Nvidia supposedly launched a $329 graphics card today, the GeForce RTX 3060, but I’ve yet to see much proof.
Orders began today at 9AM PT / 12PM ET for a card whose listed prices ranged from $329.99 all the way up to $629.99, averaging $471. Those aren’t scalper prices, mind you. They’re the retail prices set by Nvidia’s partners.
As far as I can tell, the only places that actually claimed to stock a card for $329.99 were Newegg and EVGA’s own website, and neither simply put the card on sale: Newegg is only raffling off chances to buy the cards, and EVGA has a queue where you hit a “notify me” button. In both cases, you wait for the company to hopefully email you back with good news.
The raffle and queue are good things, in my opinion! It means you might maybe possibly have a chance to actually get one. You have until 12PM PT / 3PM ET today to enter the Newegg Shuffle, which features a PS5 bundle as well, and you’ll know by 2PM PT / 5PM ET if you luck out. But it also means we’ll have little evidence that $329 is the actual price of this GPU.
There’s also a question of whether Nvidia initially managed to ship many 3060s. Queues and raffles aside, today seemed to have some of the most sparse GPU availability yet, with some accusing Nvidia of a “paper launch” much like AMD’s RX 6800 series in November. PCGamer gave up live-blogging the launch after an hour of failure. Best Buy barely had them. At some other retailers, they never showed up. I saw listings for some versions straight-up pulled off the web. Micro Center only had them in store.
One bright spot (for US gamers anyhow): Best Buy wound up restocking a variety of other Nvidia GPUs today, with the 3060 Ti, 3070, and even the hardest-to-find 3080 popping up from time to time.
In fact, that Best Buy surge may have shown just how rough the RTX 3060 launch is: This morning, I was lurking in Falcodrin’s Twitch channel, a popular hangout where people try to track down the cards and share their success, and Falcodrin ran a poll where only two people admitted to nabbing a 3060 at all:
It’s also worth noting that at least two of the four supposedly $329.99 graphics cards look suspiciously like token offerings to meet that price. EVGA has a second near-identical version of the 3060 with a very slightly higher boost clock that retails for $390.
And while Newegg might be listing Zotac’s 3060 Twin Edge for $329.99, Zotac itself lists and briefly sold the exact same card this morning for $479.99. (I saw the add to cart button on one refresh, but Zotac’s website crapped out, and it was out of stock as soon as I returned.)
The RTX 3060 is a good card, but even at $330, I think you might want to wait and see what’s next since the 3060 Ti is so much better. At $400 and up, that goes double. But maybe you didn’t have a choice to begin with. We’re asking Nvidia if it has more thoughts, and we’ll let you know what we hear. EVGA would only confirm that it’s shipping a $329.99 GPU, and that “we have more supply on the way.”