NVIDIA caught the tech world by surprise this week, teasing the imminent launch of an enhanced “SUPER” variant of its RTX 40 graphics cards. While specs remain unconfirmed, aggressive pricing suggests NVIDIA aims to reclaim market share lost to AMD in 2023.
Timeline of the RTX 40 Series So Far
NVIDIA’s flagship RTX 4090 launched in October 2022 to mostly rave reviews, delivering up to twice the performance of the previous generation RTX 3090. However demand was dampened by its stratospheric $1599 MSRP.
In November, the RTX 4080 followed at $1199 for the 16GB model (the scrapped 12GB 4080 was renamed to 4070 Ti). While still very expensive, these cards matched or exceeded the RTX 3090 Ti for gaming, AI, and creative workloads.
However enthusiasm was short-lived after AMD’s Radeon 7900 XTX and XT trumped the RTX 4080 in price-to-performance in December 2022.
|RTX 4090 Launch
|Fastest graphics card, but very expensive at $1599
|RTX 4080 Launch
|Faster than 3090 Ti, but beaten by AMD on value
|Radeon 7900 XT Launch
|Better price-to-performance than RTX 4080
SUPER Variants to Bring Better Value
At CES 2023, NVIDIA teased an upcoming RTX 40 SUPER series. While specs aren’t confirmed, leaks suggest NVIDIA is aggressively adjusting prices to compete with AMD:
|Possible Spec Boost
|RTX 4090 SUPER
|Same as RTX 4090
|RTX 4080 SUPER
|+2GB VRAM, faster memory
|RTX 4070 Ti SUPER
|RTX 4070 SUPER
|Small spec increase
This pricing would beat AMD’s flagship 7900 XTX ($999) and 7900 XT ($899), while the RTX 4070 SUPER at $599 would likely become the new high-end value champion.
What We Know So Far
Details remain thin about the new SUPER variants teased by NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang in a blog post on January 3rd, 2023. However between rumors, leaks, and regulatory filings, a probable picture is emerging:
Release Date: Multiple AIB partners have already shown off their custom RTX 40 SUPER card designs, suggesting reviews could land as early as January 10th, shortly after CES 2023.
Pricing: As per the table above, leaked MSRPs indicate possible price cuts of $100-400 compared to the existing RTX 40 series. This seems to be a direct response to AMD’s better price-to-performance ratio.
RTX 4070 SUPER Specs: This is expected to be a refreshed RTX 4070 Ti with 12GB of 21Gbps GDDR6X memory instead of 16GB. Expect either matching or slightly higher GPU clocks to the existing RTX 4070 Ti. The $599 price point is ambitious, significantly undercutting the just-launched Radeon 7800 XT at $699.
RTX 4080 SUPER Specs: Likely getting faster 23Gbps GDDR6X and possibly 20GB instead of 16GB, allowing NVIDIA to position it as having more VRAM than the 16GB RX 7900 XTX. Boost clocks may also increase. If priced at $999, it could leapfrog AMD’s flagship on value.
RTX 4090 SUPER: Probably unchanged other than a $100 price drop to $1499. Still firmly a halo product for enthusiasts.
Why SUPER Variants Make Sense Now
While unexpected, the introduction of SUPER refreshes fits NVIDIA’s usual strategy of competing aggressively on price once AMD cards are out. Rumors suggest NVIDIA originally planned to lead with higher prices before changing course after RDNA 3 reviews.
According to JPR analyst Jon Peddie, AMD also beat NVIDIA to TSMC’s more advanced 5nm node:
“AMD snatched the 5nm capacity away from Nvidia…Nvidia is reacting, and drawing back the slingshot for a counterattack…They will likely regain market share.”
Higher-binned GPUs using better dies from a mature 4nm process may also be boosting yields, allowing NVIDIA to drop prices now.
What Happens Next?
AMD won’t take NVIDIA encroaching on their price-to-performance advantage lying down. They are expected to cut prices on existing 7900 series cards while accelerating cheaper 7800 and 7700 series releases to compete with these incoming SUPER cards.
There is also speculation that AMD could refresh the 7900 XTX and XT chips to run at higher clock speeds. This could allow them to leapfrog the RTX 4080 SUPER’s expected specs to reclaim the high-end performance crown.
For now, AMD still holds an advantage in power efficiency. So they may position upcoming refreshes as ‘XTX Overclocked Editions’ beating NVIDIA’s performance with quieter and cooler operation thanks to their chiplet design.
Impacts on Gamers and Creators
For PC builders, this upcoming wave of refreshes signals an earlier shift to the next generation than usual. Rather than new GPU generations lasting 18-24 months before being superseded, both NVIDIA and AMD seem poised to refresh their lineups after just 6 months.
This accelerated cadence means lower upgrade costs. Rather than splurging $1200-1500 for a halo card, mainstream gamers can now get great 1440p or 4K performance for $600-800 with the possibility to step up to faster replacements after just 1-2 years.
Of course, parts shortages and inflation continue to impact PC building costs so these rumored prices should still be considered speculative for now. But increased competition can only benefit consumers, as could a looming crypto mining crash that may flood the used GPU market later in 2023.
There’s never been a better time to either build an affordable high-end gaming rig, or upgrade your trusty old one! Let the GPU wars begin…
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.