Although Nvidia lowered recommended price of its flagship graphics card by $400 with the launch of the GeForce RTX 4090, it increased the prices of other high-end offerings significantly with its GeForce RTX 4080 models. It is self-evident in Europe that the new GeForce RTX 4080 16GB cost almost the same amount of money as the GeForce RTX 3090 24GB several months ago.
Prices of graphics cards have been increasing gradually since the early 2000s, but in recent years prices of the best gaming graphics cards rose quite dramatically due to higher prices of graphics processing units (GPU) production at contract manufacturers like TSMC and Samsung Foundry, higher costs of actual boards production, chip shortages/complicated logistics as well as very strong demand from gamers, miners, and professionals.
With its Ada Lovelace family of GPUs, Nvidia faces higher costs at TSMC as it is significantly more expensive to make chips using TSMC's 4N technology than on Samsung Foundry's 8LPP production node at the same die size and yields. Hence, price hikes were always on the table for GeForce RTX 40-series graphics boards. Yet, Nvidia's price hikes look to be more significant than expected.
U.S. MSRPs do not include taxes, whereas German MSRPs include a VAT of 19%. Furthermore, when Nvidia launched its GeForce RTX 30-series two years ago, the euro was considerably stronger against the U.S. dollar, so those boards were more expensive in Germany than in the U.S.
|U.S. Launch MSRP||German Launch MSRP||German Launch MSRP without VAT|
|GeForce RTX 3080 10GB||$699||€719 ($717)||$602|
|GeForce RTX 4080 12GB||$899||€1,099 ($1,096)||$919|
|GeForce RTX 3080 12GB||$799||?||?|
|GeForce RTX 3080 Ti||$1,199||€1,199 ($1,196)||$1,004|
|GeForce RTX 4080 16GB||$1,199||€1,469 ($1,465)||$1,230|
|GeForce RTX 3090||$1,499||€1,549 ($1,545)||$1,297|
|GeForce RTX 4090||$1,599||€1,949 ($1,943)||$1,631|
|GeForce RTX 3090 Ti||$1,999||€2,249 ($2,242)||$1,882|
|GeForce RTX 4090 Ti||?||?||?|
Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3080 10GB used to cost $699 at launch two years ago, and it was not cheap at all because it was not the company's flagship offering. Yet, Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4080 12GB now costs $899, and it's not even the second most potent product in the lineup. Meanwhile, this 12GB board costs even more in Europe (€1m099, according to Andreas Schilling (opens in new tab)), which makes it somewhat less appealing.
It gets worse with the GeForce RTX 4080 16GB which costs $400 more than the company's GeForce RTX 3080 12GB released a few months ago and carried the same MSRP as the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti based on a flagship GPU. Of course, Nvidia's AD103 GPU is considerably more complex and hard to produce than Nvidia's GA102, but GeForce RTX 4080 16GB is not a top-of-the-range device to cost well above $1,000.
Regarding flagship offerings, Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090 will cost $1,599 at launch, which is $100 more expensive than the GeForce RTX 3090 at launch and $400 cheaper than the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti at launch. We have no idea why Nvidia decided to make its flagship offerings more affordable (perhaps because it is prepping GeForce RTX 4090 Ti that will sit above the RTX 4090). Still, well-known hardware blogger Kopite7kimi (opens in new tab) says that selling the GeForce RTX 4090 for $1,599 was a 'last minute decision' by Nvidia's chief executive.
Overall, while there are objective reasons why Nvidia's new graphics processors and graphics cards are more expensive than their predecessors, and they promise to be considerably faster than the GeForce RTX 30-series parts, their recommended prices seem to be too high. Meanwhile, if Nvidia makes last-minute decisions about a price drop for its GeForce RTX 4090, the company probably has abilities to sell its latest products a bit cheaper.