TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
In brief: Most PC gamers are still enviously eying those who managed to grab an RTX 3000 series graphics card, but there was hope the supply problems might ease this quarter. Sadly, a new report claims Nvidia's Ampere line's availability is actually going to worsen throughout Q1.
As reported by Tom's Hardware, retailer Alternate, which operates in several European countries, spoke to Nvidia about the nightmarish situation consumers face when it comes to purchasing an RTX 30xx card. The bottom line is that things are going from bad to worse.
Alternate asked about each of the RTX 3000 products. It appears that a new RTX 3080 and RTX 3060 Ti are going to be the most difficult to secure, with both of the cards experiencing few deliveries from manufacturers combined with many open orders.
"The chance of an RTX 3080, especially for new orders, is virtually nil," writes Alternate. "Unfortunately, prices for new orders will continue to rise in the near future due to market forces."
While supply of the RTX 3070 and RTX 3090 is also suffering, the number of people on the waiting list for these cards isn't as high.
The pandemic has caused chip shortages that are affecting several industries, including gaming hardware and automotive. In the latter case, many large companies have been forced to scale back or pause production of vehicles at their plants.
The problems caused by demand outweighing supply are set to be compounded this quarter when the Chinese New Year begins on February 12, at which point many of the country's factories will close for between one and two weeks. Additionally, a shortage of the raw materials used to produce graphics cards is making matters worse.
If all that wasn't enough, the rising price of crypto means many of those on the waiting list for an RTX 30xx card are miners looking to add them to their rigs. Some are circumventing the shortages by purchasing new Ampere laptops and repurposing them to mine Ethereum.
As with so many in-demand tech products, eBay remains the best, albeit much more expensive, place to secure an RTX 3000. Scalpers have sold over 53,000 new Nvidia/AMD cards worth $65 million, and their average prices have been increasing.
Despite the shortages, more Ampere cards appeared on the latest Steam Survey. We've even heard rumors of Nvidia relaunching the RTX 2060 and RTX 2060 Super to address some of the demand, though that's looking increasingly unlikely.