The Nvidia RTX3080/3090 launch fiasco

Nvidia’s launch of their rtx 3080 and rtx 3090 lineup last month did not go as planned. Stock sold out instantly to bots and people who resell the cards at insane markups. Some partner models cards also had issues leading to game crashes, and Nvidia’s own website leaking personal data of buyers.
On September 17th, thousands of people were queuing at online retailers waiting for the release of Nvidia’s new rtx3080, within minutes of launching the cards, they were all sold out. However, a lot of these cards were not sold to the prospective buyers, but instead to scalpers via bots. These scalpers then sold their cards on Ebay and other sites for more than double the price of the cards. This left a very sour taste in many people’s mouths and led to many complaints at Nvidia and other retailers for not having a system to detect bots at their storefront.The launch of the rtx3090 on September 24th did not go much better, with it also being sold out very quickly. However, the outcry was not as large due to the restrictive $1500 price tag lowering consumer demand substantially.To add insult to injury, it is eventually discovered that Nvidia’s own website is leaking other people’s personal information by autofilling other people’s data at checkout. This quickly led to Nvidia shutting down their storefront and moving all their Founders Edition card sales to BestBuy and other online retailers. However, partner cards are not affected and they can be found on regular retailers like Amazon and Newegg.
However, those lucky enough to purchase a card also had issues. On some partner cards, a design problem leads to games crashing to desktop. A primary suspect would be the capacitor layout on the back of the rtx3080. On the back of the card, there are six banks of capacitors. These banks either consist of one big POSCAP (Polymer Tantalum Capacitors) in red  or multiple smaller MLCC (Multi Layer Ceramic Chip) in green. It turns out that the graphics cards with one or no MLCC banks are usually the ones that crash. The reasoning is likely that MLCCs are able to handle the high frequencies of the graphics card better than POSCAPs.

An RTX3080 with 6 POSCAPs(Red), Source: IgorsLab.de
An RTX3080 with 4 POSCAPs(Red) and 2 MLCCs(Green), Source: IgorsLab.de

As of now, it seems like most Nvidia partners which skimped and used more POSCAPs have redesigned their graphics cards to have a few MLCC banks.Now, it appears that Nvidia has shifted the launch date of the rtx3070 by a week to October 28. This seems to be a strategic move by Nvidia since October 28 is the day after AMD announces their new Navi graphics cards. The delay in the rtx3070 launch gives Nvidia more time to stock up on the rtx3070 and potentially adjust their lineup to better compete with AMD’s graphics cards.

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