NVIDIA Offers Answers For GeForce RTX 3080 Launch Availability Fiasco With Assurance For Change

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Last Thursday, NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3080 Ampere graphics card launched to much fanfare, just a day after the NDA lifted on reviews of the Founders Edition. However, that launch was marred by the fact that NVIDIA's retail partners were quickly overrun with orders, with many people seeing "out of stock" messageswithin a minute or two of the 9am EST launch. Things weren't much better at NVIDIA's own online store.

Not long after all of the GeForce RTX 3080 drama went down, NVIDIA posted a brief statement apologizing for the traffic issues via its online store, and promised that it is "shipping more RTX 3080 cards every day to retailers." Today, however, NVIDIA is expanding upon its previous statement with a full Q&A.

Overall, NVIDIA says that interest in the GeForce RTX 3080 launch was dramatically higher than its previous launches, with a 4x uplift in unique visitors and a 10x uplift in peak web requests per second compared to the launch of Turing way back in 2018. “We expected the best ever demand for the RTX 30-series, but the enthusiasm was overwhelming,” NVIDIA writes. “We were not prepared for this level, nor were our partners. We apologize for this.”

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The increased traffic to NVIDIA’s online store and its partner retailers caused traffic that exceeded what many see even during Black Friday. Needless to say, these traffic jams are what caused many to see error screens, out of stock messages, and any number of errors that prevented them from completing their purchase.

NVIDIA also answered some more specific questions regarding GeForce RTX 3080 availability:

Why does availability start with such low inventory? Why not wait until more cards are produced?

We have great supply - just not for this level of demand. It is typical for initial demand to exceed supply for our new GPUs. Our global network of partners are ramping as hard as they can to get the new GPUs to the more than 100 million GeForce gamers around the world. Our philosophy has always been to get the latest technology into the hands of gamers as fast as possible. As we race to build more GeForce RTX 3080s, we suggest not buying from opportunistic resellers who are attempting to take advantage of the current situation.

You said the NVIDIA store would have GeForce RTX 3080s at 6 a.m. on September 17th, why did the store immediately go from “notify me” to “out of stock”?

At 6 a.m. pacific we attempted to push the NVIDIA store live.  Instantly, the NVIDIA store was inundated with over 10 times the traffic of our previous generation launch, which took our internal systems to a crawl and encountered an error preventing sales from starting properly at 6:00am pacific. We were able to resolve the issues and process orders later than planned. 

I saw individuals who use bots/scripts celebrating the purchase of multiple GeForce RTX 3080 GPUs! Did bots get all of the available supply?

No. While individuals using bots may have shown images of email inboxes filled with confirmed orders, NVIDIA has cancelled hundreds of orders manually before they were able to ship. 

Moving forward, NVIDIA says that it is making some changes to its online store to help thwart bots in the future including more efficient server code, CAPTCHA verification, and additional security protections.

“Thank you for your continued support as we navigate through this,” said NVIDIA in closing. “We are excited that you are excited about the GeForce RTX 3080 and we are committed to do everything possible to catch up to the demand as quickly as we can.”

So tell us, HotHardware readers… were any of you actually able to actually purchase a GeForce RTX 3080 last week, or at any time since then?