This last Tuesday, I had a mission. On Monday night, I took a sleep aid, passed out at 7 PM, and waited to awaken early on Tuesday to join the virtual line for AMD’s newest GPU, the Radeon RX 6900 XT.
In truth, I really would ideally like a Radeon RX 6800 XT or a Geforce RX 3080, but given when I got the point where I had the money needed, my best option was to wait for a launch allocation of hardware and try to buy from that. So that is what I did.
I woke up at midnight, as I often struggle with sleep as-is, and fine, I thought. Grab a drink, play some Shadowlands content, wait for the 6 AM PST on-sale time to come. I logged out of WoW around 5:30 AM, read some of the stock tracking Discords I’ve joined over the last few weeks, and took some deep breaths.
When 6 AM came, I had tabs for Newegg, for the AMD subreddit, for AMD’s site, and Discord chirping about availability. I got in on Newegg, got a card in my cart, and then it fell right out before I could check out. Sold out. Damn.
AMD’s site took forever to add the cards, and some bozo decided it was a great time to stock 3 of the 4 Ryzen 5000 CPUs which have also been hot ticket items, so the site began to crawl. They then stocked the RX 6900 XT and…the RX 6800 XT? Okay, so I had a regular and an incognito window on the site, add one of the cards to each cart, and try to check out.
Keep trying, but now I’m doing it on my cellphone too, with an RX 6900 XT in two carts and an RX 6800 XT in one. One of the carts finally gets to a payment page – ! – time to speedrun my card details (good thing they are saved in Chrome and I have them memorized!) and…error 503.
That’s okay, hit back, try to checkout again, and it either errors out immediately or loads the page, lets me dump my card details into it, and then fails.
I started this part of the journey around 6:10 AM or so. It was now 7:30 AM and my wife is awake, as I make increasingly louder noises of exasperation at the shoddy state of AMD’s site.
Except now, I get to a second checkout page – a shipping type screen. The same thing happens trying to move past it, so I continue to try and try again.
Meanwhile, at 8:24 AM, a stock tracking Discord goes off – Newegg has an RX 6900 XT model back in stock at MSRP!
I rush to the link, add to cart, checkout successfully, and get incredibly relieved! I have an RX 6900 XT!
The order says “In Processing,” but I figure that means the stock is allocated and they’re just doing reviews for bots or purchase restrictions to avoid catching the heat of the audience for all of the bot sales and scalping that is happening around new graphics cards in 2020.
Then, the order disappears from my active orders on NewEgg. I get an email – voided due to inventory levels.
But I still have two active carts at AMD.com with a 6800 XT and 6900 XT in them, respectively!
Even better, I get to the third and final checkout screen on an RX 6800 XT, agree to terms, and submit.
It loads, and loads, and loads.
Shipping is not available to the country I selected, it says.
What the fuck does that even mean?
I live in the US, am on the US webstore, and have the US selected as my shipping location with a valid, USPS verified version of my home address ready and waiting.
Turns out that this confusing message is a roundabout way of saying they are out of cards.
At 9:10 AM, 3 hours and 10 minutes after I started a mad dash of F5ing, my phone temporarily banned from AMD’s webstore due to excessive refreshing, I failed to get anything other than a story.
So I instead grabbed the boot drive for my new system, some LED strips, and the Azeron gamepad to replace my final Logitech G13 (a topic I’ll write more about this week!) and then, as the funny exclamation mark on all of this, on Friday, a stock tracker Discord went off again, with two models of RX 6900 XT, and I was able to add the card to my cart and stare at it for 10 minutes without it selling out.
2020 just keeps on delivering.
Oh, and then my glasses broke, so you know, good day that was.