NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs are still the talk of the town, whether it be the generation's absurd performance indicators thus far or the plethora of partner variants, but one issue that has gone largely unmentioned thus far has been availability. That said, one specific hitch has been uncovered by Kotaku AU: regional availability for the Founders Edition GPUs (or lack thereof), which might be a sign of things to come if pre-order demand spikes.
The 'Founders Edition' is branding for GeForce reference cards, instituted with the GTX 10-series launch. They conform to a reference PCB layout and specification, typically utilise the same quality components, and are equipped with NVIDIA's reference cooling solution. RTX 20-series Founders Edition GPUs were also binned with the best silicon, leading to generally higher dynamic clocks and overclocking potential.
Reference designs were also at one time the go-to for water cooling support, with waterblock manufacturers more willing to design and manufacture to the broadest possibly compatibility base. Today it's a little different, and brands such as Phanteks and EKWB have partnered with the major AIBs to create purpose-built watercooling components for the most popular SKUs.
The above is relevant because, as reported by Kotaku AU earlier today, NVIDIA will not be selling the GeForce RTX 30-series Founders Edition cards in Australia through their website. Demand in this region will instead be catered to by their partners ASUS, ZOTAC, EVGA et al and their wide selection of models with non-reference PCB and proprietary cooling.
For the majority of interested parties the impact will likely be minor so long as retailers are allocated sufficient stock. However the RTX 20-series launch, which boasted far less of a generational leap than the RTX 30-series, was severely supply constrained for months; direct sales of FE cards through NVIDIA were a useful channel for additional stock in every region.
Either way, it's handy that NVIDIA were able to give consumers in this region a heads-up before pre-orders went live.