Earlier this month, it was discovered that there were little to no units of the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition available at the time of launch despite NVIDIA listing the product on its official website/store. Well, turns out the reason is rather straightforward: NVIDIA doesn’t want to sell them. Why? Because there’s a very small or negligible profit margin with the RTX 3070 Ti. This is why AIB variants, even the barebone models cost more than the Founders Edition. Let me walk you through the South Asian prices of these cards, for which I’ve gotten a bit of info from certain board partners.
First off, let’s have a look at the RTX 3070 Ti and 3080 FE prices: there’s only a difference of 1,000 INR (or $13.5) between them. Quite frankly, if this was what the actual price was, I’d have been glad, but this is a thinly veiled lie. Most AIBs are pricing their lowest-end RTX 3070 Ti models between INR 62,000-64,000. That’s more than the 3080 FE price (and wait for it), these models are slower than the RTX 3070 Ti FE, primarily due to the use of inferior VRMs and cheaper PCBs. This was evident with Zotac’s RTX 3080 Trinity which was slower than the Founders Edition. The same is the case with the 3070 Ti:
The above image shows the official market prices of Zotac’s RTX 3070 Ti lineup. The entry-level Trinity card which is priced at 62K is actually slower than the FE which is priced at 61K, while the 3080 FE costs 62K. Due to the various supply shortages and the pandemic, prices of raw materials and transportation are significantly higher than before. This has forced AIBs to increase the prices of their RTX 30-series offerings, and gimp the lower-end models to actually have a profit margin. NVIDIA, on the other hand, is simply not selling (or making) the RTX 3070 Ti FEs because, well, they don’t have to. Most users just look for the board-partner cards, and FE production has always been very limited.
This is why we didn’t see an RTX 3070 Ti Founders Edition SKUs at the time of launch, like not even one, because they weren’t produced in appreciable quantities, to begin with. The reason being, as already explained, very slim or no profit margins. According to another board partner (one of the most popular ones in Asia), the RTX 3070 Ti is officially priced at around 80K INR, and yes, this is for the higher-end overclocked variants.
What about the entry-level models that should be priced at the MSRP? Well, they aren’t being produced (not in volume anyway), just like the RTX 3070 Ti. If you try to look for the Zotac RTX 3070 Ti Trinity in the market, you won’t find many. Not in the scalper market, not in the secondhand market, or even the official stores. In fact, vendors aren’t even listing the official prices on their websites. There aren’t even any reviews of the card on the internet. The reason? Because it performs worse than the cheaper RTX 3070 FE model despite costing as much or more than the RTX 3080 FE.