Rumoured Nvidia RTX 4080 price cuts need to happen regardless of AMD's new GPUs

Nvidia RTX 4080 graphics card
(Image credit: Future)

I am absolutely here for Nvidia dropping the prices of its latest RTX 40-series graphics cards. We've already seen the green team cut the cost of both the RTX 4090 and the RTX 4080 in the UK and in Europe—ostensibly because of the changing exchange rates—but now there are rumours there could be an even wider correction on the RTX 4080 in the coming weeks.

And the lord knows it needs it.

Rumours trickling out of China (via TechRadar) are claiming there will be an adjusted price in mid-December, around the same time as AMD launches its $899 RX 7900 XT and $999 RX 7900 XTX cards. But the two are not related. Apparently. And I would guess it would have to be on top of the exchange rate price cuts of the last few days.

The original MSRP in the UK and Europe was higher than the dollar value in the US, but finally it is coming down to at least parity over here in the land of Blighty. That means the RTX 4090 is now £1,599 and the RTX 4080 is £1,199. That's the new MSRP for the Founders Edition cards on the Nvidia online store, where both cards are sold out anyways.

That's not the case for board partner cards if you look around the usual retail suspects, however, where you will find both GPUs in stock. If you're willing to pay. The RTX 4090 cards are still a spectacularly bad deal, with prices topping $3,000 in places, but the RTX 4080 is more readily available without having to go out to weird third-party stores and is a lot closer to MSRP.

In fact, I found an RTX 4080 from Palit under even the new £1,200 pricing in the UK.

Much has been made of this in the weeks since the GPU's launch; the fact the cards didn't immediately disappear from sale never to be seen again outside of eBay rip-off merchants, as happened with literally every graphics card launch of the past couple years. While you could argue it's good news, and a sign of a robust supply chain keeping cards moving in and out of stock across the channel, it's more likely a sign that things haven't been going so well for the second-tier Ada Lovelace GPU.

Indeed, with Nvidia itself stating that "we have been under-shipping" I'd be more inclined to say that a combination of undersupplied cards and there still being ample chips left in the channel to buy right now indicates it's not selling as well as hoped.

"We have been under-shipping gaming at this time," says CFO Colette Kress at a recent technology conference, "so that we can correct that inventory that is out in the channel."

Nvidia RTX 4080 graphics card

(Image credit: Future)

Kress is predicting that by the end of the fourth quarter it will stop doing that. "We'll get to some point of an equilibrium between sell-through and sell-in. And then we will likely get to where we'll be selling in to build the channel for our Ada launch and all of the additional Ada products that we will see coming to market."

AMD cards you can't buy would be unlikely to factor into any decision Nvidia makes on price cuts.

The original MyDrivers story points out the sources are claiming any price cut will be about stimulating such sales and improving the price/performance ratios of the RTX 4080, and nothing to do with the competing RX 7900-series cards from AMD. 

It would be very easy to see the mid-December Radeon GPU launch and any Nvidia price cut as being inextricably linked, and honestly, they have to be. But not necessarily linked because Nvidia needs to cut the price to compete with the new cards, more likely because it would want to time any RTX 4080 announcement to spoil the AMD launch.

AMD's Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card

(Image credit: Future)
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After all, history and recent rumours would suggest you'd be hella lucky to be able to bag yourself an RX 7900 XTX any time this side of the new year. Some sources are claiming there will be few RDNA 3 cards on sale, with IgorsLab even suggesting third-party manufacturers are having driver issues with their cards and some won't even launch until 2023 anyways.

AMD cards you can't buy would be unlikely to factor into any decision Nvidia makes on price cuts beyond a chance to annoy the red team around its big new launch.

Regardless of whatever happens with the AMD GPUs, Nvidia has to cut the price of the RTX 4080. For me, it was at least $200 too much at launch, and with the "unlaunched" RTX 4080 likely to appear in January as an RTX 4070 Ti, the actually launched RTX 4080 price/performance ratio is going to have a massive impact on what it can charge for that card. And on every card further down the stack, too.

How aggressive Nvidia might be in any potential price cut will be a huge indicator on what we can expect from the rest of the Ada lineup in terms of cost, but it's worth pointing out that these are purely rumours so far, with nothing concrete to back them up. But hey, could be a nice Christmas present from Santa Huang: vaguely reasonable pricing for an abhorrently priced GPU.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.