Another season, another pair of graphics cards you won’t be able to find. This time, it’s the power couple Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti and 3080 Ti Nvidia announced at Computex 2021. The 3080 Ti will be available June 3 starting at $1,199, while the 3070 Ti ships on June 10, starting at $599. Don’t blink or you’ll miss them.
The 3080 Ti distinguishes itself from the 3080 with more of everything: more memory (12GB GDDR6X) and more cores everywhere (80 RT cores, 10,240 CUDA cores, 320 Tensor cores). In fact, while it looks like a big leap over the, it looks awfully close to the RTX 3090, including the same hefty 350 watt power draw. The exception is the amount of memory, as the RTX 3090 has 24GB.
On the other hand, the RTX 3070 Ti is specced quite closely to the, with one notable difference. It has the same amount of memory, but uses GDDR6X rather than GDDR6, promising significantly better memory bandwidth.
But despite Nvidia’s introduction of cryptomining-optimized cards (its CMP HX) and throttling the mining performance of gaming GPUs (now retronymmed LHR for low hash rate), things still don’t look especially promising. For one thing, the company said in its recent earnings call that it expects supply constraints to continue for at least another few months, if not longer. For another, the CMP cards still aren’t available in the US.
Even when the CMP cards finally do become available here, and even if Nvidia can meet the demand for them as it claimed in the earnings call — they use older production technologies, an older architecture chip and don’t need GDDR6 memory, so the supply problems don’t overlap with the gaming GPUs — that doesn’t mean the gaming GPU shortage will necessarily ease. Miners can use the gaming GPUs but gamers can’t use the mining GPUs, and there’s nothing to prevent miners from soaking up all the available supplies, both CMP and LHR, among other potential issues.
And Nvidia pretty much stated during a briefing that there will be stock of its Founders Edition cards, the only cards guaranteed to have the uninflated prices, on the day of launch — but didn’t mention anything about subsequent days. Also, that you’d pretty much have to keep checking. Since supplies will remain tight for a while, prices will remain at scalper-high levels as well. That all sounds status quo to me.