Huge demand for graphics cards is making the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 not as affordable as it could have been. While the card was announced earlier this year for a suggested price of $329 and hasn’t even started shipping yet, retailers are already hiking up pre-order pricing by as much as 50%, making it less of a bargain in Nvidia’s RTX 3000 series lineup.

In one example, retailer ProShop in Europe is selling the card at a price of 499 euros ($605 U.S.), a 170-euro premium over the MSRP. And according to Tom’s Hardware, retailer PCDiga is listing the card at a more modest 100-euro premium. In the U.S., the RTX 3060 will officially go on sale on February 25, according to Nvidia, so be sure to set your alarms if you want to be among the first to get your hands on this card.

With the tacked-on premium, it appears that the RTX 3060 could be just as expensive as the more premium RTX 3060 Ti or even the RTX 3070. Nvidia’s RTX 3000 series cards come with stronger ray tracing performance, making them a big hit with gamers.

Despite its entry-level status, gamers who have so far been unable to get their hands on an RTX 3080 or RTX 3070 — or those unwilling to pay $1,499 for the premium RTX 3090 — are now turning their attention to the RTX 3060. The fact that the RTX 3060 is newer — which means it could be easier to find inventory amid a global GPU shortage — is a major factor contributing to the card’s popularity. The low starting price for the card also makes it attractive.

A combination of component shortages, as well as outsized demand for more powerful computing components as more people work and play at home during the pandemic, is contributing to silicon shortages around the world. In addition to shortage woes experienced by Nvidia, Intel and rival AMD have also reported shortages of their own chips, and the situation is expected to last through the first half of the year.

If you’re a gamer itching to upgrade, we highly recommend pre-ordering early when the RTX 3060 becomes available on the market to avoid significant wait times as retailers attempt to restock this card. Diligently checking online inventories at various retailers will also help your chances in locating a card whenever a new shipment arrives. Right now, patience is still advised, as gamers not only have to compete with other gamers and creative professionals in finding inventory, but also scalpers and cryptocurrency miners who are also scouring stores for cards in hopes of turning a profit. And even though you may be discouraged, we absolutely recommend you don’t give up hope and instead buy older GPUs that have recently been made available again.

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