Discover more from The Shortcut
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 and two RTX 4080 models
New RTX 40-series graphics cards and new frame-boosting tech are launching over the next two months
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Nvidia 40-series
⚙️ What: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 graphics cards
🗓️ Release dates: October 12 (RTX 4090), November (RTX 4080)
💰 Price: $1,599 (RTX 4090), $899 (RTX 4080)
👯 Many similarities: Founders Edition cards have a similar design to RTX 30-series cards, and pricing appears consistent
🌬️Frames from thin air: New DLSS 3 technology sounds like it will create extra frames to smooth out game visuals
The RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 GPU announcement today couldn’t have come at a better time. These RTX 40-series graphics cards are launching just as the GPU dought has ended. In fact, many retailers are now offloading RTX 3080 and 3090 GPUs at prices I wouldn’t have imagined a year ago given the above-MSRP gouging in 2021 and early 2022.
RTX 4090 in October, 4080 in November
Nvidia announced the new cards at its GeForce Beyond event where it confirmed pricing and availability for the RTX 4090, its flagship card, starting at $1,599 and launching on October 12. The card features a massive 16,384 CUDA cores and 24GB of GDDR6X graphics memory.
Good news, I’ve heard from board partners that they’ll have the RTX 4080 cards ready in the first half of November.
The more high-end consumer card, the RTX 4080, didn’t get an exact release date, but Nvidia’s website says it's “Coming November.” Good news, I’ve heard from board partners that they’ll have the RTX 4080 cards ready in the first half of November, so that’s telling.
The Shortcut is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Nvidia RTX 40-series GPU specs
The RTX 4080 will come in two configurations, one with 12GB of GDDR6X memory for $899 and one with 16GB of VRAM for $1,199. It may be worth thinking of that 16GB model as an entirely different card, though, as it also features a substantial increase in CUDA cores, jumping from the 7680 CUDA cores in the 12GB model to 9728 CUDA cores, albeit running at lower clock speeds.
Nvidia lists the exact dimensions of the 16GB RTX 4080 model, suggesting it will come in as Founders Edition. Meanwhile, the 12GB model only says “varies by manufacturer,” so odds are against a Founders Edition of that one.
Gamers who’ve followed the rumors surrounding the RTX 40-series may be able to breathe a sigh of relief, though, as the cards don’t appear to be the power-hungry monsters previous rumors purported. While the RTX 4090 certainly needs heaps of power, calling for 450 watts, the RTX 4080 call for 320 watts (16GB) and 285 watts (12GB).
Anyone hoping to pick up a budget RTX 40-series card… get ready for some confusion. Nvidia didn’t mention anything below the RTX 4080 in the product stack, but did list a bunch of RTX 30-series cards on a slide titled “The NewGeForce RTX family,” even listing the RTX 3060 starting at $329 (a price it started at in February of 2021). Nvidia will most likely have some RTX 4070, 4060, and lower cards coming eventually, but it could be months before we see them.
Beyond the basic performance upgrades one should expect from a generational leap, NVIDIA touted its DLSS 3 Frame Generation technology as a way to get 2-4x more performance in games. Earlier versions of DLSS took lower resolution gameplay and used AI models to increase the resolution. But DLSS 3’s Frame Generation will analyze everything going on in a single game frame on a per-pixel basis and try to create extra frames. When the first DLSS was announced, it was something you had to see to believe, and that feels like it’s the case with this new Frame Generation technology.