Nvidia has just confirmed what many of us were already suspecting — GPUs are expensive, and Nvidia plans to keep it that way.
During a Q&A session with the media, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang lifted the veil of suspense on RTX 40-Series pricing, and the insights are not what we’ve been hoping to hear.
Nvidia has only just announced the GeForce RTX 4090, RTX 4080 16GB, and RTX 4080 12GB, but not everyone was happy. It’s not the capabilities of these cards that were called into question, but their pricing. The RTX 4090 will arrive with a $1,599 price tag, followed by $1,199 for the RTX 4080 16GB and $899 for the RTX 4080 12GB. These prices are too steep, all things considered, but it now seems that this might be the new normal.
“The idea that the chip is going to go down in price is a story of the past.”
During the Q&A session, Jensen Huang was asked about GPU prices. His response was very telling.
“Moore’s Law is dead. […] A 12-inch wafer is a lot more expensive today. The idea that the chip is going to go down in price is a story of the past,” said Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang.
Huang instead focused on price points, pointing to the large performance increases Nvidia is said to offer with RTX 40-series cards. This was in the context of the previous generation, comparing a card like the RTX 3090 Ti and the increase that a card like the RTX 4090 can offer over it. That largely ignores that the previous generation is, well, the previous generation, though.
“The 3080 was, and still is, great value, and it will continue to live on,” an Nvidia spokesperson said in another briefing, nothing that it was far from dead.
The response seems to echo what many of us have already been suspecting. After the GPU shortage has subsided, Nvidia and its partners were left with an oversupply of graphics cards. Once terribly overpriced, these GPUs are now up for grabs at more reasonable prices, but they’re most likely not selling as quickly as the manufacturers might have hoped.
The introduction of the RTX 40-Series steals the thunder from RTX 30-Series, but Nvidia still wants to sell off these older (but still very good) cards. It makes sense to price the RTX 4090 and the two RTX 4080s so high because this might push more people to buy one of the RTX 30 GPUs instead. Be that as it may, it’s sad to hear a confirmation that the prices will continue following an upward trend.