Nvidia’s Founders Edition RTX 3090, 3080, 3070 GPUs Won’t Be Sold In Australia [Update: Nvidia Backflips]

Nvidia’s Founders Edition RTX 3090, 3080, 3070 GPUs Won’t Be Sold In Australia [Update: Nvidia Backflips]
Image: Nvidia

See this flashy RTX 3080 and its funky new design? Well, too bad, because you won’t get it in Australia.

Nvidia has confirmed to Kotaku Australia that while Australians will still get their regular shipment of RTX 3090, 3080 and 3070 GPUs from third-party vendors, the special front-and-back cooled editions from Nvidia won’t be sold in Australia.

And it’s not just a launch issue — Nvidia confirmed there are no plans currently to sell the Founders Edition GPUs in Australia. That’s a change from the RTX 20-series launch, where Australians could grab the FE cards direct from the Nvidia website.

So in practice, instead of buying a card like this:

rtx 3080
Image: Nvidia

You’ll be shopping for cards like this:


I know which card I’d rather have in my PC.

Nvidia has sold some Founders Edition cards like the Titan RTX through third-party retailers before, but this time around Australians will have to stick to the classic brands.

It’s annoying. But it’s not all bad news. Australians will still be able to buy the RTX 30-series models from AIB partners when they go on sale from September 17. Several companies have already announced models available for Australia, including ASUS, MSI, PNY’s XLR8 and ZOTAC. Gigabyte, Galax, Leadtek, Inno3D and EVGA also sell cards in the local market, but I haven’t received any local press releases or information about what their offerings will be.

A small upside is this means Australians won’t have to think about dealing with 12-pin connectors, or any adapters that come with them. All AIB models are going with a double or triple 8-pin power setup, no different to what Aussies will have in their gaming PCs today.

Still, having that new design would have been real cool. A GPU that has a fan on the front and the back does a whole lot of wonders for airflow, if you set everything up correctly. And the AIB RTX 3090, 3080 and 3070 GPUs will still run just fine with a 750W power supply. Provided you haven’t been pushing it too hard for the last couple of years.

Update 8/09: Nvidia’s Australian and New Zealand Facebook page has corroborated our original reporting, telling customers directly that “Founders Edition GPUs are not available in Australia” at this time.

The statement comes after days of confusion, where Nvidia support staff were telling customers that Australians would still be able to buy the RTX Founders Editions in Australia, despite Nvidia’s Australian team confirming directly with Kotaku Australia over email that the RTX FE cards wouldn’t be sold locally.

Update 12/09: Nvidia has formally backflipped, announcing that retailer Mwave (rather than Nvidia direct) will sell some RTX 3080 and 3090 FE cards — but not RTX 3070 at this stage — in Australia. All the details are here.


  • That’s a shame. I might be wrong but I was thinking that the FE cards might hold to RRP too whereas the AIB’s may not. Someone more knowledgeable than I might be able to fill me in about how it worked with RTX 20XX launch though, as I skipped that gen.

    • Basically was on point depending on the brand, some of the heavier OC’d ones ended up about $99-199 more than the FE models – but by that point, you couldn’t get the FE models anyway.

      Then crypto boom hit and everything went to shit. That’s what I remember of it, anyway.

  • I will be flabbergasted if priced for the 3080 in Australia are less than $1500. OC Extreme models will be like $1,600-$1,700.

    • I’m hoping for around 1300ish for the “mid-range” (so to speak) of partner 3080 cards (for reference, Asus Dual would be lower tier, TUF would be mid, and ROG Strix is high, then something like the EVGA Hybrid or Kingpin cards are something else entirely)

      699USD is 959AUD right now (and that’s the retail price, not wholesale), so chuck on 10% GST, and some import charges, and a margin for the store, and yeah, hopefully 1300-1400 for an Asus TUF or EVGA XC3 etc.

        • Sure did, $809, $1139 and $2429 to be exact. I’d guess they were originally planning to launch in Aus and have now altered that plan at the last minute.
          My suspicion would be overwhelming demand vs supply so they’re servicing other markets instead.
          It does raise questions of what local pricing from Partner cards will be without nvidia setting a baseline.

    • Prepare to be flabbergasted then. The prices will stay much the same as the previous launch. Entry level AIB cards will hover around the $1200 – $1300 mark and will go up to $1500+ for the Strix etc.

