NVIDIA Is Testing A Priority Access Program To Thwart GeForce RTX 4090 Scalpers
Like death and taxes, you can always count on scalpers to crash the party without an invitation and ruin the fun for everyone else. You didn't really think they'd skip the release of the GeForce RTX 4090, did you? Of course not. This has prompted NVIDIA to test its own "Verified Priority Access" program similar to the one EVGA had previously employed.
"We know it’s often challenging to purchase a new product close to launch date for a variety of reasons. Today, we’re testing a program we call verified priority access - which will give a limited number of GeForce gamers & creators an opportunity to purchase a GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition graphics card," NVIDIA explains in a forum post.
For a chance to participate, you need to install NVIDIA's GeForce Experience application. Then sit back and wait with fingers crossed—if you're lucky, you'll receive an invite through a GeForce Experience pop-up. This is what it looks like...
Source: Imgur via Reddit
The in-app invite generates a unique URL that connects users to a Founders Edition retail partner in various regions. That means Best Buy in the United States, Scan in the United Kingdom, NBB in Germany and Netherlands, and LDLC in France, Italy, and Spain.
According to the screenshot above, to be eligible for the invite program you have to be running GeForce Experience on a desktop PC with a GeForce RTX 30 series, GeForce RTX 20 series, GeForce GTX 16 series, or GeForce GTX 10 series GPU.
Beyond those requirements, it's not clear if the selection is completely randomized or if the criteria is weighted in some way. However, it does look like this is limited to Founders Edition models and does not include any custom cards from NVIDIA's hardware partners.
In any event, it's nice to see NVIDIA grabbing the bull by the horns from the get-go, so to speak. Initial batches of GeForce RTX 4090 cards weren't on store shelves very long before they sold out. GeForce RTX 4090 cards are generally fetching between $2,300 and $3,500 on eBay, though we've seen some go for as much as $4,300 (there was even a model that seemingly sold for $10,000, but we doubt the buyer actually paid).
While you wait to upgrade (if that's what you're planning to do), be sure to grab NVIDIA's 522.25 WHQL driver release. We tested it and found that it does indeed deliver some big performance games in DirectX 12 games, as NVIDIA claims.