If you’ve been asking yourself where to buy the RTX 3080 or where to buy the RTX 3070 and have come up short, digital currency mining is a likely culprit. Cash-rich miners have been buying up the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series cards in huge numbers to build elaborate mining rigs. Its compounded the worldwide shortage, leaving ordinary gamers with even less hope of grabbing one for themselves.
This iniquity was apparently lost on GPU partner manufacturer Zotac. In a since-deleted tweet on its Zotac USA account, the company approvingly posted a photo of one such mining rig built from a huge rack of Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 30-series White Edition cards.
The tweet, captured in a screenshot by our sister site TechRadar, also included a number of hashtags related to PC gaming, including the arguably problematic “#PcMasterRace.” PC gamers are the one party that’s invariably been at the wrong end of the current graphics card stock shortage, with both crypto miners and bot-wielding resellers buying up cards in bulk. This tweet was either a poorly thought-out marketing attempt at best, or ironic antagonism at worst.
To be clear, Zotac is neither legally nor morally obligated to make sure its products end up in the hands of ordinary PC owners — the issue here is the lack of tact. Most RTX 30-series restocks sell out in seconds, resulting in months of frustration among those who just want to update their PC; not to build profiteering rigs that collectively use more energy than Argentina. It’s unclear if Zotac USA’s tweet was mocking or simply misjudged, but it certainly wasn’t respectful of that frustration.
Since RTX 30-series production is too slow to drastically improve supply, some retailers have taken the responsibility to ensuring a fairer dispersion of their limited stock. Newegg, for example, has trialled a raffle system that allows anyone to select the products they want, with only the winners offered the chance to buy them.
Sadly this seems like a losing battle. Even the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 is falling victim to price gouging, and it’s not even released yet: some European retailers are already listing the GPU for hundreds of Euros above its MSRP.