Nvidia’s RTX 30-series has been regarded as a huge joke of a paper launch since it debuted in late 2020. PC gamers had to make a mad dash to various e-tailers and retailers to buy one during the busiest online shopping period in history, and it’s only gotten worse for those trying to find a GPU. Scalpers have been buying out tons of GPUs, as have cryptocurrency miners, and the stock issues abound.
Prices for even the oldest and weakest GPUs on the markets are several times higher than MSRP. And now, Nvidia isn’t expecting any relief for consumers until Q2 2021. Speaking on a teleconference put on by J.P. Morgan, company CFO Collette Kress made the future very clear, and says that “supply does remain tight at this time” and that the company doesn’t expect that to change for months.
The approach makes sense, as Nvidia knows the current boom in demand isn’t going to last. So why risk pumping money into more production if they can’t move the cards in a timely manner.
“So, supply does remain tight at this time,” Colette Kress said in that call (via Seeking Alpha). “We expect the overall channel inventories, meaning the inventories that are with our AIC partners as well as in our e-tail and retail channels will likely remain lean throughout Q1.”
So it looks like the GPU market is going to be just as bear-focused in 2021. You’re going to need to be patient if you can help it. Giving it scalpers and paying three times MSRP for a card just doesn’t make any sense. If you need a card right now, consider the used market for an older card if you can swing it, although prices there are just as crazy. Cards that should sell for less than $200 used are easily cresting $250 or more at auction on sites like Ebay. It’s crazy out there.
“Our overall capacity has not been able to keep up with that overall strong demand that we have seen,” Kress continues. “We’ve seen in terms of constraints, constraints really from the overall global surge of compute and the overall capacity, capacity that may be necessary for assembly and test and/or sub trades as well. But again, we remain focused on this and working each day to improve our overall supply situation.”
Basically, they don’t want to have to ramp up production capacity if they don’t have to, because that costs money, and it’s not just Nvidia facing issues. The companies all over the spectrum are fighting for what supply is out there for resources and manufactured products. Global supply issues for high-bandwidth memory chips, like those used in GPUs, have been common. And that’s not all. There are those US tariffs that have caused costs to inflate as the US and China have been dueling over global trade. The inflation of prices across the board in technology products has caused a bunch of products’ MSRP to jump.
So with all of this, it’s pretty easy to see why Nvidia is going for a very conservative estimate for when things will recover. So if you’re looking to buy one of Nvidia’s RTX 30-series, you’re going to have to wait or get very lucky.