Chalk this one up firmly as rumour, but Nvidia is reportedly temporarily winding back manufacturing and therefore supply of the new RTX 4070 graphics card, ostensibly due to slow sales.
Sources in China, the Board Channel/Bobantang forums (via Benchlife), are reporting on a rumoured supply reduction, with the consensus implying that Nvidia will constrict supply of the RTX 4070 for around a month.
The implication is that the RTX 4070 hasn't been selling as well as expected, certainly not in comparison to the increased production the green team put in place for this launch, and so there's a glut of unsold cards at retailers. So Nvidia is therefore cutting supply to help prop prices up.
Certainly the RTX 4070 has been widely available since launch. In the last few days several cards have appeared at retailers around the world at well below Nvidia's recommended retail price.
We've spoken to retailers in the UK who have said that their sales of the RTX 4070 have been well below what they were expecting. While gamers have been looking at the cards on these retail sites, evidenced by the traffic they've been getting on those pages, the number of people actually buying cards has been low.
One UK seller, Overclockers.co.uk, currently has no fewer than three RTX 4070s at significantly below MSRP. The cheapest, the Gainward GeForce RTX 4070 Ghost, is up for £549.95, which works out to $568 once you remove the UK's monster 20% sales tax. That's a decent chunk below the official $599 MSRP for the RTX 4070.
It all begs the question of whether Nvidia's premium pricing strategy is beginning to succumb to pressure. As we've reported, pretty much every other PC hardware component has returned to what you might call pre-pandemic pricing levels, with some, including storage and RAM, at historical lows.
Best CPU for gaming: The top chips from Intel and AMD
Best gaming motherboard: The right boards
Best graphics card: Your perfect pixel-pusher awaits
Best SSD for gaming: Get into the game ahead of the rest
So, megabuck graphics cards are now very much an outlier. That's reflected in the fact that pricing has dominated the discussion with the launch of every new Nvidia RTX 40 GPU.
At the very least, Nvidia's "unlaunching" of the RTX 4080 12GB and repositioning it at a lower price point with RTX 4070 Ti branding was a direct response to the negative reaction to its premium pricing strategy.
With the negative PR building with each new release, the RTX 4070 not selling well, and Nvidia possibly being forced to restrict supply as a consequence, it will be interesting to see where the company prices future RTX 40 GPUs like the RTX 4060 Ti and RTX 4060. While we're not expecting to love the prices Nvidia goes for, we suspect they'll still be lower than Nvidia was originally intending or hoping for.