The graphics card market has enjoyed an astronomical price level since 2020, and the production of last year’s products made the situation even worse.
It’s almost as frustrating to be a PC gamer these days.
High electricity prices and components that require increasingly more electricity are not a great combination in this context. It’s getting crazy that you can get four, five, and six PlayStation 5’s for the price of an enthusiast PC.
However, continuing our coverage, we took a look at one of the most powerful variants of Nvidia’s RTX 4080.
MSI RTX 4080 Supreme X Sick NOK 17,249 off your account if you decide to buy. Is it possible to defend this price in any way?
Expensive video card
It has become a tradition that I hire my video card testers to ask about the price. Of course, this cannot be an exception.
The Lovelace architecture can look like a bit of a competition about which video card offers the least value for money.
All video cards in the 4000 series are significantly more expensive than previous generations. A quick look at Nvidia’s 80 video card price history depicts it well:
|RTX 4080||16000 *||November 2022|
|RTX 3080||8000||September 2020|
|RTX 2080||8500||September 2018|
|GTX 1080||5000||May 2016|
*Nvidia initially launched the RTX 4080 at NOK 15,400 in Norway, but the Founder’s Edition cost NOK 16,000, and no cards cost so little at launch.
Both the RTX 4090 and RTX 4070 Ti are much more expensive than the previous generations.
It was partly related to the weak krone exchange rate, high inflation and higher production costs, but history shows that Nvidia has raised the price very sharply in just the past two years.
Nvidia has also received criticism for pushing third-party suppliers to very small margins.
In the fall, it became known that EVGA is going to end production of graphics cards. Speculation surrounding the case specifically revolves around reducing profit margins for those who make their own versions of Nvidia’s video cards.
The MSI RTX 4080 Suprim X costs just NOK 1,250 more than Nvidia’s Founder’s Edition. This type of girder tends to cost a lot more, so you can make a decision on your own. Third party manufacturers may have tried to stay as close to the launch price as possible since graphics cards are already very expensive.
There are 4,000 video cards in Norwegian online stores. It is possible that the price level did its part in eliminating the demand that affected the market during the corona pandemic.
I go back to the test itself.
The second most powerful video card from Nvidia comes with 9728 CUDA cores, 16GB of GDDR6X video memory and a clock speed boost of 2510MHz.
The Suprim X is MSI’s air-cooled flagship, offering a flexible clock speed of 2865MHz out of the box. The graphics card did not rise above 70 degrees during testing.
At most, the video card pulled 320 watts from the wall, so you need a large power supply to use the card. Nvidia recommends 750 watts for the RTX 4080, but MSI thinks you should have 850 watts for the Supreme X.
The video card has two different BIOS modes for the fans. Game mode offers slightly higher performance with slightly more fan noise, while silent mode reduces fan noise by a few notches.
The cooler is perfect. Even with the gaming mode, there is almost no noise from the fans while gaming, and the Suprim X is likely to be swamped by all processor enthusiasts.
The problem is – as usual – the size. The video card is a giant.
At 34cm long and 2.3kg in weight, it requires a large cupboard to accommodate it.
The RTX 4080 is powerful. Very very strong. But the most important question when it comes to video cards is the price.
On the one hand I have the big brother RTX 4090, and on the other hand the little brother RTX 4070 Ti. Between them is more than 10,000 NOK.
The RTX 4090 is six percent faster than the RTX 4080 at 1080p, 15 percent faster at 1440p and 29 percent faster at 4K.
Only in 4K does the processor bottleneck completely disappear and you get all the power from the RTX 4090. In this sense, there is also no point in buying something more powerful than the RTX 4080 if you don’t play in 4K or care about ray tracing.
At the same time, it’s easy to think that you can easily buy a video card for 21,000, given that you can buy one for 17,000.
Both video cards have been available for a while, and I haven’t bothered to go back to the RTX 4090 after I’m done testing it.
There is simply no need for more.
You probably don’t need the RTX 4080 either. The RTX 4070 Ti delivers performance in line with previous-generation flagships, and delivers a lot more performance for the money.
The RTX 4080 is 26 percent faster than the RTX 4070 Ti at 1440p. This is where the difference matters for most people on this type of video card, but in contrast, the RTX 4080’s starting price is 50 percent higher than the RTX 4070 Ti.
Based on our game tests on the next page, we can calculate that the MSI RTX 4080 Suprim X costs 71 NOK per fps at 1440p, while the RTX 4070 Ti variant (Gigabyte Gaming OC) costs 57 NOK per fps.
Video cards from AMD clearly offer more value for money in games without ray tracing, but unfortunately I haven’t yet had success getting a video card from AMD to test this properly.
This lighting technology has been Nvidia’s big draw since the Turing architecture (2000 series), but it requires a lot of graphics card.
AMD hasn’t completely cracked the code yet, and it’s a long way from the competition.
Nvidia couldn’t make it worth it either, I guess. Games like Cyberpunk 2077 can look amazing with the technology turned on, but they are in no way worth lowering your frame rate.
We didn’t make any cuts in our tests with ray tracing, as it gets a little weak in just four games. However, I see that the tendencies from the tests in 4K have been enhanced with normal rasterization.
The RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 significantly increase their lead across all resolutions.
The MSI RTX 4080 Supreme X should get top marks.
The cooler is very cool, with almost no noise and low temperatures. The build quality makes a real premium impression for just over 1,000 SEK more than the Founder’s Edition.
It is famous for being an RTX 4080.
Unfortunately for MSI, we can’t ignore the fact that there are video cards other than the RTX 4080. It’s a disappointing product in and of itself. The graphics card performs well at all the resolutions we tested, but that’s not a good enough reason to double the price over the previous generation.
This does not last long. Nvidia simply needs to step up. They don’t provide figures on the profit margins they operate at, but there is no doubt that the entire PC market has suffered from these exorbitant prices.
The RTX 4080 should cost at least NOK 5,000 less to meet the previous generation’s launch. Unfortunately, the used market is the only place where you can buy good video cards today.
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