If recent rumor mill talk proves to be accurate, Nvidia’s next-generation Lovelace GPUs, which go on sale starting next month, may wind up costing more than their suggested prices (MSRPs) (with all the usual caveats applied).
Moore’s Law is Dead (MLID), a YouTube leaker, raises a number of observations about the cost of the two RTX 4080 graphics cards and the new RTX 4090 graphics card. For one thing, he notes that the RTX 4080 12GB, the cheapest Lovelace GPU, won’t have a Founders Edition (one made by Nvidia).
The dimensions of the next-generation GPUs aren’t specified in the specifications on the Nvidia website, which simply states “varies by manufacturer,” indicating that only third-party manufacturers will produce these cards and that Nvidia won’t produce its own version. This was brought up by KitGuru(opens in new tab) (something clarified elsewhere on the spec page).
As a result, Team Green won’t be able to maintain the MSRP at the stated $899 in the US; instead, those partner card makers will decide the price, which, according to MLID, may mean that the device would start at more than $1,000.
Additionally, according to the YouTube leaker, the cost of Lovelace graphics cards above that model will rise in line with it. However, this may also rely on the availability of initial stock.
We’ll fall into the same trap of scalpers buying stock and price gouging if there is little available inventory when the Lovelace GPUs are released, at least in the first few weeks. Of course, it’s too early to predict that, but there’s always a chance when new GPUs are introduced (and indeed CPUs).
Another finding that has surfaced on the Lovelace pricing radar is the announcement that German price tags will be nearly 20% more expensive than the US, according to Tom’s Hardware(opens in new tab).
The RTX 4090 is being marketed at €1,949 instead of $1,599 in the US, according to Andreas Schilling, editor of the German website Hardwareluxx, who also highlighted the official cost for Germany on Twitter(opens in new tab).
Then, it appears to be quite expensive, but we must consider the fact that the German pricing includes VAT (and of course the cost of importing).
Together, these early indications of the pricing of Nvidia’s next-generation graphics cards are a little concerning.
Analysis: Are We Leaving Room for AMD RDNA 3?
The design of Lovelace graphics cards dates back a long time (before Ampere), and the final tuning was being done around early 2021, according to MLID in his most recent video. Feel free to add your own flavor, as always with the rumor mill. In other words, at the height of the mining boom, when GPU shortages were severe.
According to MLID, this had an impact on Lovelace’s design in that Nvidia pushed to create the most potent GPU it could, with cost and power consumption taking a back seat. In summary, Nvidia developed a more expensive design to maximize performance in response to the high demand for graphics cards at the time and the resulting price spike.
They also saw what people were paying for top-end GPUs. In addition, Lovelace cards cost about 50% more to produce than Ampere cards, according to MLID’s sources (across every tier of GPU, that is).
So, according to the logic, the reason we have an RTX 4080 12GB rather than an RTX 4070 is that it costs 50% more to produce this 12GB graphics card than an RTX 3070, which means it is more expensive than an RTX 3080.
Therefore, that card needs to be an RTX 4080 rather than a 4070 in order to make the GPU’s pricing look more palatable. (EVGA’s decision to leave Nvidia was also motivated by this cost-related maneuvering with Lovelace, according to MLID.)
This is somewhat supported by what we heard through the grapevine leading up to the launch of Lovelace, where there were frequent leaks about the RTX 4070, which was a seriously promising performer, and then all of a sudden it was theorized that there was going to be a lesser spec 4080 instead of that 4070.
While it is important to proceed cautiously with everything mentioned above, some of it does make some sense. However, this does not mean that we should speculate excessively.
The fact that MLID thinks AMD’s pricing may very well be much more aggressive and that RDNA 3 boards don’t represent such a significant price increase over the current gen compared to Nvidia’s generational price increase in the bill of materials is equally intriguing.
This may indicate that AMD’s RX 7000 family is priced lower than Lovelace, but we’re really getting ahead of ourselves here.
The 7900 XT and 7800 XT, according to MLID, are rumored to be the first high-end cards from AMD. As such, they won’t be very cheap per se, and much may depend on the level of profit Team Red wants to make with regard to price tags.
The top graphics card offers of the day