With Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 40 Series, Are High GPU Prices the New Normal?
During CEO Jensen Huang’s keynote today, Nvidia at least partially took the wraps off its upcoming GeForce RTX 40-series graphics cards. His presentation gave us the first confirmed concrete details so far about the graphics giant’s highly anticipated upcoming line of graphics cards, which includes two versions of the high-end GeForce RTX 4090 and step-down GeForce RTX 4080.
Naturally, performance predictions are the star of the show, with Nvidia claiming that these new cards will be significantly faster than older cards. But another big takeaway: These new cards are going to be very expensive, and subsequent cards in the series (which haven’t been announced yet) could hit an all-time high in terms of sticker price for the cost of the game. Ouch!
Jumps and jumps cause prices to rise
Graphics cards have been selling for high prices in recent years, often well above suggested retail prices, as dual interest in PC gaming and cryptocurrency mining has led to severe shortages. However, as cryptocurrency enthusiasm has cooled (the recent Ethereum merger will be a big factor in accelerating this trend) and the actual hardware shortage is more or less over, prices have dropped close to the standard sticker price of current-generation cards. …..even below, my place. All signs point to this trend continuing, at least for the near future.
but that is current Card. With pricing announcements for its upcoming Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 graphics cards, Nvidia has poured cold water on the low-price vibe. The base models are priced at $899 and $1,599, respectively.
If you’ve bought a card (or at least one in the window) in the past year or two, these prices may not seem that’s too bad. But it still shows an ongoing — and worrying for consumers — “price floor” that keeps rising across generations. A few graphics card cycles ago, Nvidia started selling its best graphics cards under the Titan brand, which were considered very expensive at the time.
It makes sense, however, as most consumer-focused graphics cards have flaws in GPGPU performance. This is to prevent standard graphics cards from competing with workstation-class graphics cards that Nvidia and AMD also sell. These workstation cards are still very many graphics cards, but they are optimized for other types of workloads and are often used in supercomputers, servers, and systems dedicated to high-end content creation and massive data processing. The best of these cards are considerably more expensive than typical gaming cards. So at the time, the Titan’s high price made sense as a sort of jack-of-all-trades bridge between gaming cards and GPGPU-focused cards.
Nvidia no longer sells its best consumer-grade graphics cards under the Titan name, but below you can see a comparison of launch prices for the first two cards of each generation. (We’re ignoring the Ti cards for now, as Nvidia has yet to take the wraps off the RTX 4090 Ti.) While the GeForce RTX 4090 isn’t the most expensive card on the chart, it’s important to note that there’s always a chance that Nvidia will launch it sometime in the future Titan cards, RTX 4090 Ti may appear. Both are more expensive than the RTX 4090’s $1,599.
As you can see, the graphics card/workstation GTX Titan X flagship card originally sold for a whopping $999, but over the past decade, cards in that class have now risen to $1,599 for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090. That’s “just $100 more than the base price of the previous-gen GeForce RTX 3090. But as we’ve said before, this is a disturbing trend that’s been going on for generations. We think the RTX 3090 itself was expensive to begin with. .
Also note: with the exception of Titans, none of these cards have full GPGPU performance. Although the RTX 3090 is priced high and it sits in the same place in the Titan card’s past lineup, its GPGPU performance is limited like all other consumer graphics cards. The RTX 4090 is likely to be the same. (GPGPU cards are now Nvidia’s workstation-focused RTX A-series.)
In contrast, the “low-end” x080 graphics cards performed worse. Take the lowest-priced GeForce RTX 4080, which sells for $899, which is $200 more than the previous-gen RTX 3080 (release price: $699).Nvidia also announced that the memory-enhanced RTX 4080 version will be an even number more Expensive: $1,199 if you want to upgrade from 12GB GDDR6X to 16GB GDDR6X RAM. From a price point of view, this is harder to accept.
Graphics Card Bloat: Will It Live On?
As a gamer and tech enthusiast, I don’t like seeing graphics card prices go up, and as a tech analyst I feel like there’s some filler in those prices.But I can’t deny that it’s possible Some defend them. This makes me hardly believe that things will change much in the future.
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Big chip-making companies like AMD, Intel and Nvidia have long relied on improvements in semiconductor technology to help advance their technology. That’s still true today, but the pace of semiconductor improvement is slowing. It’s a serious question as to how far silicon-based semiconductor technology can go further, at least to induce performance improvements proportional to recent generations.
Adopting newer manufacturing processes has long allowed companies to cram more hardware resources into smaller and smaller areas while reducing production costs. Companies rely on these added hardware resources to boost performance, but if they can’t migrate to the new process at the same time, this often results in chips that need to get bigger to accommodate the extra components. Naturally, this also pushed up the price.
Right now, we don’t know which process technology Nvidia will use for the GeForce RTX 40-series GPUs, but it’s a key area where Nvidia’s cost of making GPUs increases.what are we going to do Do From the initial specs, it is certain that the RTX 4090 will pack a lot of resources, with about 50% more CUDA cores than the RTX 3090. So even Nvidia transitions to the new process node.
Because of this, thermal and power components have to be more robust and therefore more expensive. The new PCI Express 5.0 power connector that the GeForce RTX 4090 will use can deliver up to 600 watts of power, with the RTX 4090 rated at 450 watts. That’s a big boost from the RTX 3090’s 350-watt power rating, which means a more powerful power circuit can handle all that juice. Not to mention that extra cooling is needed to prevent overheating things from drawing that much current.
All of these factors could drive prices up, and that’s not even taking into account external factors like inflation, and possibly more expensive shipping. While things may improve, the days when you can buy a top-of-the-line flagship graphics card for $1,000 or less may be gone. Who knew we’d be ready to pour one out as a “bargain” with an $899 RTX 3080?
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