The Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti went on sale this morning and – no surprise – it sold out instantly. On the one hand, it’s just another sign of the times. It’s a more powerful graphics card that gamers for the most part won’t have access to.
But as the first high-end graphics card to launch since the GPU shortage began, there’s something even more unsettling about the RTX 3080 Ti: The price.
Before it was announced, the card was rumored to cost $1,000. That would make it $300 more than the RTX 3080 and would match AMD’s highest-end card, the Radeon RX 6800 XT. Instead, it launched at an attractive $1,200.
That’s significantly cheaper than the $1,500 RTX 3090, yes. However, for a performance improvement of only 5% to 15% over the RTX 3080 and a nearly double price increase – 72% to be exact – the non-Ti variant is $699, the math doesn’t add up. Nvidia raised the price without increasing the performance enough. What is the deal?
Take advantage of the shortage
In fact, upgrading to the $1,499 RTX 3090 will at least make you more reliable going forward. It has twice the video memory of the RTX 3080 Ti and can support 8K gaming via Nvidia’s DLSS upscaling technology wizard. It’s not something gamers should probably buy, but it fills a hole in the market for industry professionals who need more video memory.
RTX’s exorbitant price here can be ticked off into one of three things. Firstly, amid the global semiconductor shortage that is ravaging GPU manufacturers, including rival AMD, pricing cards that are too low could create a situation where demand overwhelms the production capacity of GPUs. company. That would be the most general analysis of the pricing situation, giving Nvidia the benefit of the doubt.
The second explanation is that with the recent launch of the RTX 3080 and AMD’s latest Radeon RX 6000 series of cards, gamers have been spoiled for more. good price these 4K-enabled GPUs have become even more exceptional when compared to the more expensive cards from previous generations with lower performance. However, the RTX 3080 Ti, designed as a true successor to the previous generation RTX 2080 Ti, is priced exactly the same as its predecessor. In fact, when cost of inflation counted as $1,199 the RTX 2080 Ti from launch in 2018 would cost $1,261 today, making the RTX 3090 about $60 cheaper! Nvidia really has little incentive to go any cheaper than before.
What’s the extra $200?
The last explanation may be the least favorable for Nvidia. Gamers and creators working from home during the global pandemic are loving Nvidia’s GeForce solutions, and the company may want to capitalize on demand to secure a significantly higher price tag. When the company unveiled the original GeForce RTX 3000 lineup, GPU retailers stated that demand for the card at launch outperformed historic GPU searches during the Black Friday shopping holiday. .
“On the day of our RTX 3000 launch, [we’ve seen] 10X more traffic than previous launches, and retailers worldwide have just experienced truly unprecedented demand, with many of them telling us they’ve seen traffic access beyond Black Friday,” Nvidia’s Justin Walker told us on a conference call ahead of the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti’s launch.
No one will bother paying $200 more for the hottest new graphics card, especially when older cards are already selling for double the retail price in the secondary markets. In other words, Nvidia knows they can charge more and effectively sell out. Nvidia’s bottom line doesn’t distinguish between extenders and actual gamers.
There’s no easy solution to the global chip shortage, and fighting those burned is an equally daunting challenge. It’s hard to blame Nvidia for pricing its product simply because it can, but Nvidia’s case for interest in gamers has never been weaker.