Nvidia's RTX 30-series graphics cards offer a big performance uplift over their 10-series and 20-series competitors, but they've been nigh-impossible to find at a sensible price for months now. Best Buy has been one of the best bets to find a card in the US at a reasonable price, and tomorrow they'll offer visitors to selected physical stores the chance to buy a single graphics card - without worrying about bots, scalpers and - hopefully! - price inflation. Here are all the details you need to know to get your hands on one of the best graphics cards.
First up: the timing. Best Buy employees will start handing out tickets to those waiting in line, one per person, starting at 7:30 AM local time tomorrow, which is Tuesday (July 20th, 2021). Tickets guarantee you the opportunity to buy a single graphics card from the available supply at that location, which should hopefully allow gamers in need to get a GPU without scalpers buying dozens to sell online later.
102 locations in all are taking part, from coast to cost, but I note that not all states or regions are covered - my home town of Santa Fe, New Mexico isn't listed, nor is the larger Albuquerque, making the nearest locations likely to be Colorado Springs about five hours' drive away. Best Buy's blog post has the full list of locations, as well as notes on safety and so on.
If your nearest store isn't on the list or you just don't fancy making the trek to a bricks and mortar location, don't worry - graphics card supply is still slowly improving and we hope to see cards continue to come down in price over the following weeks and months. We've rounded up all the best places to look for stock in dedicated articles for each card, which also share details like the RRP, performance figures and links to our full review. Here are those links for your convenience:
- Where to buy RTX 3090
- Where to buy RTX 3080 Ti
- Where to buy RTX 3080
- Where to buy RTX 3070 Ti
- Where to buy RTX 3070
- Where to buy RTX 3060 Ti
- Where to buy RTX 3060
In general, the higher numbered cards are more powerful but more expensive, with the "sweet spot" for 1080p gaming sitting around the RTX 3060 Ti, 1440p gaming around the RTX 3070 and 4K gaming at the 3080. The two new Ti models, the 3070 Ti and 3080 Ti, are only good value compared to the Titan-grade RTX 3090 at the very top of the stack - but a card you can buy at MSRP is better than an ostensibly "better value" card that you're paying over the odds for!
It looks like these sorts of sales are becoming more common and the silicon shortage is finally winding down. We can but hope, right?