It seems that Nvidia give with one hand, and taketh with another. Whilst the PC Master Race rejoiced earlier this week as key crypto currency ‘Ethereum’ ditched using graphics cards for mining, Nvidia has landed a blow regarding the next generation of graphics cards. GPUs are expensive, and Nvidia plan on keeping it that way.
Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang revealed the pricing on the new RTX 40 series in the middle of a Q&A session earlier this week. Sadly the insight wasn’t what we had hoped for. The prices across the new range are frankly eye watering.
To note, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the specifications of these cards. The top models are blisteringly powerful and put even the RTX 3090ti to shame. But the RTX 4090 will arrive with a $1,599 price tag, followed by $1,199 for the RTX 4080 16GB and $899 for the RTX 4080 12GB. This is a significant step up from the respective launch MSRPs of the prior RTX 30s, and according to Nvidia, we should consider this the new normal.
Quite simply, when asked to elaborate on the new pricing, Huang commented,
“Moore’s Law is dead. […] A 12-inch wafer is a lot more expensive today. The idea that the chip is going to go down in price is a story of the past,”
The new RTX 4090 will come in at a whopping $1599. Ouch
Moore’s Law is the idea that there’s a trend between PC performance and price, with roughly double the performance for half the price every two years. As to why this established pricing concept is dead, Huang cited the rising costs of components and slowing of additional power. Bad news for pricing. But, in defence of the claim, it seems the generational increase in performance also bucks the trend.
“The performance of Nvidia’s $899 GPU or $1,599 GPU a year ago, two years ago, at the same price point, our performance with Ada Lovelace is monumentally better. Off the charts better.” Claimed Huang.
Sadly the response was a fairly well anticipated one. Given the recent end to GPU shortages, Nvidia and other GPU manufacturers were left with an abundance of stock. Gone are the days of paying twice the MSRP for an entry level graphics card. This in turn means stock simply isn’t shifting as fast. So increased pricing and limiting stock is one way to rebalance the market dynamic in favour of the manufacturer.
The good news is that the last gen graphics cards are now very reasonable, and have a long lifespan of usability ahead of them. “The 3080 was, and still is, great value, and it will continue to live on,” an Nvidia spokesperson said.
The RTX 3080 remains an absolute beast of a card, and is finally available at MSRP
Of course, Nvidia is still incentivised to sell their last gen cards. And while the RTX40 series are brand new, a huge price won’t put off early adopters, or those with money to burn. Maintaining a premium price point on their flagship products will no doubt push more toward to RTX 30s, so its win win for Nvidia. That said, it’s the trend that’s upsetting, as the company has all but confirmed this will remain its pricing policy moving forward.
Ultimately this leaves most gamers in a fairly unfortunate position. While the RTX 30 series launched with some of the most attractive MSRPs we’re ever likely to see, a combination of lack of supply, crypto-currency mining and sever price gouging meant very few paid those headline prices at launch. Now we discover it was a one time thing, and its back to business as usual. That said, the market is now flooded with bargains, so while the RTX 30s still hit hard, there are a host of options out there for the more thrifty among us.
Source; Digital Trends
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