It seems like just yesterday that Nvidia released the 30-series of Ampere GPUs, but itís actually been almost exactly two years as we write this.
A part of why these GPUs still feel so new is that weíre only now coming out of an absolutely brutal silicon shortage, where 30-series cards have
been selling for multiple times their MSRP and older 20-series cards could be sold for more than they cost when new!
Now cards like the 3090 Ti are seeing price cuts of as much as 50% and mainstream GPUs like the 3060 Ti are becoming both more readily
available and sell for prices closer to MSRP. However, it seems that Nvidia is rapidly approaching the official announcement and release of the
40-series cards, which means you may want to put the brakes on any new GPU purchases.
The rumor's that are out there right now are extremely light on details and leakers who have proven reliable in the past say that final specs
for cards like the 4070 and 4080 arenít entirely nailed down yet.
However, these leaks are offering a broad idea of what sort of performance we can expect. As always, take this as speculation, but the general
feeling is that the RTX 4070 could equal the current 3090 Ti. Since thatís the fastest card anyone can currently buy, the performance of t
he 4080, 4090, and inevitable Ti variants are anyoneís guess, but the 3080 is about 50% faster (roughly 20 vs 30 TFLOPS), so that wouldnít be
an unrealistic delta between the two upcoming cards.
Power Consumption Worries
One worrying rumor has to do with the potential power consumption of these GPUs. We usually expect that a new generation of GPUs will offer
better power efficiency or at least offer more performance per watt. Unfortunately rumors have speculated that the 4070 would have a power
limit of 320W, which is only 20W less than the RTX 3080. Thatís still more performance per watt, but a significant amount of power in total and way
more than the 220W maximum consumption of an RTX 3070!
Since then new rumors have tempered those worries a little but later leaker comments now say that the card will be 285W, which is still a big jump
from the 3070. That same leaker pegs the 4080 at 320W, which would be less power than the current 3080 needs, which brings up interesting questions
about power scaling.
This is concerning given recent revelations when it comes to transient power spikes in some 30-series cards, but then again we hope Nvidia resolved
that issue in the upcoming Lovelace GPUs.
Price, Availability, and Release Dates
Pricing is hard to speculate on. Existing cards are returning to their MSRP prices, so itís not out of the realm of possibility that the 4070 might have a
similar $499 MSRP as the 3070 at launch. However, the shortages are not entirely resolved and we donít know if the new cards come with higher
manufacturing costs. With 3090 Ti cards being slashed down to $1000 and hopefully even less as we approach the 4070ís release, Nvidia needs to be
careful about pricing. If the 4080 has the same $699 MSRP of the 3080, itís going to represent a much better purchase than a $1000 3090 Ti!
Rumors at first indicated that the 4070 and 4080 would be out in 2022, but it seems much more likely that the 4080 will be out in Q1 of 2023 and perhaps
we could see the 4070 in Q4 of 2022. What really matters is wherehr this will be a paper release or if board partners will actually have products on shelves.
Is Now the Time to Buy Ampere?
If youíve been eyeing a higher-end Ampere card, you know that prices areabsolutely plummeting and thatís very tempting! However, unless your need is
dire, this late in 2022 itís worth waiting for 40-series cards to hit the market.
Once we know what these cards cost and now they perform, then you can make an informed choice about where your money should go. If Nvidia is releasing
a $500 with the same performance as a current $1200 or more card, thatís worth holding out for a few months. Unless of course youíre buying a GPU
to make money, that is.
The release of Lovelace cards should also have strong downwards pressure on the price of new Ampere cards and it certainly should tank the used card market,
although as always you should be wary of used cards that have been running 24/7 in mining rigs!