Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 Ti hit the streets so quietly that you may not know who’s stocking them.
Sure, RTX 30-series cards are sold out everywhere, including this brand-new $400 GPU. But your chances of snagging one are even slimmer if you don’t know where to start looking. Plus, you can improve your chances if you’re willing to be a little extra vigilant. We’ve got tips on that below.
What is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti?
If you missed Tuesday’s news, Nvidia released its first GeForce RTX 30-series card under $500. Despite its lower price tag, the 3060 Ti delivers tremendous performance in its own right. It outperforms last generation’s $800 RTX 2080 Super in traditional and ray-traced games while costing half the price and consuming less power.
At 1440p, you’ll get over 60 frames per second even when you crank up the graphics settings in games to their max, and you can bump that up to 90 fps or more if you do minor downward adjustments. This card does well at 1080p at high frame rates as well, though likely a touch less than AMD’s eventual competing card. (The Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs seem to scale down to lower resolutions better than the GeForce RTX 30-series cards.) You can also play at 4K on High settings, though the 8GB of GDDR6 memory won’t age well.
Overall, the arrival of the 3060 Ti displaces the previous generation of 1440p cards (RX 5700, 5700 XT, RTX 2060, and 2060 Super). To better future-proof your gaming rig, avoid those cards unless you get them at a sizable discount—which isn’t likely given the intense demand for graphics cards.
Restocks of cards and launches of new partner cards happen without warning, so be sure to check these links often. You can also sign up for notifications (when possible) to help stay on top of inventory replenishment.
How to improve your chances of scoring an RTX 3060 Ti
Knowing where to shop only surmounts a tiny hurdle in the quest to get your hands on any of the new graphics cards launched this fall. The bigger struggle is learning of restocks and launches fast enough to place an order.
Stay vigilant helps tremendously. As part of that, you’ll want to:
Sign up for restock notifications on websites that offer them.
Periodically check on the links above.
Follow groups or individuals who keep tabs on inventory changes. For example, you can join Discord servers that offer inventory alerts or have eagle-eyed members willing to share info. Ones that we follow include PCBuildHelper and Refresh – In Stock Alerts. Be sure to enable Discord notifications to get immediate alerts on your phone or PC.
Also ensure a speedy checkout at every store that sells the 3060 Ti by saving your billing and shipping info in a password manager or in your store account. You’ll skip wasted moments on filling it out manually should you manage to add a card to your shopping cart.
The alternative way to get an RTX 3060 Ti now
Are you in the market for an entirely new computer? Consider getting a PC from a system builder like iBuyPower or CyberPowerPC, which still offer a healthy amount of customization for configurations. You’ll pay a premium over going the DIY route, but you won’t need to maintain a vigil to nab a card or shell out a ton of extra cash to scalpers. Currently, most vendors are shipping PCs by the end of December.
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Computers and Peripherals
Alaina Yee is PCWorld's resident bargain hunter—when she's not covering PC building, computer components, mini-PCs, and more, she's scouring for the best tech deals. Previously her work has appeared in PC Gamer, IGN, Maximum PC, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can find her on Twitter at @morphingball.