NVIDIA is set to launch its budget-friendly GeForce RTX 3050 on January 27, and video card hopefuls and PC gaming enthusiasts are on the hunt. Priced at just $249 MSRP, the hardware is cheap enough to put in nearly any gaming PC. Getting one, however, will be a challenge of its own. To beat the bots and real-time buyers, here’s all you need to know about the 3050 including its likely release time, pre-order links, and five tips for a speedy purchase.
When is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 release time?
While NVIDIA itself has yet to outwardly confirm a precise release timing for the 3050 given- this card relies partially on the whimsy of third-party sellers and manufacturers. Trusted GPU resource VideoCardz.Com has gone on record to say “RTX 3050 reviews will be posted on January 26th at 6 a.m. Pacific, exactly 24 hours before the card officially goes on sale.”
With that timing in mind, we suspect the RTX 3050 will be live on most storefronts on January 27 at 9 a.m. Eastern. This release timing is consistent with the vast majority of 30 Series RTX GPU releases with the exception of the RTX 3060. That card curiously launched at 12 p.m. Eastern on launch day. If for any reason the 9 a.m. hour doesn’t bear fruit, you may want to try again at 12 p.m. Eastern as well.
Where to order or pre-order an NVIDIA RTX 3050
The usual suspects for GPU sales are likely your best bet for getting a 3050 on day one. As has been the case with NVIDIA’s more budget-friendly options in the past, the card maker itself won’t be selling a Founders Edition on its official store. We have included it on this list, though, just in case all your other options quickly fizzle out.
These links feature basic search queries for the RTX 3050 to help get you started with the process. When the actual release time arrives, you may need to perform a manual search yourself to ensure you’re getting the absolute best results.
Where to buy the RTX 3050 in stores
During the past 30 Series video card releases in the United States, online commenters have reported having luck getting a card at launch by visiting their local Best Buy or Micro Center when the day arrived. Because policies related to the 3050 might vary from store to store, we’ve linked to the applicable store locators so you can find out for yourself. From our perspective, it’s always best to call ahead before visiting a store.
That being said, especially when it comes to a budget-friendly card like the 3050, we imagine stores are most likely to stick to their recent habits by keeping the vast majority of GPU stock online. Make the right call, though, and you just might luck out.
Best tips for ordering an NVIDIA RTX 3050
Getting your hands on an RTX 3050 on day one is going to be a nigh-impossible task, but there are a few tips that can increase your odds of success in the midst of an ongoing computer chip shortage. Some of these suggestions may seem obvious to those who’ve scored hot items online in the past, but we’ve also got a few specific secrets well worth knowing.
- Enter your payment information early: Especially when it comes to products like video cards that are in short supply, stores are only able to sell you big-ticket goods as fast as you’re able to hand over your money. To make sure your purchase goes through as smoothly as possible, we strongly suggest storing your payment details using accounts from stores you intend to buy. Don’t be the fool entering your credit card number with a GPU sitting in your cart, because you’ll almost assuredly miss out.
- Get fast Twitter alerts: Twitter alerts can also be a helpful tool, as they often provide up-to-the-second information on some of the biggest sales and deals. With video cards specifically, we’ve had recent success watching fixitfixitfixit. You can also try trusted Twitter mainstays like Wario64 and IGN Deals as well. Get the right alert at the right time even in the hours after launch, and you may be able to score yourself a 3050.
- Try using an app: While we’re still partial to using a traditional desktop PC to make our purchases, there are others who swear by buying products through a store’s mobile app instead of its website. Mobile apps are specifically developed for speed, so there have been instances where product pages refresh on Android and iOS a little early. Having your chosen stores’ apps installed may not be a bad idea.
- Use your best device: Whether you’re buying from a mobile phone or computer, we’re big believers in using the best technology at your disposal. That may mean your PC with 16 GB RAM and a gig-speed ethernet connection may be your best bet for success. When circumventing server issues that are sure to crop up during these sales, use the device that’s going to offer the least amount of friction in the process.
- Don’t give up too early: As discouraging as it may be to see “out of stock” buttons appear minutes after release, don’t give up too soon. Stores like Best Buy are infamous for flickering their purchase buttons on and off while also releasing their stock in waves. Wait at least an hour to 90 minutes before waving the white flag of surrender. Used in tandem with the aforementioned Twitter alerts, you never know what you might find.