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Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080, 4090 Announced

Ampere, bye; Ada Lovelace, welcome: At its annual Graphics Technology Conference, Nvidia unveiled the next generation of GeForce graphics cards, which include the company’s biannual improvement to the GPU’s architecture, this time named after the mathematician and programming pioneer.

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The RTX 4080 should be up to three times quicker than the RTX 3080 Ti, and Nvidia claims that the flagship RTX 4090 can perform up to two times better in raster-heavy games and up to four times faster in fully ray-traced games than the previous flagship RTX 3090 Ti. The RTX 4090 is expected to go on sale on October 12 for $1,599, while the RTX 4080 will launch in November for $899 and be available in two configurations: 16GB and 12GB.

Nvidia revealed three high-end cards in its new 40-series of GeForce graphics cards today (September 20) during its GTC 2022 keynote, heralding the arrival of the next big thing in Nvidia GPUs.

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This is significant because the GPU shortage that’s plagued the industry since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has finally started to let up, and as GPU prices crash, high-end graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia are seeing their inflated prices rapidly deflate.  

That’s good news for performance enthusiasts because it means you have a better shot at buying a new GPU for MSRP now than you have in years. But it might be bad news for Nvidia, which is gearing up to release some of its most powerful — and expensive — new 40-series cards at a time when the GPU market is flooding with cheaper cards, many of which are being sold secondhand by miners disheartened by the recent crypto bust.

Nevertheless, Nvidia has unveiled three new cards in its new 40-series of GeForce GPUs: The Nvidia GeForce 4090 and two models of Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080. One version of the GeForce RTX 4080 comes with 12GB of onboard MicronGDDR6X memory and the other offers 16GB. All of these cards are built on Nvidia’s Lovelace architecture and will start showing up in the best gaming PCs released later this year.

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Here’s what we know about how powerful each of the new models will be, and what it will cost.

Nvidia GeForce 4080: Price and release date

Two models of Nvidia GeForce 4080 were unveiled today, and multiple models of both are expected to hit the market in November 2022 from third-party manufacturers like Asus, Gigabyte, PNY and more. Nvidia will also produce a special Founders Edition of the Nvidia GeForce 4080 16GB for those who are interested.

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The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 12GB sports 7,680 CUDA cores and 12GB of the aforementioned Micron GDDR6X memory onboard. Nvidia claims it’s faster than the RTX 3090 Ti with DLSS 3, and it goes on sale in November for $899.

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The beefier Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 16GB launches at the same time with a bigger $1,199 price tag. For that you’ll get 9,728 CUDA cores and 16GB of onboard memory. Nvidia claims its more powerful than the 3090 Ti at lower power, and with DLSS 3 can achieve 2x the performance as the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti.

Nvidia GeForce 4090: Price and release date

Nvidia also unveiled the more powerful GeForce RTX 4090, its new top-of-the-line card. It will go on sale earlier than the 4080, as Nvidia claims it will hit store shelves Wednesday, October 12 at a starting price of $1,599.

As with the RTX 4080 16GB, Nvidia will sell Founders Edition versions of the 4090 alongside configurations sold by third-party vendors like Gigabyte and MSI.

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For that $1,599 price tag, you’ll get a massive card with 76 billion transistors, 16,384 CUDA cores and 24GB of Micron GDDR6X memory. Nvidia claims it can consistently deliver up to 4x the performance (when using DLSS 3) of the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti using DLSS 2, as well as promising it can consistently deliver 100 frames per second when gaming at 4K. While Nvidia declined to specify which game(s) were run in 4K to achieve that performance, the CUDA core count alone is enough to impress.

Nvidia 40-series outlook

Nvidia’s next-generation GPUs are here, and that’s good news for anyone who cares about high-performance computing. Between the debut of the Nvidia 40-series cards and the launch of Intel Arc GPUs, PC enthusiasts are likely to get further relief from exorbitant GPU prices thanks to fresh supplies of cards entering the market through the end of 2022.

But as my colleague Tony Polanco pointed out while explaining why he can’t get enthusiastic about Nvidia’s GeForce 40-series cards, dealing with scalpers driving prices up is one of the major issues with being a GPU head today. Hopefully Nvidia and its manufacturing partners can devise a marketing plan that deters scalpers from purchasing and reselling these new GPUs.

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