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Want to be the first to score Nvidia’s RTX 3060? Set your alarms for February 25

After debuting its entry-level GeForce RTX 3060 desktop graphics card earlier this year at CES, Nvidia finally announced when the GPU will go on sale. Eager gamers who don’t want to spend a fortune on Nvidia’s higher-end offerings in the RTX 3000 line — up to $1,499 for the top-of-the-line RTX 3090 — will be able to pay just $329 for the RTX 3060 when it goes on sale at 9 a.m. PT on Thursday February 25. If you’re a gamer on the East Coast, that translates to noon in just under two weeks time.

If you have your heart set on Nvidia’s most affordable GPU that’s capable of real-time ray tracing with the company’s second-generation RT cores, you may want to set an alarm, as supplies are expected to be very limited. Nvidia, like rival AMD, is finding itself in the midst of a global GPU shortage created by component shortages in the semiconductor industry, as well as pent-up demand created by more people staying at home as a result of the global pandemic.

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Another reason to set an alarm so that you can snag an RTX 3060 card sooner rather than later: Tariffs. GPUs are expected to cost more this year, at least in the U.S., due to the 25% tariff imposed as part of the country’s ongoing trade dispute with China. Elsewhere in the world, retailers also anticipate pricing to increase due to the law of supply and demand.

Nvidia / Nvidia

The RTX 3060 s the latest graphics cards in the RTX 3000 series lineup, joining the RTX 3090, the flagship RTX 3080, the midrange RTX 3070, and the RTX 3060 Ti. With the addition of the RTX 3060, pricing for Nvidia’s latest RTX family now spans $329 to $1,499. During its unveiling, Nvidia executives noted that despite the more affordable price, the RTX 3060 is still a powerful GPU, beating the performance of Sony’s PlayStation 5 console by as much as 30%. The card should appeal to gamers on a budget.

Although it’s based on the same Ampere architecture that powers other members of the RTX 3000 family, unlike Nvidia’s pricier cards, there won’t be a Founders Edition for the RTX 3060, so gamers looking to pick up this specific card will have to turn to Nvidia partners. Nvidia promised that the RTX 3060 will deliver 60 frames-per-second gameplay. The card comes with 12GB of G6 memory, and it’s capable of 13 shader teraflops, 25 RT TFLOPs, and 101 tensor TFLOPs, Nvidia claims.

In addition to soon becoming available on desktops, the RTX 3060 is also now available on mobile. Gamers interested in a laptop powered by RTX 3060 can pick one up today, and pricing for notebooks start at $999.

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Chuong Nguyen
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