WTF?! Getting hold of an RTX 3090 without paying over the odds on eBay is an almost impossible task right now, which partly explains why 40 containers of Nvidia's flagship Ampere graphics cards, worth around $336,500, were stolen from an MSI factory in China.
Tom’s Hardware reports that MSI believes the heist was an insider job. The factory’s shipping area is covered by video surveillance, and the trucks that arrive and depart campus are inspected frequently, all of which point to an insider being behind the crime.
MSI is desperate to retrieve its products, obviously, and has offered a 100,000 Yuan (~$15,300) reward for any information that may help recover the stolen items. It has notified police about the matter and is even offering clemency to anyone involved in the scheme if they come forward and help locate the containers.
MSI Chinese mainland factory was stolen, stolen 40 boxes RTX3090, the total value of 2200000RMB ......😓— 夕惕若厉 (@GoFlying8) December 7, 2020
MSI has been officially announced and informed to the police ,Reward of 100000 RMB for reporting effective information. pic.twitter.com/JWw8hOMioG
Tom’s notes that the RTX 3090 currently has a median selling price of $2,250, way above its $1,499 MSRP, and eBay is packed with cards over $3,000, so you can understand why they make for a valuable target among criminals. It’s estimated that the stolen haul equates to around 220 units. That’s not a huge number, but it could mean a (further) shortage of MSI RTX 3090 cards in some areas.
Every one of the big tech releases this holiday season has suffered from availability problems, mostly due to scalpers using bots to buy products in bulk before anyone else. One scalper group bragged about securing almost 3,500 PS5 consoles for resale, saying it had “no regrets” over its actions. It also bought up to 1,000 Series X consoles over Black Friday weekend.