If one thing is clear, is that Nvidia’s RTX 30 series graphics cards have been a success, but also very hard to get since their launch in late 2020.
Shortages due to the pandemic and the cryptocurrency boom left many PC gamers who wanted to get hold of Nvidia’s latest and greatest GPUs frustrated, not only by the lack of stock but also by the fact that graphics cards like the RTX 3070 and RTX 3050 had been selling at inflated prices for a long while.
But now with the worldwide health crisis getting better, and also the fact that cryptocurrencies prices are crashing (meaning less demand for GPUs for mining), graphics card prices have been falling – and even approaching the manufacturer’s suggested retail price or MSRP – for a while now.
And something which should help depress prices of current generation cards even more is the fact that Nvidia’s RTX 40 series could be imminent, with the new batch of cards seeing a release in the third quarter of the year.
This means that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 could hit retail as soon as early July (the starting month of Q3).
According to earlier leaks and rumors, the RTX 4070 will be a pretty powerful card, and will actually outperform Nvidia’s current flagship card, the GeForce RTX 3090.
Nvidia’s “70” graphics cards usually offer the best bang for your buck, but those sitting on the fence about whether to buy a GeForce RTX 3070 are well advised to wait until July or August, and the possible launch of the RTX 40 series (and the RTX 4070) if this rumor is confirmed.
This is because the RTX 3070 is still selling at prices well above the MSRP – for instance, a model such as the Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge is currently going for $787 US dollars on Amazon.
This is 50 % more than Nvidia’s MSRP (which is $500 US dollars), even if admittedly the card has come down in price quite a bit since last year, when it was almost impossible to get for less than $1000 US dollars.
Once the GeForce RTX 4070 hits shelves, however, the RTX 3070 is expected to come in down in price rather quickly, taking into account that the card’s MSRP is not expected to be much higher than that of the RTX 3070, while the RTX 4070 will be a much more powerful GPU if the leaks and rumors turn out to be true.
The RTX 4070 is expected to be a more power-hungry card – it could consume 300 W at its peak, vs the 200 W or so that the RTX 3070 will draw at most from your power supply.
Actually, the other two RTX 40 series graphics cards which are expected to be available at launch (the GeForce RTX 4080 and GeForce RTX 4090) will be similarly power hungry. The top-flight RTX 4090 could draw as much as 600 W, a first for a Nvidia GPU.
The RTX 4070, RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 will likely be available first, with other models such as Nvidia’s mainstream GeForce RTX 4060 arriving later this year, or in 2023.
It is the upper mid-range RTX 4070 that will likely draw the most interest though, and it and the others could be announced at this year’s Computex show in Taipei, Taiwan. Nvidia’s keynote address will be on May 23, and senior vice president of GeForce Jeff Fischer will be a speaker as PC Gamer points out. The company may use this opportunity to announce its new RTX 40 series graphics cards, or maybe not.
Another possibility is the Gamescom show in Cologne, Germany, but that takes place in late August, so it wouldn’t be an “early Q3” launch then. There’s also the possibility of Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang making the announcement himself (from his computer-generated kitchen perhaps?)
It remains to be seen, then, whether Nvidia’s next-generation graphics cards will launch this summer or not, and if they do, whether there will be plenty of stock to go around. Another paper launch would hurt Nvidia, especially after what happened with the RTX 30 series cards, which were always out of stock at the beginning. Here’s hoping this time will be different, though, and that the GeForce RTX 4070 and the other RTX 40 series graphics cards have a glorious launch in early Q3 (as rumored).
GeForce RTX 30 series graphics card (Nvidia Corporation)
Jensen Huang at Computex Taipei (link) [Creative Commons (link)]