The Nvidia RTX 4090 launched last October with a suggested starting price of $1,599. Since that time, we still haven't seen any cards readily available without paying a substantial premium — most models listed at retailers start at over two grand. It's one of the best graphics cards around and unequivocally the fastest by any meaningful metric if you look at our GPU benchmarks, but paying over 25% extra on an already incredibly expensive GPU is a tough pill to swallow.
There's good news, however, in that Newegg has the Gigabyte RTX 4090 Gaming OC in stock, for just $1,709. Okay, "just," but beggars can't be choosers. We've reviewed the Gigabyte RTX 4090 Gaming OC, and found it to be a capable take on the GPU. It's pretty much a reference card made by a third party AIB, and don't pay any attention to the "Gaming OC" part of the name. The factory overclock consists of an extra 15 MHz over the reference boost clock, which at 2520 MHz means you get a potential 0.6% increase in theoretical performance!
But if you're in the market for an RTX 4090, the prospect of spending 20% more just to get an additional 2% from a slightly higher factory overclock is a bad trade. In fact, with manual overclocking, the Gigabyte card trades blows with other models, and you're basically subject to the silicon lottery as much as anything — plus whether or not the manufacturer used faster memory chips.
Gigabyte RTX 4090 Gaming OC for $1,709 (opens in new tab)
Get the fastest graphics card currently available for the lowest readily available price we've seen since launch. It's not technically a reference model, and you get triple RGB fans as a bonus, for about $340 less than the next closest 4090.
Prices on graphics cards remain inflated, but perhaps this is a sign that things are starting to change. The RTX 4090 may reign as the king of the mountain and can perhaps command a higher price, but the RTX 4080 starts at $1,229 (opens in new tab) and is up to 25% slower, while the RTX 4070 Ti starts at $799 (opens in new tab), its official base MSRP. AMD's new RX 7900 XTX starts at $1,299 (opens in new tab), while the step down can drop 15–20 percent in performance but the RX 7900 XT starts at $879 (opens in new tab) — $20 under the official MSRP.
Give it another month or three and maybe all of the latest generation cards will fall below their inflated launch MSRPs. If you can't wait that long, or don't wan to risk having prices remain high, Gigabyte's card makes for an excellent professional and extreme gaming GPU.
If you're not looking to drop more than a typical high-end gaming PC on just the graphics card, we can only hope that more reasonable options become available soon. With the RTX 4070 Ti drawing a lot of criticism, maybe we'll see RTX 4070 and RTX 4060 Ti start to push down into the $500 range. Or if not Nvidia, maybe AMD will launch an RX 7800 XT or 7700 XT. We don't have a firm release date for those yet, but it's a safe bet all of those are coming and could arrive within the next couple of months.