Now that NVIDIA's RTX-series lineup has officially launched for the world to see, the key considerations that remain are supply, demand, and price. The first two factors will go on to decide not only when we will see a price drop in the official MSRP of the cards but also when is the best time to get your hands on one.
Before we begin, it's worth pointing out that this article is based on information I received from a well known AIB a week or so back; which correctly predicted the actual hard launch date for the RTX-series graphics cards. It's worth noting, however, that even though my source has assured me this is pretty much guaranteed - at the end of the day Jensen can make or break any of NV's plans. You can see my reference tweet below:
Hearing embargo/hard-launch date is 9/20. Not tommorow.
— Usman Pirzada (@usmanpirzada) August 20, 2018
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 shipping out in 'very large' quantity on 9/20, small initial shipment on 9/10
NVIDIA's RTX 2080 is the first card that is going to be shipping out on 20th September and will also be the one in the largest quantity at launch. A small initial shipment will also go out on the 10th followed by the actual bulk just 10 days later. My source used the word "very large" to describe the primary batch - take that to mean what you will. This is going to be the company's primary bulk of RTX SKUs and the one it really hopes will catch on. If you are hoping to grab a card at launch - this is the part you will have the highest probability of doing so. Neither the RTX 2080 Ti nor the 2070 will be in any significant quantity come launch time in September.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti primary shipments starting from 9/27, small initial shipment on 9/15
The bulk of the RTX 2080 Tis are going to be shipping out a week or two after the RTX 2080 ships. The date to watch out for is around September 27th. This will not be in the same quantity as the RTX 2080 (naturally, since this is a higher end part and will have lower demand). I was also told that NVIDIA is contemplating committing to a small initial shipment on the 15th of September. The main bulk of pre-orders, however, will not be serviced until the month of October. This does make sense as its the largest die and would require the best produce from the 12 NFF yield.
NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2070 won't be shipping in quantity until November
Interestingly, however, we have also learned that NVIDIA has no plans to ship out RTX 2070 graphics cards until early November or late October at the earliest. That means you are looking at almost 1.5 months until primary shipments go out. The reason for this is simple and not particularly surprising. NVIDIA has always launched cards in pairs and this time they have an additional incentive to hold off on the RTX 2070 - since this is an SKU that will eat directly into 10-series sales.
This 1.5 to 2-month window will also give time for GTX 10-series inventory to deplete. This might seem like bad news, but this is actually good - because the sooner 10-series stock finishes - the sooner we will see MSRP based price cuts on the RTX line. We are also told that the RTX 2070 is going to be paired with the XX60 series SKU which might or might not be branded an RTX variant.
Initial priority will be given to a handful of retailers
As is always the case, some retailers are given priority while being seeded and this time will be no different. Our friend was kind enough to give us the names of the retailers NVIDIA is going to be blessing with supply of the RTX series. These are the four retailers that are being given priority for RTX supply on the 20th September launch and the ones you should target if you want to beat demand. Keep in mind these retailers are just the one that will have a guaranteed supply, additional e-tailers like Newegg might make the cut before launch time if supply allows:
- Best Buy