Remember people panic buying toilet paper and hand sanitizer during the height of the pandemic? That all pales in comparison to the chaos that comes with securing a new graphics card from a physical outlet these days.
We all know the availability problems of graphics cards, the result of pandemic-induced unprecedented demand, cryptominers, and scalpers. It means that on those rare occasions when there is stock in retail stores, people turn up en masse and swamp the place, as illustrated in the video above.
The clip, from PrestonALewis (via Kotaku), is shot at a Micro Center store in Dallas as people wait for it to open so they can grab the restocked Nvidia cards. A staff member informs the waiting mob they can only buy one card per household and, probably unwisely, confirms there isn’t enough stock for everyone. At the video’s 3:55 mark, the doors open and all hell breaks loose, previous warnings that anyone caught running or pushing will be ejected seemingly ignored, much like the “please practice social distancing” signs.
There’s been plenty of criticism aimed at Nvidia for releasing the RTX 3080 Ti at a time when it should be trying to address the current shortage issues. There’s also that $1,200 MSRP, though it’s obviously going to be selling at a much higher price point. Nevertheless, people queued up around the block for hours at Best Buy to secure one on launch day.
This is all good news for a semiconductor industry experiencing record revenue—as are Nvidia and AMD—and we can expect to keep seeing these scenes until next year, when the situation is expected to improve.