CES 2023: Nvidia Unveils RTX 4070 Ti & Full Mobile GPU Stack

Nvidia officially announced the RTX 4070 Ti, a full stack of RTX 40 GPUs for laptops, and improved services at CES 2023. The presentation was a chance for the GPU leader to change an increasingly unfavorable narrative after multiple missteps in 2022. Looking beyond the PC space, Nvidia attempted to present itself as a competitor to video game consoles, with mixed results.

RTX 4070 Ti Arrives Fashionably Late
The $799 RTX 4070 Ti  launches January 5, albeit without a “stock” Founders Edition. The video card was originally supposed to debut November 12 as the $899 RTX 4080 12 GB. Then it was “unlaunched,” delayed, renamed, and repriced.

  • In a departure from historical -70 GPUs, the RTX 4070 Ti is targeting enthusiasts
  • “RTX 30 series continues to be the best GPU for mainstream gamers”
  • Nvidia: The company’s healthy profit margins will take a hit, but it may yet salvage some of the goodwill it lost.
    • Rebranding to RTX 4070 Ti with reduced margins (board partners were partially reimbursed) was the least painful option.
    • Launching as the $899 RTX 4080 12 GB risked long-term damage to the brand.
    • A complete product cancellation could have pushed more board partners to exit the video card market (a la EVGA).
  • Board Partners: The lack of a Founders Edition means that the likes of Asus or Gigabyte will not be competing with a subsidized product from Nvidia.
    • The $799 launch MSRP is effectively meaningless, giving them more freedom with pricing.
  • OEMs, System Builders, & Gamers: The RTX 4070 Ti is already a dubious value, and end users will be at the mercy of board partners trying to claw back thin profit margins.
    • The previous generation’s RTX 3070 Ti & RTX 3080 launched at $599 and $699.
Full Coverage on Mobile
Nvidia is rolling out the RTX 40 series for mobile much quicker than for desktops. Five product tiers will arrive in February, with a focus on power efficiency. With laptops increasingly closing the feature gap with desktops — and a significant launch head start over their desktop cousins — RTX 40 for mobile is promising.
  • RTX 4080/4090 mobile starts at $1,999 Feb 8
  • RTX 4050/60/70 mobile starts at $999 on Feb 22
  • 14-inch laptops will be “twice as fast as PS5 but one-sixth the size”
  • Nvidia is dropping the traditional “M” label for laptop GPUs, despite laptop GPUs not being identical to desktop GPUs
GPUs as a Service
The most interesting updates from Nvidia came on the software side. The company revealed RTX Video Super Resolution, which will allow RTX 30 and 40 series video cards to upscale YouTube and other media in Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. It’s an appealing proposition for customers with spotty internet and, more importantly, media giants and content creators struggling to keep up with ever-higher resolution content.
Nvidia’s GeForce Now cloud gaming service will also receive an upgrade to RTX 4080-equivalent 240 Hz gaming for its most premium subscription tier ($20 a month) in select markets starting Q1. This ensures that Nvidia will maintain a technical edge against other cloud gaming services and consoles (“five times performance of Xbox Series X").
Mixed Signals
Nvidia completed the most important task on hand for CES 2023: Putting the RTX 4070 Ti ordeal behind itself. Rather than directly appeal to spurned PC gamers, Nvidia attempted to shift the conversation to competing with Xbox Series X and PS5s. It’s a potentially fruitful strategy that highlights Nvidia's strength — best-in-class power — but also its glaring weakness — a $499 console is a vastly better value than a $799 GPU in a $2,000 PC.
Additionally, Nvidia’s loose adherence to naming conventions will do the brand no favors long-term. Presenting a laptop’s RTX 4090 as identical to a desktop RTX 4090 may win over some buyers, but what will happen when they realize they’ve been sold a RTX 4090 priced GPU that doesn't have RTX 4090 capability?Featured image courtesy of Nvidia