Nvidia Phases Out RTX 30 Series Ahead of RTX 4070

Nvidia appears to be sunsetting its RTX 30 series as it pivots toward relatively more mainstream RTX 40 series video cards, like next month’s RTX 4070. That GPU is expected to land on April 13, with the pivotal question being "What will it cost?"

We Hardly Knew You
Nvidia's online store removed its Founders Edition video cards, from the mainstream RTX 3060 up to the once-flagship RTX 3090 Ti. Similarly, BestBuy.com, which is is Nvidia’s exclusive distributor for reference cards in North America, appears to have sold through its stock of Nvidia RTX 30 FE cards. It's down to only two listings ($599 RTX 3070 Ti and $499 RTX 3060 Ti), both of which are showing out-of-stock.

  • Best Buy drastically cut prices of its remaining RTX 30 series placements last month.
    • Most sold out within a day, suggesting stock wasn’t that high in the first place.
  • RTX 30 series originally launched in September 2020.
    • Though well received, price gouging and supply shortages soured many potential buyers.

The only reference cards available through Nvidia currently are the $1,199 RTX 4080 and $1,599 RTX 4090Gamers can still purchase partner cards, but inventory appears to be limited. There are only eight partner cards currently available through Nvidia, with three for the RTX 3090 (a dud of a product launch that was rendered obsolete by the RTX 3090 Ti dropping less than six months after).

Additionally, seven of these placements are from Zotac, a partner notorious during the pandemic for its voluminous sales to cryptominers. In other words, it looks like most of the major players are bidding the RTX 30 series adieu while Zotac sells off stock left from the cryptomining bubble. 

A Light at the End of the Tunnel
Nvidia’s RTX 4070, its first relatively “mainstream” GPU this generation, is reportedly arriving April 13. Its price will be an important bellwether for upcoming GPUs from not only Nvdia, but AMD and Intel. Is that growing light at the end of the tunnel an affordable, quality video card, or Nvidia about to run over customers with another generational price hike untethered from performance uplifts?

Popular leaker Moore’s Law is Dead (which has a mixed record with hardware leaks) is reporting that the RTX 4070 will be $749, only $50 less than the already controversially priced $799 RTX 4070 Ti. While we fully expect Nvidia to use the RTX 4070 as an excuse to hike the MSRP from the $499 RTX 3070, that figure seems improbable. Such a narrow $50 delta would likely make differentiating the RTX 4070 and RTX 4070 Ti more trouble than its worth. On the other hand, Nvidia did originally try to launch the RTX 4070 Ti at $899. To say that the company has a history of boldness when it came to price increases would be an understatement.

Splitting the Embargo
Nvidia is also curiously splitting up its review embargoes for the RTX 4070 by price, as opposed to the more traditional split that prioritized reviews of reference cards over partner cards. MSRP cards will break embargo on April 12, while non-MSRP cards will have to wait until the day of launch, April 13. The difference is minor, but it’s worth keeping an eye on – partners generally rely more on higher-margin, non-MSRP video cards, which this move doesn't favor.

Featured Image: Nvidia