GeForce GTX 400-series GPUs scarce after retail launch

Last month, Nvidia promised the world that its new GeForce GTX 400-series graphics cards would hit stores on April 12. That date has come and gone, but after perusing the listings of several online retailers in the U.S. and Canada, we get the feeling Nvidia isn't quite meeting demand.

We searched for cards at Newegg, TigerDirect, and ZipZoomFly in the United States, because those are the three computer hardware e-tailers with the most reviews on both our price search engine and North of the border, we looked at NCIX. The cards we found are listed below with available models highlighted in green. All prices are in U.S. dollars except for NCIX's, which are in Canadian dollars. We didn't factor mail-in rebates into our prices.

Let's start with the GeForce GTX 480, Nvidia's new flagship:

  Price (U.S.) Price (CA)
Model Newegg TigerDirect ZipZoomFly
ASUS ENGTX480/2DI/1536MD5 $499.99   $549.00 $549.99
EVGA 015-P3-1480-AR $499.99   $599.99 $539.99
EVGA 015-P3-1482-AR $529.99   $649.99 $569.99
Galaxy 80XLH5HS8GUX $499.99 $519.99    
GIGABYTE GV-N480D5-15I-B $499.99   $600.00  
MSI N480GTX M2D15-B       $549.99
MSI N480GTX-M2D15 $499.99      
PALIT NE5TX480F09CB     $549.99  
PNY XLR8 VCGGTX480XPB $499.99     $549.99
Sparkle SXX4801536D5-NM     $549.99  
ZOTAC ZT-40101-10P $499.99     $549.99
Median $499.99 $519.99 $574.99 $549.99
Overall median $519.99  

Yep, you're reading that right. We could only find a single GeForce GTX 480 at these four major e-tailers, and the card was selling for $20 above Nvidia's suggested retail price.

Do things get any prettier when we look at the GTX 470?

  Price (U.S.) Price (CA)
Model Newegg TigerDirect ZipZoomFly
ASUS ENGTX470/2DI/1280MD5 $349.99   $429.99 $379.99
EVGA 012-P3-1470-AR $349.99   $429.99 $379.99
EVGA 012-P3-1472-AR $379.99   $459.99 $399.99
Galaxy 70XKH3HS8GUX $349.99 $369.99    
GIGABYTE GV-N470D5-13I-B $349.99   $530.00  
GIGABYTE GV-N470UD-13I     $580.00  
MSI N470GTX M2D12-B       $379.99
MSI N470GTX-M2D12 $349.99      
PALIT NE5TX470F09DA     $399.99  
PNY XLR8 VCGGTX470XPB $349.99     $369.99
Sparkle SXX4701280D5-NM     $499.00  
ZOTAC ZT-40201-10P $349.99     $379.99
Median $349.99 $369.99 $459.99 $379.99
Overall median $369.99  

It would appear so. Here, a whopping four listings weren't slapped with "back order," "out of stock," or "notify me" labels. Unfortunately, though, only one of them came even close to Nvidia's $349 MSRP—the Galaxy card at TigerDirect. ZipZoomFly marks up all of its listings by at least $50, which hardly seems surprisingly considering the apparent dearth of available cards.

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