Mortifying GeForce RTX 3090 Ti and RTX 3050 listed retailer prices suggest consoles or laptops might be a smarter purchase
Although the GeForce RTX 3050 and RTX 3090 Ti graphics cards from Nvidia won’t be officially launched until January 27, it appears some AIB partners and retailers are already preparing to fleece the graphics card-buying public for every available cent or penny. This state of affairs has already been widely reported, but there had been hope that a fresh injection of stock in the form of RTX 3050 boards and a new option at the premium end with the RTX 3090 Ti could have balanced things out a little in the market. Sadly, for gamers and PC builders that is not likely going to be the case.
The RTX 3050 was spotted by leaker momomo_us on Amazon Japan, where there was a listing for a Galakuro Gaming GeForce RTX 3050 SKU. The price listed for the card was ¥50,138, which is equivalent to about US$439/€385/£321. The expected MSRP for the US market is US$249, and although the suggested retail price for Japan may have been different, it wouldn’t have been this much greater. Apparently, all of the RTX 3050 cards listed by Galakuro (Galax) were sold at that inflated price.
As for the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti, VideoCardz has shared some depressing news for GPU hunters looking for a reasonable-priced unit. The upcoming board has been listed on a Swiss comparison site for prices ranging from €3,129 (US$3,571/£2,611) for an MSI Gaming X TRIO model all the way up to 4,111 Swiss francs (US$4,498/€3,941/£3,288) for an MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Ti SUPRIM X variant. While the MSRP for the top-end Ampere card is still unknown, listings with prices from over US$3,500 to almost US$4,500 are likely to become more common.
While the 3090 Ti prices may be placeholders, it still might be a smart move for gamers to consider putting their money into alternatives such as premium consoles like the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, which are also hard to find at acceptable prices, or even a GeForce RTX 30-series laptop. Many laptop OEMs, such as Dell (and Alienware), Asus, MSI, and Razer have devices featuring one of the ray-tracing capable Ampere chips. Although they don’t offer the same raw power as their desktop counterparts due to form factor restrictions, these mobile alternatives can certainly manage hardcore gaming sessions and cope with serious graphics editing duties at less ridiculous prices.