When and where to score an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 at launch

On your mark, get sold out well above MSRP.

Screengrab via NVIDIA

Nvidia’s next big graphics card release is hitting shelves on Thursday, Jan.27, but inventory and pricing remain major concerns ahead of launch. Even though the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 is an entry-level card, you’d be hard-pressed to find a worthy, in-stock graphics card near MSRP these days, so it’s wise to temper expectations.

There’s no set launch time for the RTX 3050 GPUs, but rumors put the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 going live around 7am CT after reviews were delayed until 24 hours before launch.

Despite the impending availability issues caused by the ever-frustrating chip shortage, there are still a few places to take a look at if you’re in the market for a new entry-level card or just building a PC for the first time. Here are the best places to look for an RTX 3050 come launch day.

If you live near a Micro Center, it’s definitely worth checking out stock in person on launch day. The same goes for Best Buy since it’s the only other company with a brick-and-mortar storefront.

Not all hope is lost out of the gate, though. After a messy launch, AMD’s RX 6500 XT 4GB stock bounced back. And despite its widely negative reception, it will do for 1080p gaming in a pinch. But even these shunned GPUs are hitting well above MSRP. Nvidia’s RTX 3050 has something else going for it in terms of a potential inventory boost: It’s not great at Ethereum mining, which should make it an unappealing card for miners.

Nvidia set the RTX 3050 MSRP at $249, but that doesn’t hold much weight since the company isn’t producing an RTX 3050 Founders Edition GPU. It’s more than likely the price of the RTX 3050 cards will be well-beyond anything resembling entry-level.

If you’re really aiming to cop an RTX 3050 on launch day, rise early, be sure to have your card information saved in the browser or at the ready, sign up for Twitter alerts, and be persistent in your search.