  • So is it confirmed that no other manufacturer is doing the “reference” design? My 1080ti was a founders edition but I didn’t buy it from nvidia directly. I bought it from EVGA… I assumed that was going to be possible here too?

    If we’re not getting the reference design from anyone then I better get to planning because so far everything I’m seeing from third parties won’t fit in my current config, haha

    • New for the 3000 series, the ‘Founders Edition’is actually not the ‘Reference’design anymore. Which is gonna get confusing…
      Founders Edition this time around is using a weird custom PCB setup (related to the weird custom cooler). There will also be a ‘Reference’ design which will presumably cover most of the entry level/not particularly exotic boards. And then there’ll be 3rd party custom PCBs as well which should be mostly the high-end custom cooling or overclocking parts.

      Short answer: No, nobody else will be copying the Founders Design (not officially anyway).

      • The reference design is what Nvidia (and AMD) seed out to partners, and they make cards based off that design and add their own coolers and custom iterations on top.

        The reference design is basically: here’s the base / boost clocks, the chip, the PCB, power requirements and all the rest. The FE editions are just Nvidia’s spin on what the cards could be. (You can see Nvidia’s specs on the 20-series card listings for what the ‘reference’ designs offer, vs. what the FE’s sold. Obviously AIBs took that further, but it outlines what the ‘base’ specs given to AIB partners are.)

        You’re right in that partners won’t be copying the Founders Design, though. But just wanted to clear up the naming conventions re. what’s reference and what’s not.

  • Then…why do they have them listed on the AU page along with release date and prices and a ‘Notify Me’ button presumably for when preorders/onsale?

  • Is this because not enough people buy the founders edition in Australia? Besides what is the difference between these and the OEM versions? It is not like the founders edition have got additional frame boost hidden in their chips

    • It is rumoured (don’t know if it is confirmed or not) that Nvidia skims off the best dies for their Founders Edition cards which would be odd because, as far as I know, the FE cards have a much lower power limit compared to third party cards (111% for the 2080 Ti FE compared to 122% for at least the Gigabyte 2080 Ti Gaming OC). So technically (if that is true) the FE cards do have additional frame boost hidden in their chips lol

      • I am not too sure if its a rumour or urban legend but i heard that most chipsets are the same, but due to variations (silicon lotto) the performance is artificially choked by firmware the best performing chips will be the 3090 and go down from there.

        I heard its also the same with CPU’s.

      • haha so they are a secret sauce card after all. Ah well, I will not lose sleep over this. Usually the difference in the frames will be marginal at best. . 10%. I will rather keep the savings from buying an OEM card and buy an additional monitor 🙂

  • Alex, I’m sure the information you have is the most up to date but it seems like Nvidia support haven’t got the memo yet. I just got off chat with them and they said that while they cannot comment on 3rd party articles, they were happy to confirm that the information on the website was correct and that it would indeed be available for purchase through their website for Australian customers for the advertised price. Maybe an 11th hour decision?

    • I got it direct from Nvidia, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case. During the RTX 20-series launch, I remember there being at least 3 changes to the AUD pricing while I was sitting at the launch with another Aussie journo.

      It’s pretty common for a lot of last-minute changes around the big launches here. For now, I’m going off the info that I’ve gotten directly from Nvidia. I’m sure everyone will be on the same page come Monday. It’s been a long week.

  • I don’t use PC so I don’t know about graphics cards but couldn’t this just be ordered from overseas and mailed to Australia? There are loads of cool things you can’t get in Australia.

  • At a guess I’d say they originally WERE going to bring them to Aus, and this is a response to overwhelming demand and anticipated limited supply with nvidia deciding to keep supply for US/EU regions.
    Happens quite a lot throughout many industries where Aus doesn’t get a product, or only gets it after the initial rush of demand is satisfied.

  • I don’t know where Kotaku got this source of information from, especially considering that i’ve seen 5 articles about this issue, all of which are a spin off of this article, which itself has 0 source on who exactly Kotaku spoke to, and what the conversation entailed, I contacted NVIDIA support and this is what i was told after sending them this article:

    “As of now we do not have any official information that our 30-series graphics cards will not be released in Australia. So, I think that third party web-page is providing wrong infromation. I will forward that web-link to concerned team to check.”

