I recently decided to build a new desktop computer for a new hobby that requires a powerful Windows-only computer. I thought I would spend 1-2 weeks researching, and then I should be good to buy and be done within three weeks. Was I wrong?!
I didn’t realize that I decided to build at one of the worst times of the year, September/October. This is the time of the year that many manufacturers announce new products. Generally, the products are available soon after the announcements, but this year, things were different, like most other things in 2020.
For the graphics card, I waited for Nvidia to announce their new RTX 30 series GPUs at the start of September. I naively thought that I could actually get my hand on one at launch! On the day of the launch, I was excited to get on my computer and be ready to order as soon as NewEgg or Best Buy would allow, but, like hundreds of other enthusiasts, I was surprised to see how unprepared I was.
Given the minimal availability of the GPUs, they were gone within seconds! The store websites became unresponsive and required the type of persistence that only a computer can possess. Since the launch, there have been many “drops” of the cards at different etailers. Those also disappear within minutes, if not seconds, of them being available.
Since the launch, after some research online, I realized that the bots are here! Even more so, they have been here for a while. I just never thought it was going to be a problem for me.
The first problem with the Nvidia RTX 30 series GPUs was that Nvidia launched with very limited quantity. This, in turn, made it even more worth everyone’s time, and the scalper’s interest, to run bots. Within a week of the launch, once the enthusiasts realized what was going on, new RTX 30 series bot repositories started popping up on Github. These range from simple scripts to more sophisticated bots. Some add the product to your cart and launch the browser to minimize the time to checkout; others claim to do the full checkout for you.
For the less adventurous ones who do not want to run their own bots, there are now twitch streams that show the running bot and alert you when the card comes in stock.
Suffice it to say, the bots are here to stay. These days we will face bots if we want to buy anything popular sold online. Let’s hope that the retailers can add anti-bot technology to their online stores, so your average consumer has some chance of actually purchasing at the suggested retail price.
Let’s see how long it will take before the Nvidia supply catches up to the demand so I can finally get the GPU.