If you decide to purchase the RTX 4000 series for whatever reason, it will leave you with one kidney and no brains. NVIDIA poured a bucket of cold water on us when they revealed the prices for the Ada Lovelace GPU lineup, named after the very first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace. It becomes relatively easy to blame these high prices even after corporate greed, profits, or inflation. Those two factors have little to do with these monstrous price tags, but there certainly is something more. Let us dive a bit deeper into the pool of money NVIDIA is planning to get out of Ada Lovelace.
Let us just give you an idea of how bad this is. In 2020, NVIDIA launched the RTX 3080 at $699. It brought significant performance gains over the 2000 series flagship, the RTX 2080, for the same price. This blew everyone’s mind out of all proportions. But we all know what happened next. Miners purchased the cards in bulk in order to mine cryptocurrency. As a result, it left the rest of us with extremely high price tags and with little to no supply or production at all. The market came to a halt. The only options left for end users were to either wait for stocks to increase or buy from scalpers.
Back to the present (not the future). With the crypto market crashing and GPUs flooding the secondhand market, everyone thought that the Ada Lovelace series would be relatively cheaper. Until it wasn’t so cheap. The RTX 4080 16GB starts at a dream-shattering $1200! You can build a whole gaming and productivity system in that amount! The world thought of “affordable GPUs”. Instead, we got a price uplift of 72%, and that is not even taking inflation into account.
But hold on a second, what is that? The 12 gigabyte model of the RTX 4080 comes for only $899. Well, from a narrower perspective, yes, but when you look into it, there are far more differences between the RTX 4080 16GB and the RTX 4080 12GB. On the surface, we only see the VRAM as the major difference, but all the nerds know there are way more differences under the green hood. The RTX 4080 16GB has about 2000 more CUDA cores and a wider memory bus of 256 bits than the 12-gigabyte model.
So, even if you get enough memory, you are not getting anywhere close to the RTX 4080’s 16 gigabytes when it comes to performance. Some people are also calling the 12 gig model “like a rebranded RTX 4070”, and we cannot blame them. The RTX 4080 12 gig model comes with fewer CUDA cores(7680 CUDA cores) than the last generation’s RTX 3080(8704 CUDA cores). Not only that, these are the base prices of these cards. We all know that once the third-party models with heavy eating sinks(you will certainly need them) hit the shelf, these prices will go higher. Sorry, ROG fans.
So what’s with the RTX 4000 series’ hefty pricing?
NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang (the guy in the black leather jacket) breaks the silence on pricing, saying, “chips are not a little bit more expensive, they are a lot more expensive.” He also pointed out that even though the chip prices are skyrocketing, the performance per dollar is better than the last generation. Is technology supposed to work that way? Last time we remembered, it was the aim of all technological advancements, wasn’t it? But let us move away from official statements and deduce this with in-hand information and ground reality.
It is no secret that RTX 3000 has been flooding the market since the crypto market crash. So naturally, the companies are in desperate need of clearing out the old stock to bring in new ones. This means that both the old RTX 3000 and the new RTX 4000 are going to be in the retail market at the same time. It looks like NVIDIA is keeping the cards on top of a combined product stack, resulting in NVIDIA giving the 4000 series higher price tags. They clearly did this to push the “budget-friendly” consumers into buying the older RTX 3000 series to clear up their now piled-up stocks.
Some folks might think that they did this to ensure NVIDIA doesn’t run out of stock. But that seems to be happening no time soon as many of the factors responsible for such situations, other than high demands from gamers, are fading off. The chips are now made by TSMC itself instead of Samsung, and the crypto market has been silent. So we think that NVIDIA will cut the pricing once the 3000 series stock clears up and they get some head-to-head competition from team red, i.e., the AMD Radeon 7000 series launching later this year.
Anyway, the launch of this beefy Ada Lovelace series remains a real disappointment. Even though the 3000 series was generally well received, it was also criticised for being short on VRAM compared to what modern AAA titles demand, even at the high end! So, if you want to get your hands on the 4000 series for more VRAM, you better have some deep pockets!
Edited by Prakriti Arora