Nvidia admits defeat with RTX 3080 and 3090 Founders Edition stock, passes baton to Best Buy

(Image credit: Nvidia)

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 Founders Edition graphics cards are no longer being sold via the company’s own online store, and instead retail partners will be selling these GPUs.

In an unprecedented move caused by all the stock issues around these graphics cards, Founders Edition models are now being sold directly by Best Buy in the US, rather than from the Nvidia site.

Nvidia said in a statement: “We have heard your feedback regarding the Nvidia online store and are working to improve the experience.

“In the meantime, we will be selling our GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 Founders Edition through other partners. In the US, you can shop for Founders Edition at Best Buy – GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3090. In Europe, we continue to review Founders Edition fulfillment options.”

At the moment, then, the only option for those in the US is Best Buy, and European customers are pretty much out of luck it seems – there’s seemingly no way to get a Founders Edition card in Europe right now.

Nvidia clarified: “Founders Edition units are limited, and more will be available in the coming weeks alongside an increasing supply of boards from our global board partners.”

The fact that stock is still being described as ‘limited’ – and it clearly is, with the likes of bots and scalpers swooping in when GPU inventory does turn up – doesn’t exactly fill you with hope for the near future. Of course, Nvidia has already admitted that stock issues will persist until 2021.

Jaded gamers

As you might imagine, following this move, much of the reaction online has become even more disappointed and jaded around the RTX 3000 launch. European punters are certainly unhappy that they appear to have no option right now for getting hold of the Founders Edition.

Nvidia’s card is a well-made product and is also popular because third-party graphics card offerings can ramp up the price considerably, obviously depending on exactly what model you’re looking at.

For the RTX 3080, there are options pitched at the same price as the Founders Edition in the US (and at least close to that price tag in the UK, if something like £50 more), such as the Asus TUF 3080 and MSI Ventus, but the majority of GPUs out there cost more (and in some cases a lot more).

Predictably, given AMD just teased Big Navi – and it looks promising – there are a number of folks out there who seem to be getting rather fed up and saying they will take their custom elsewhere. Particularly if AMD can deliver on its promise of having a substantial amount of stock of its next-gen RX 6000 graphics cards.

And there’s no small amount of frustration with Nvidia that it hasn’t yet managed to resolve the problems with GPU sales via its site, with some punters pointing to EVGA, which as we’ve seen has at least made an effort to overcome the admittedly thorny issues around scalpers grabbing all the cards (by using a queue system).

Nvidia said in its statement that it’s working on improvements for the online store experience, so hopefully we’ll see the fruit of those labors soon enough.

Those currently hunting for an Ampere GPU might want to head over to our guide on where to buy an Nvidia RTX 3080 for the latest stock updates.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).