What a difference a year can make. It wasn’t long ago that you would have been lucky to spot a high-end GPU in stock someplace, and it would have most likely been priced well above MSRP. Now, the latest Nvidia RTX 4080 is reportedly piling up at the same retailers that ran through RTX 4090 stock the instant it was released. The RTX 4080 is cheaper but probably a much worse value in the enthusiast GPU market.
The RTX 4090 was the first of the new RTX 40-series to launch, and it saw robust sales even at the obscene $1,600 asking price. People lined up to get the new GPUs, and units have been hard to come by ever since. Perhaps Nvidia expected a similar showing for the $1,200 RTX 4080, but it’s not getting it.
If you want a 4080, you won’t have to spend a long time looking. In the US, retailers like Microcenter have stacks of the cards on shelves, and buyers have even had plenty of opportunities to buy the GPUs online. Newegg, for example, had units available for days before they sold out. It’s not much different in other markets. According to Hardware Canucks, the RTX 4080 is the first Nvidia release in more than two years that hasn’t sold out immediately at Canadian retailers. It’s the same story in the UK and Germany, too.
There are a few factors at play here, most notably Nvidia’s pricing for the RTX 40-series. Before release, Nvidia warned of higher GPU prices. The RTX 4090 certainly is expensive, with some variants creeping up to $2,000. However, this is the top-of-the-line card, and some enthusiasts will always look for the most powerful GPU when upgrading — that’s what Nvidia’s XX90 cards are all about. Nvidia has reportedly shipped 130,000 RTX 4090s and only 30,000 4080s.
NVIDIA 4080 shipment units:
NVIDIA 4090 shipment units:
Total RTX 40 shipment units:
NVIDIA’s 4090 was pretty much sold out at launch.
Retailers still have 4080 in stock. 😶🌫️😶🌫️
— Hassan Mujtaba (@hms1193) November 19, 2022
Spending more than $1,000 on the second banana doesn’t attract the same level of interest, though. The RTX 4080 represents a significant price increase over the RTX 3080, which launched at $700, making the 4080 almost twice as expensive. That would have been considered a steal for most of the past several years, but crypto miners are no longer siphoning up every high-end GPU that rolls off the assembly line.
There’s also the issue of the remaining RTX 30-series cards. Many PC gamers held off on the 30-series because it was impossible to find them for a reasonable price. Now, they too are sitting on store shelves, and at much lower prices than the new 40-series. For those who don’t need the best of the best, the 4080 doesn’t offer enough of an improvement over last-gen cards to justify its price tag. Some gamers are probably also waiting to see what AMD can offer with the upcoming Radeon RX 7900.