Nvidia Reveals Next Generation GPUs

Nvidia reveals next generation GPUs, announcing its upgraded graphics architecture and a trio of launch cards this week. The Ada Lovelace-powered RTX 4090 will be the first to hit the market  on October 12.

Hail to the King
In keeping with tradition, Nvidia announced three video cards at the top of its product stack. Also in keeping with tradition: a bunch of internal benchmarks of dubious quality. Suffice to say, however, the RTX 4090 will be the most powerful video card for a couple months, and potentially a year.

  • RTX 4090: Launches Oct. 12 for $1,599
  • RTX 4080 16GB: Launches in November for $1,199
  • RTX 4080 12GB: Launches in November for $899
Making Raytracing Mainstream
Nvidia’s announcements on the software side are arguably more impactful for your average gamer.
  • RTX Remix: A free addition to Nvidia’s Omniverse suite that make adding realtime raytracing to older games significantly easier
    • The company showed off a free RTX Remix upgrade for the legendary puzzle game, Portal
  • DLSS 3: Nvidia is promising up to a four-fold performance boost for its proprietary upscaling technology
    • Similar to motion smoothing on your TV and targeted at cinematic, not competitive, titles
    • Currently an RTX 40 exclusive feature

Even today, realtime raytracing remains largely a marketing gimmick and excuse to charge more for video cards. RTX Remix could crack open an entirely new market segment of older remasters and remakes for gamers who can’t afford the most premium PCs.

The Good News

  • The $100 increased price of the RTX 4090 compared to the RTX 3090 isn’t outrageous
    • The less powerful RTX 3090 Ti officially launched at $1,999
  • Similar or even lower power consumption means PC OEMs and builders won’t need new power supplies and cooling solutions
  • High-end RTX 30 series cards should finally correct to under $1,000
The Bad News
The worst news for consumers – and potentially OEMS – is Nvidia’s questionable branding for the RTX 4080 12GB. The performance gap between the two RTX 4080s appears noticeably wider than previous video cards sharing the same product name (RTX 3080 10GB vs. 12GB vs. Ti, for example). Unfortunately, it looks like Nvidia is trying to pull a fast one by labeling a “70” level card as an “80” level one – with an stealth price increase. 
  • RTX 4080s carry a $400 and $200 price hike over the RTX 3080 launch
  • Overall price/performance has not significantly improved over the past few generations
  • Unfavorable exchange rates are making RTX 40s even more expensive in EU markets
Unanswered Questions
Nvidia’s announcement didn’t have any huge curveballs and hit the expected high notes. Pricing suggests that Nvidia is continuing to abandon less premium customer segments. 
  • Is it a real launch?  All signs point to RTX 40 series stock being sufficient by the holiday season given the surplus of older cards…if this isn’t a paper launch.
  • How will AMD respond? There’s a real opening for the Red Team compete on price and performance with the RTX 4080s come their November 3 announcement.