Qualifying hardware or community involvement could see you cutting queues at future hardware launches.
By tʜɪs poɪɴt, ʏᴏᴜ'll ʙᴇ paɪɴꜰᴜʟʟy awᴀʀᴇ ᴏꜰ ʜᴏᴡ excruciᴀᴛɪɴgly ᴅɪꜰꜰɪᴄᴜʟᴛ ɪᴛ cᴀɴ ʙᴇ ᴛʀʏɪɴg ᴛᴏ purchᴀse a graphics ᴄᴀʀd. Tryɪɴg ᴛᴏ ɢᴇᴛ ʜᴏʟᴅ ᴏꜰ tʜᴇ ʟɪᴋᴇs ᴏꜰ Nvidia's GeFᴏʀce RTX 3080, especiᴀʟʟy mᴀɴagɪɴg ᴛᴏ ꜰɪɴᴅ ᴏɴe ꜰᴏʀ MSRP, ɪᴛ's ʟɪᴋᴇ grᴀspɪɴg ᴀᴛ ʟɪǫᴜɪᴅ silicᴏɴ. Yep, tʜᴇ stᴀᴛe ᴏꜰ PC ʙᴜɪʟᴅɪɴg ɪs a shambles, ʙᴜᴛ EVGA ɪs ᴛʀʏɪɴg ɪᴛs ʙᴇst ᴛᴏ ᴘʀᴏᴠɪᴅᴇ ʜᴏᴘᴇ, ɪꜰ ᴏɴly ꜰᴏʀ ᴛʜᴏsᴇ ᴡʜᴏ ᴀʀᴇ loyal ᴛᴏ tʜᴇ mᴀɴufᴀᴄᴛurer.Board walk
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Essentially the company has decided to reward customer loyalty and engagement with exclusive access to new hardware releases, some discounts and, perhaps even more excitingly, the potential to make some money. The only catch is that you have to have made two qualifying EVGA purchases in the last 12 months, or have been actively participating in EVGA's community—there's no specified timescale for the latter, though.
To qualify for Elite membership through community involvement, in this instance, just means either having watched enough EVGA Twitch streams to have accumulated 5,000 E-points, or having posted 100 posts on the EVGA forum.
According to the EVGA Elite page, "As an Elite Member you can now enjoy a full day of exclusive access to all new EVGA products. All EVGA ELITE Members will now have the first 24 hours of a NEW product launch to purchase or enter the queue system!"
Moreover, Elite members will gain access to exclusive deals, which can be found on the site's Elite savings page. Unsurprisingly, there are no GPUs on the list, but it does include a few decent PSUs, a GPU and CPU cooling solution, as well as some nifty streaming kit. They aren't blow-me-away savings; I wouldn't go and buy something from the store just to nab the discount. But if this is the only way I'll have a chance to get my hands on an RTX 3080 Ti when May rolls around, I might have to take it.
However, alongside the pre-launch exclusive access, there's another potential benefit for Elite members that's piqued my interest: making moneys.
Through the EVGA Associates program, it's now possible to earn a percentage of referred customer revenue. Once you're signed up to Elite, you just share your code with anyone wanting to buy EVGA gear, and get rewarded EVGA Bucks when they make their purchase.
This is great news if you're already part of the club, and want to spend your earnings solely on the EVGA store, but those who haven't qualified have got some work to do. At least this is a pretty nice way for EVGA to lend a helping hand to its fans, among the host of ways the world is trying to deal with the GPU shortage.