    All i want is more insight, because if truly we can’t buy the founders cards in Australia i would like to know so i can start looking at third-party cards, however as far as this article goes theres 0 merit behind the information so ill be looking towards the nvidia page until launch.

    • I got the information literally from Nvidia via email.

      (I’ve also just emailed you back — that’s got more information than my original comment, so check that out instead.)

      • Very true. You can only report on the information that is given to you. I wouldn’t question it either in your case. It is however a little strange that Nvidia has not released this information themselves and chose you individually and alone to start circulating this news. Would make more sense to send a press release to multiple outlets at the same time right? They have also not updated their pages on the Australian site to reflect this. Will be nice when we can get everyone on the same page.

        • Companies *absolutely* would not be putting out a press release for something like this. I don’t know if other local outlets also received the same news, or whether they asked. My gut says they might have, but I’m just speculating there.

          As to why it’s all happen, here’s my suspicion: things changed very quickly behind the scenes, they’ve seen the level of interest worldwide and had to make some very tough calls about what to do with the amount of supply they have. There’s already been some vendors talking behind the scenes about a lack of supply for the rest of 2020, so that lines up with that. But again, I’m just speculating on that one.

          • I would bet that you’re right. The thing that gets me though is that I’m sure they would’ve had a pretty good idea of the demand for this launch. I mean even the 20 series cards were sold out everywhere on launch and this is not Nvidia’s first rodeo. Just seems a little naive on their part given that they knew what these cards were. Also, I haven’t read every single article about this but of the ones I have, all of them site your article as the source. So no other independent reports as of yet.

  • (ugh comment chains!)

    @fuzzynoodle: Now you’re hitting on the real fun part. After seeing the reaction — obviously their ANZ team would probably be saying, hey, this region is going to sell out of whatever allocation you provide. Can’t you offer some cards, even if it’s super small like 100, 250, 500 units?

    There’s not an insignificant chance that, off the back of this and the reaction, Nvidia turns around and offers a small allocation (or does some kind of lottery) next week to make good.

    • Yep, I can see that happening too. Would be on-brand for them to do something like that at this point. Then people will be back here hanging it on you for doing your job. Fun times.

      • Some people will definitely take that tack, for sure. (Plus, hating Kotaku is basically a hobby for some groups at this point.)

        The way I’d look at it is that the process worked: the reporting was fair and accurate, the company responds to the reaction, makes changes to make everyone happy, and we follow-up along the way and some Australians don’t get to miss out.

        If that’s how it pans out, then I’d like to think of that as one of the good parts of the job and something everyone can be happy with.

        • Good way to look at it. And lots of consistent free publicity for the launch followed by aussies even more happy and willing to part with their money.

  • This is so disappointing :(.
    I was looking forward to the FE cards. Most (not all) AIB cards look so tacky and over the top. The FE cards look so damn nice. Plus this time around (reviews pending ofcourse) the cooling potential for the FE cooler looks pretty solid especially in high air flow cases.

    Very disappointed by this decision.

    @Alex Walker
    Do you know if this means no FE cards in Aus ever or no FE cards at launch?

      • This is why you have PRE-ORDERS damn it Nvidia.
        At least you’d have an idea of what the demand is likely to be like and you can ship units accordinly.

        Hell, I would have put cash deposit down to get a FE at launch if they’d just take my money. I imagine I’m not the only one.

  • Well the Founders is the only 3090 I’ve seen that I could fit into my FT05 and Silverstone still hasn’t released the Alta.

    I know we have a small population, but you’d think that we’d still score a small portion of cards.

    Fucking paper launches.

    • depends how keen you are really. should this be true, you could always import an FE. else you could wait for AIBs to release their smaller form factor cards that dont overclock as well. if previous gens are anything to go by youll usually get a standard model, an oc model and a water cooled or water cool capable model down the line. theres usually something for everyone.

      • Only issue with importing FE is no local warranty. So bummed about this. Hoping against hope that nvidia reverses their decision and sells atleast some FE cards here. Most of the good AIB cards won’t fit in my FT05 case 🙁

  • I am a little worried about how I will get 1 of these cards to work in my current system. I have 2 8 pin connectors and a lot of reports are saying that most of these cards will require 3 of them. I upgraded this PC about a year or 2 ago now and no longer have the box filled with cables so I could be screwed here.

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