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: Nvidia’s top gaming cards are hard to buy, but now you can rent them

Nvidia Corp. has come up with a way of supplying customers with high-performance gaming cards amid a global chip shortage and supply-chain issues: Sell it as a service.

On Thursday, Nvidia

announced that its GeForce Now cloud-gaming platform now delivered similar performance to its RTX 3080-series of gaming cards due to its new SuperPod supercomputer.

The 3080-performance memberships cost $99.99 for six months, while 2080-performance memberships are available for $49.99 for six months. Preorders for the 3080-platform start on Oct. 21 and will be available sometime in November, Nvidia said.

The upgrade comes in advance of the holiday buying season where chip shortages and supply-chain issues have made 3080-cards either hard to come by or available at exorbitant prices well above the starting suggested retail price of $699.99.

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For example, RTX 3080 Ti gaming cards that have a list price starting at $1,199.00 on Best Buy and online retailers like Newegg are listed as being sold out, and were priced up to double the list price when they had been available.

The 3080-service is directed at “core or mainstream gamers,” not so much for professional gamers who rely on the fastest possible performance to make a living.

Latency for the cloud-platform service is about 56 milliseconds, while the latency for a physical 3080-card installed directly on a gamer’s rig is about half of that, Nvidia said.

Read: People are still playing a lot of videogames, but how much?

Nvidia first released its 3080-series of gaming chips more than a year ago, and announced a budget version of the 30-series card as well as a new line of gaming laptops with 3080 chips back in January. Even that budget card, the RTX 3060 that Nvidia lists for $329, has limited availability on Amazon but at no price lower than $750.

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