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Nvidia won’t explain the mysterious absence of its RTX 3070 Ti GPU

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition card went on sale last week, but buyers looking for the $599 GPU have found it impossible to find. While we’re used to seeing extremely low stock of new GPUs, none of Nvidia’s own RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition models appear to have gone on sale in the US or UK — and Nvidia won’t say why not.

Nvidia has partnered with Scan Computers in the UK to sell its Founders Edition cards, and with Best Buy in the US. While Scan had a reasonable amount of stock of the RTX 3080 Ti earlier this month, the RTX 3070 Ti was non-existent. Scan has not responded to a request for comment by The Verge, and the company has been telling people on Twitter that “all Founders Edition cards are released direct through the Nvidia website.” But that website never included a link to a Scan listing of the RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition.

It’s a similar situation in the US. While Best Buy made a big deal about the RTX 3080 Ti being available in 81 stores, the RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition was online-only. Those hoping to purchase the RTX 3070 Ti were met with disappointment when the card instantly went out of stock. Unsurprisingly, Best Buy has also not responded to comment about the situation, and it’s not clear if the company ever actually sold any RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition cards.

Nvidia’s RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition is impossible to find.
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

The lack of RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition cards is also best illustrated at eBay. I’ve only managed to find two sellers that have listed Nvidia’s own cards over the past week in the US, with none in the UK. That’s incredibly unusual, as all previous RTX cards immediately get listed by scalpers looking to make a profit on order confirmation emails before cards are shipped a couple of days later.

In comparison, there’s a flood of RTX 3080 Ti cards available on eBay, and listings appeared within minutes of the cards going on sale earlier this month. I’ve personally been tracking GPU sales for months, and I never saw the RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition card appear on sale at Scan in the UK. I’ve successfully managed to purchase Founders Edition versions of the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080 Ti at launch previously.

Nvidia has been doing a better job at getting stock of its cards out recently, so it’s surprising to see that the RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition is nearly impossible to find. Alongside the RTX 3080 Ti launch, Nvidia released a new batch of RTX 3080 cards and a Verge colleague in the UK was also able to purchase one. Nvidia has not responded to requests for comment on the situation with the RTX 3070 Ti, but some third-party cards do appear to have gone on sale in limited quantities.

It’s possible that the lack of Nvidia’s own cards is related to some early driver issues. During my review of the RTX 3070 Ti I noticed some strange performance drops during Watch Dogs: Legion, and Nvidia subsequently confirmed it was investigating the issue. Ars Technica also reported seeing “bizarre RTX 3070 Ti behavior,” with performance dropping below RTX 3070 levels and then returning. Ars says it can no longer replicate the “initial weird performance.”

Either way, we’re still waiting on Nvidia to say exactly what’s going on here. In a period when it’s extremely difficult to buy a new GPU, a paper launch is the last thing anyone wants to see.

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