most sought-after GPUs in the world right now have to be the Nvidia RTX 30-series Founders Edition cards. What makes these GPUs incredibly attractive is that they are supposed to be the most affordable based on performance (bang for your buck) and their more mature and reserved styling. Not only that, they seem to be incredibly difficult to find anywhere, especially since NVIDIA doesn’t even sell them through their own website and if you’re in the U.S., Best Buy and Microcenters are the only places you can get them. I only have Best Buy in my area so you could only find Founders Edition cards if you waited in huge lines for them whenever they had in-store drops or if you were quick enough to get them online during online drops.
In-store drops, you had to be pretty close to the front of the line to be lucky enough to get a Founders Edition, and online drops you just never were really too sure when those would happen. Being late to the start of an online drop usually means you aren’t getting one either. So how did I score my NVIDIA RTX 3070 Founders Edition GPU? I’ll take you through my process and hopefully, you can get yourself one too.
Unlike some others out there, I only started my GPU hunt at the beginning of September. I’ve mostly been a console gamer but have had a few brief stints with PC gaming throughout the years. Anyways, I figured it was about time to get back into it, and boy, did I pick the wrong time to do it. Basically, crypto mining again has wiped out most GPU supplies and the scarcity of cards also means that most cards are picked up by scalpers and resold for ridiculously high prices. What was a $499 MSRP for an Nvidia RTX 3070 Founders Edition, is now around $1200+. Also at the manufacturing level, lack of materials and manpower to make these cards are also factors affecting supply.
While all of this is working against the average gamer, there is hope. If you head over to Youtube, channels like fixitfixitfixit are running live, 24/7 In-Stock GPU Alerts for hard-to-come-by NVIDIA RTX cards and AMD Radeon RX cards. If you follow that link, you can also get linked to their Twitter and Discord server, for even faster alerts. I mainly follow their Discord server and have that running in the background on my desktop and phone.
Another factor is that stores like Best Buy now are trying to curb the mass purchasing by scalpers. It’s not 100%, but at least it gives a bit of a fighting chance. Best Buy lately has been releasing GPUs exclusively as either random online drops or in-store drops. In-store drops require that you wait in a line and grab a number along with what card you want to pick up. It’s mostly orderly, but people wait in these lines hours before the store opens, even waiting the day before. I have not tried this method because I have kids that need to go to school in the mornings, so I can’t afford to just wait in a line for the entire night.
The second option of waiting for an online drop is a far more flexible avenue. Fixitfixitfixit is constantly checking a multitude of online sites with specific SKUs in mind and will alert you of when one of these shows up as in stock. That means you’ll get in-stock alerts for retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, Microcenter, Newegg, and more. These are great sources if you’re looking for a GPU in general. Of course, my goal was a Founders Edition which meant just keeping an eye on Best Buy inventory.
Last Friday, it finally happened. An alert came up for GPU stock at Best Buy so I quickly went to the site, and somehow was able to add the NVIDIA 3070 Founders Edition card to my cart, and waited in a queue to see if I could get it. Within a few minutes, I was asked to verify my info and voilà, I was able to check out with it! I was only concerned with picking up the one card I need for my own build that I didn’t test to see how easy it would be to purchase multiple cards. I’ll have to test that during the next drop.
For now, I’m happy with my purchase and hopefully, I can get the rest of the parts soon to start a build.
How have your experiences been so far with finding a GPU or any computer parts in general? Let us know in the comments below.