TL;DR: Are you hoping to grab an RTX 3000-series card before the year’s out? Unless you pay a fortune for one from eBay, it might be wishful thinking. Another Nvidia executive has confirmed that demand for the cards is expected to far outweigh supply into 2021.
Anyone who’s tried and failed to buy an Ampere card since their release will doubtlessly be frustrated at what has become a familiar situation—the Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, Ryzen 5000 CPUs, and the newly launched Radeon RX 6800 series have all proved maddeningly difficult to get hold of, and things are unlikely to improve anytime soon.
Back in October, Nvidia boss Jensen Huang said that demand for the latest RTX cards would outstrip supply through the year, a situation that would be made worse by the upcoming holiday season. “The demand issue is that it is much, much greater than we expected,” said the CEO.
Now, Nvidia Chief Financial Officer Colette Kress has echoed Huang’s statement. “Given industry-wide capacity constraints and long cycle times, it may take a few more months for product availability to catch up with demand,” she said during an earnings call with investors this week.
Huang, who also spoke on the call, suggested that Nvidia wasn't to blame. “We would appreciate shorter cycle times. We would appreciate more agile supply chains. But you know the world is constrained at the moment. And so, we just have to make the best of it,” he said.
Nvidia says the Ampere cards’ supply issues are expected to last throughout the fourth quarter of its fiscal year, which ends in late January 2021.
Another factor that could make the situation even worse is the increasing price of Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency is currently at just over $18,000, its highest value since 2017. With mining becoming more profitable, it could lead to a resurgence in demand for multi-GPU mining rigs. Additionally, Ampere cards are reportedly very popular with Ethereum miners. Back when Bitcoin last hit such high levels in late 2017, graphics card prices went through the roof for months.
Nvidia made $4.73 billion during the last quarter, an increase of 57 percent compared to the $3.01 billion brought in during the same period last year and up 22 percent compared to the $3.87 billion in Q2. It expects to generate $4.80 billion during the holiday season.