AMD proves graphics card purchases do not need to break the bank

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Creative Commons, NVIDIA

NVIDIA made waves across the internet following the announcement of their RTX 40 series graphics cards, but the price tag leaves much to be desired among enthusiasts.

Daniel Marshall, Multimedia Manager

After graphics processing unit manufacturer NVIDIA unveiled their highly anticipated RTX 40 series GPUs, PC enthusiasts have access to significant improvements in hardware performance compared to prior lineups. Unfortunately for many, the bank-breaking price tags leave much to be desired. 

Graphics cards such as NVIDIA’s RTX 4090 are used to display images on a monitor screen. Higher end cards are especially important in achieving fast loading times in video games, engineering programs and other hardware-intensive software. A feature unique to NVIDIA graphics cards is their real-time ray tracing technology, which enables lighting effects accurate enough to be almost indistinguishable from real-life environments.

Since the announcement, however, many enthusiasts around the world were taken by surprise after the significant price leap between generations. A quick comparison between NVIDIA’s RTX 3090 and RTX 4090 GPUs reveals up to a $600 jump in price. While there are a multitude of improvements across the board in thermals, performance and architecture, some still may find it difficult to justify the cost.

This price leap left many consumers unable to access the latest technology, leaving only high income individuals with the option to purchase comfortably. Due to the high demand for the latest GPUs, however, many enthusiasts choose to accept these prices anyway.

YouTube influencer Greg Salazar expected worse. “These Nvidia announcements actually look pretty ok – all things considered. No doom and gloom ‘massive delays’ and ‘$2K+ price points”’some were predicting,” he tweeted.

Junior Jun Oh believes that the increase in price may be justified. “I believe it was a big jump that the majority of users will not enjoy. But for the targeted group where they pay a premium for a little more performance to get the best performance, it may be logical,” he stated.

Amidst the NVIDIA pricing controversy, GPU manufacturer AMD recently made their announcement of their new RDNA-3 architecture along with their new Radeon 7000 series. AMD’s lineup of products offers significantly cheaper prices compared to its competitor, putting into question how much a consumer should be willing to pay in the GPU market.

With the current information, AMD has their highest end product, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX, set to be $600 cheaper than NVIDIA’s RTX 4090. Although the specifications of AMD’s top-end graphics fall short compared to NVIDIA, the cheaper prices for only slightly worse performance will certainly encourage fierce competition.

As a general rule, the decision of which graphics card to buy comes down to what the consumer wants their PC to achieve. “I personally use ray tracing frequently, so I am not able to move to AMD but, for customers who do not regularly use ray tracing features, AMD may be a good alternative,” Oh continued.

The pricing of next-generation GPUs remains a hot topic across the internet. As NVIDIA continues to push its prices, competitors such as AMD become more important than ever. Even if a product presents itself as revolutionary, the consumer should always be weary of emptying too much out of their wallet.