If you’ve been wanting to buy an RTX 4080 at a reasonable price, but haven’t had much luck, Nvidia may have a solution that’s worth exploring.
The company has just announced that it will be expanding its Verified Priority Access (VPA) program. It will now include the RTX 4080, but the good news doesn’t stop there — it will also serve up cards that were made by Nvidia’s board partners.
To give more people a chance to buy a Founders Edition GPU, Nvidia launched a trial program in October called Verified Priority Access. Nvidia partnered with retailers in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Netherlands, Spain, and Italy in order to try to distribute some of the RTX 4090 GPUs to customers.
Through the Verified Priority Access program, Nvidia sends out custom links to let select customers buy a new graphics card without forcing them to go through the usual anxiety-inducing shopping process when a new product drops. This means you wouldn’t have to spam refresh on a particular website only to find out that the card sold out while you were typing in your card details — or at least that’s the idea.
Initially, the trial run only included an RTX 4090. and it was only available in Nvidia’s own Founders Edition model. Today, the company announced that it was pleased with the initial phase of the trial and will be expanding it.
According to Nvidia, VPA will now “give a limited number of opportunities to purchase GeForce RTX 4080 graphics cards shortly after the worldwide release on November 16.” The card just launched yesterday, so it’s likely that the first links will start being sent out soon. In addition to the RTX 4080, Nvidia will also supply some RTX 4090s at the same time.
This time around, aside from Nvidia’s Founders Edition cards, customers may be able to score some GPUs made by Nvidia’s partners, although no specific names have been thrown around. The availability of these custom GPUs will depend on the location and the retailer.
Once you’re selected to buy a GPU, you’ll have to be quick, as the cards are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Each user will receive a unique link to buy a single graphics card. The link will appear in GeForce Experience, and if you don’t yet have an account, you won’t be able to enroll — only accounts made on or before November 15, 2022, will be able to participate in this phase of the trial.
Although the worst of the disastrous GPU shortage is well behind us, Nvidia’s best graphics cards still have an alarming tendency to sell out in minutes. Once that happens, they’re either out of stock for a while or they come back at an increased price due to scalpers, or even simply retailers increasing the price according to the demand. In short, scoring a new RTX 4090 or RTX 4080 at the MSRP is no easy feat, so VPA seems like a good way to open up sales to more users.