Nvidia and AMD’s GPUs are headed in the wrong direction


This yr’s long-awaited flagship graphics playing cards from AMD and Nvidia aren’t regular. Maybe we shouldn’t count on them to be. In 2020, AMD finally showed it had the potential to catch as much as Nvidia in uncooked gaming efficiency, and naturally, Nvidia desperately desires to keep up that lead.

Inflated greater than inflation

However in consequence, each corporations’ new GPUs have bloated in a approach we’ve by no means seen. They’ve inflated greater than inflation itself. They’re instantly each far costlier and bodily large in a approach we haven’t seen this decade if ever.

Right here, I made a chart to point out you:

We’re in the midst of a dramatic financial downturn, if not an outright recession — we’ve had 15–16 percent inflation since 2020, when Nvidia and AMD launched their final flagship GPUs. However the RTX 4080’s beginning value is 71.5 % costlier than the RTX 3080. AMD’s 7900 XT is 38.5 % costlier than the 6800 XT.

When my colleague Tom reviewed Nvidia’s new graphics card, he did discover it 50 % sooner than the earlier era, however such features aren’t extraordinary gen-on-gen with out a corresponding leap in value. And I’d argue that efficiency is nearly inappropriate. Each Nvidia and AMD often launch uber-enthusiast class GPUs just like the 3090 Ti or Titan with extra reminiscence and / or unique cooling for individuals who’ll pay for each scrap of efficiency, however the 4080 and 7900 XT aren’t these: they’re the “regular” flagships, and each corporations at the moment are concentrating on that form of GPU at a extra unique viewers.

Efficiency doesn’t matter in the event you can’t afford a $1,000 GPU in any respect or in the event you can’t afford to suit it in your case — once more, the quantity of those GPUs has additionally grown 30 to 60 % in a single era (2.5 slots and even 3 slots’ price of GPU is the brand new regular, apparently).

We’d already seen nearly each third-party GPU vendor promoting these corporations’ last-gen chips on boards with bloated costs and sizes, however I’d hoped Nvidia and AMD themselves would keep the course. As one reader suggests, maybe the excessive costs are simply meant to level players in direction of these companies’ excess inventory of last-gen GPUs, however it units a foul precedent both approach.

I can solely hope this bloat doesn’t trickle right down to the remainder of Nvidia and AMD’s GPU lineups. It’s been superb to look at the renaissance over the previous decade in moveable and inexpensive small form factor PCs, and traits like these make them less viable. If I can’t stick a future 5060 Ti or 8700 XT right into a delightfully small case come 2025, I’m most likely going to cry.


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