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What just happened? In what is yet another sign of the graphics card market returning to some form of normality, EVGA has started to scale back its virtual GPU queue program that was introduced in 2020 to try and make buying an RTX 3000-series card a little fairer.
When EVGA rolled out its virtual queue system almost two years ago, only the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 cards had been released, but grabbing one usually required a lot of money and even more luck.
EVGA's system levels the playing field a little by letting users select an Ampere card and hitting the Auto-Notify button. Once a card is in stock, and you're next in the virtual queue, a secure email is sent out with a link allowing you to buy the item—as long as it's purchased within 24 hours.
But with the crypto crash and the resulting fall in mining profitability, graphics card prices are finally falling closer to, and in some cases beneath, the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) as availability improves. As such, EVGA is starting to shutter its virtual queue system.
Tom's Hardware reports that the system isn't being killed off in one move. Instead, EVGA is deleting queue orders for individual models, starting with the EVGA FTW3 cards. The publication received a message from EVGA confirming that the GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 Gaming would no longer be part of the virtual queue as of June 23 now that the company has sufficient stock.
We can expect to see the rest of the RTX 3000-series cards dropped from the virtual queue system as extra inventory becomes available, with the more expensive models likely to go first. But despite the improved availability, it seems all of the items on EVGA's site remain above MSRP. Nevertheless, the slow shuttering of the queue system is another positive sign for those looking to buy a new graphics card.