The Nvidia RTX 3090 launch was as big a disaster as the RTX 3080’s

(Image credit: Nvidia)

Nvidia launched its monster RTX 3090 GPU on Thursday, September 24, but anyone hoping that this launch would go smoother than the RTX 3080’s launch a week earlier, where stock was almost impossible to get hold of would have been disappointed.

Once again, Nvidia’s latest card went out of stock almost as soon as it went on sale, while websites struggled to cope with demand. This left many prospective buyers annoyed and disappointed, with many complaining that they had got to the checkout of a website with an RTX 3090 in their cart, only for the GPU to be removed and being told it was now out of stock.

To be fair to Nvidia, it did warn that RTX 3090 stock could be scarce, as this is a niche GPU due to its price and power, but that will be little comfort to people who tried to buy it.

To help, we’ve put together a where to buy the Nvidia RTX 3090 guide to highlight which online stores has stock. We also show you where you can buy the RTX 3080 as well – but sadly both GPUs remain hard to get.

Scalpers and bots

With major retailers running out of stock so fast, who is to blame? Some may point the finger at Nvidia for not creating enough stock, but to be fair, the RTX 3090 wasn’t expected to be a huge seller. 

The online stores may take some of the blame, after not putting in place better systems following the RTX 3080 debacle. However, many stores have been more careful about accepting purchases from suspicious customers.

As The Register points out, this seems to be the crux of the problem. While there were many legitimate customers trying to get hold of the RTX 3090, once again bots and scalpers swooped in to buy up the GPU en masse, only to then try to sell them on sites like eBay for vastly inflated prices (one seller is hoping to get $20,000 for the RTX 3090, way above its $1,499 (£1,399, around AU$2,030) retail price.

It’s unlikely to sell for that, as frustrated customers are making fake accounts to bid outlandish amounts, and then not pay, for the GPUs in a bid to dissuade scalpers in the future.

It’s a shame that both the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 launches have been marred in this way, and hopefully stock issues will be sorted out soon so that people who want to buy the cards actually can.

Meanwhile, Nvidia is gearing up to launch the RTX 3070 in October. This affordable GPU could likely be the most popular out of all of Nvidia’s new graphics cards thanks to its more accessible price point, which means Nvidia and retailers will be under a lot of pressure to make sure the RTX 3070 launch goes as smoothly as possible.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.