NVIDIA RTX 3080 Cards Will Be Expensive. Very.

first published on August 21, 2020 by

NVIDIA’s new consumer focused RTX 3080 Ampere GPU’s are right around the corner. I can almost guarantee that they’re going to cost an arm, a leg, and all of the spare V-bucks you were hoping to have left over. But will it run Crysis?

rtx 3080

Turing and Ampere

Those of us that only recently upgraded to NVIDIA’s “new” Turing architecture 20-series RTX graphics cards are in for an awakening (or even a bit of buyer’s remorse). The 30-series is right around the corner, and NVIDIA is taking things up a notch. NVIDIA released the Turing architecture 2 years ago this August at SIGGRAPH for workstation-based Quadro RTX graphics cards. Fast forward a few months, and the entire gaming space was abuzz with the newest 20-series GPU’s that brought ray-tracing to the mainstream. From a comparative perspective, the RTX 2080 is about 17% faster at the top-end than its predecessor 1080. The presumed RTX 3080, NVIDIA’s impending flagship next-generation Ampere GPU, is expected to push the envelope even further for end-users of performance graphics processing.

Rumors on the new RTX cards are everywhere. We’ve seen leaks of the 3080, there’s an apparent 3090, and we’ve also heard about 3070 and 3070 Ti specs. What we don’t know right now is cost.

RTX 3080 Price Questions

According to really old, but not-yet unsubstantiated rumors, the anticipated RTX 3080 and expected RTX 308o Ti (or even 3090?) will provide up-to a 50% performance increase at a fraction of the power cost due to its 7nm architecture. I’m not a hardware expert, but I do understand that making something that much faster and that much cheaper to run isn’t in itself cheap to make. The release of the Turing-based RTX 20-series cards came on the heels of the Cryptocurrency moonshot in 2018, which drove prices even further past the initial surge expected for GPU’s due to mining. I know this because I bought my 2080 Ti for a cool $2k in January of 2019. I can get the same card now (or even months ago) for about $1,400. While we shouldn’t have the same type of surge, it’s likely that the new architecture and its rumored MAJOR performance increases will drive cost even higher than what some of us might expect. I would anticipate early costs of NVIDIA’s top-end 30-series cards to be somewhat similar to a down payment on a car, or a new horse (a small, appropriately sized horse for an apartment).

Don’t fret, though. NVIDIA has competition with AMD’s Big Navi. NVIDIA will need to price their mid-range cards to compete from a price perspective (they already compete at a performance perspective). For reference, the 2060 can be-had for about $300, and it’s likely that any 3060-equivalent would be priced similarly.

Ampere and When to Buy

We know quite a bit about the Ampere architecture, as it’s technically already out on the street. NVIDIA’s benchmarks on their A100 cards made headlines for being the fastest GPU this side of the EVERYWHERE. It’s a lightening bolt of a device, and appears to be running on some form of electricity. Listen, I’m not a hardware expert, but I do believe that I’m an expert at spending money.

Given the issues that the 2080 Ti had with cooling when it hit the market, I’d advise keeping an eye on your gaming news sources for potential issues before buying. Essentially, I’m advising you to learn from my mistakes on jumping into a new high-performance, cutting edge technology before it’s thoroughly tested by the masses. I know a guy that had to RMA his 2080 Ti twice because it almost caught his house on fire. I know that guy, because that guy is me. Patience, padawan.

I’m getting one, I just might wait for the initial surge to be over. Are you planning on buying a 30-series card in the near-term when it releases?

 

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