AMD and NVIDIA confirm that GPU stock levels will remain non-existent for the foreseeable future
NVIDIA may well have just announced the GeForce RTX 3060, but company representatives have informed Seeking Alpha that its Ampere-based cards will continue to remain 'lean' for months. Apparently, we should not expect to see any improvements until the end of April, which will probably mean that it will be May before it is easier to buy an RTX 30 series card.
NVIDIA reiterated that demand continues to outstrip supply, with the GeForce RTX 30 series currently outselling its predecessors 2:1. The company emphasised that crypto miners are not the reason for low consumer stock levels of GeForce RTX 30 cards, and that it would restart its CMP product line if there was increased demand from miners. You can read the full interview with Colette Kress, EVP and CFO of NVIDIA, on Seeking Alpha.
Meanwhile, AMD has told The Verge that it will continue to sell reference Radeon RX 6000 series cards in Q1 2021 at MSRP. AMD has committed to making the cards available 'to as many gamers as possible', which is fairly non-committal. According to Lisa Su, as transcribed by AnandTech, AMD is 'encouraging partners' to sell Radeon RX 6000 series cards 'direct to customers as low as possible'. Su added that:
...the COVID environment has increased shipping and freight costs, which are hard to avoid. As we get into a more normal environment, this should improve. This also matters for our planned graphics updates through the first half of the year, as we have a lot of product coming to market.
In short, neither AMD nor NVIDIA will have much stock of its latest graphics cards this side of spring, possibly headed into summer. Worse still, it is also improbable to source a last-generation card, with many retailers sold out of the Radeon RX 5000 and GeForce RTX 20 series. Even the GeForce GTX 16 series is hard to come by currently.