What we bought: An NVIDIA RTX 3070, two years behind

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It only took about two years, but I finally bought a NVIDIA RTX-3070 last month. Along the way, I tried almost everything I could to get my hands on one at actual retail price. I joined the Discord servers dedicated to posting stock alerts. I found Twitter accounts that did the same for Canadian retailers. But no matter how persistent I was, I could never beat anyone who wanted a 3070 as much as I did. By the time summer rolled around, I was ready to give up, and I would have done so had it not been for the crypto crash.

Plan showing the writer's PC

Igor Bonifacic / Engadget

If you haven’t followed the market, the fall of Bitcoin and Ethereum has significantly affected GPU prices, especially on the NVIDIA side. The company’s expansion card partners, companies like ASUS and EVGA that produce the majority of GPUs you can buy, are said to be struggling with overstock after crypto miners flooded the second-hand market with cheap 30 series video cards. According to some reports, the problem is so severe that NVIDIA may push back the release of its next-generation Ada Lovelace architecture to the end of the year to give partners time to sell their existing stock. Either way, you can buy a current-gen GPU without jumping through hoops for the first time in nearly two years.

When I finally pulled the trigger on my ASUS Dual RTX 3070, I paid CA$740 before taxes or about US$565. I probably could have found a used model for less, but decided I was okay with spending more to get a video card with a full warranty that someone hadn’t abused for the cryptocurrency mining.

Close up of ASUS Dual RTX 3070 hardware BIOS switch

Igor Bonifacic / Engadget

What you probably need to know is why I didn’t wait a little longer for NVIDIA’s next-gen GPUs to arrive. The answer is twofold. Unless the United States decides to regulate cryptocurrencies, it is difficult to see a future where the market does not recover and mining becomes lucrative again. Even if that doesn’t happen, by the time NVIDIA’s new GPUs become available for purchase, they might not be easy to find.

All signs point to the company opening up the Ada Lovelace generation with the RTX 4090, 4080, and 4070 models. Not only are these likely to be more expensive than their 30-series counterparts, but you can also bet they’ll be in high demand. by gamers who want the latest and greatest – especially the 4070 as the most common model of the trio.

For these reasons, I thought there would be a short window where I could buy a new GPU at a reasonable price. that I was leading a GTX 1660Ti with a QHD monitor made my decision easier. I was starting to see the 1660 Ti sometimes struggle to maintain a consistent 60fps in games like Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order at 1440p. The fact that the 1660 Ti does not include NVIDIA DLSS upscaling technology also meant that I envisioned a future where I would have to play games at reduced quality.

Map of the writer's office

Igor Bonifacic / Engadget

I can safely say that I won’t regret buying the RTX 3070 along with its successor around the corner. Play games like God of the war with all graphics settings maxed out and without a single hitch, it was delicious. Even more telling was revisiting games like Control and finally be able to live with them laser trace. Sometimes I think we get so caught up in trying to make the perfect purchase that we don’t buy the product that would suit our needs right now. I’m glad I didn’t fall into that trap.

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