Nvidia RTX 4090 pre-order pricing surprised us… in a good way

Multiple Nvidia RTX 4090 graphics cards are now listed for pre-order at a major US retailer, and the good news – well, in a fashion – is that the boards are priced more reasonably than some folks were expecting, and indeed bang-on MSRP in the case of some third-party models.

Tom’s Hardware pointed out the product listings which have gone up at Best Buy for the RTX 4090, as highlighted by one of the regular Twitter leakers we hear from, @momomo_us.

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Those listings include the Gigabyte RTX 4090 WindForce and MSI RTX 4090 Gaming X Trio, with both of those graphics cards carrying price tags which are the MSRP – $1,599 in the US (around £1,460, AU$2,480) – just the same as Nvidia’s own Founders Edition of the flagship product.

We can also see Gigabyte’s RTX 4090 Gaming OC which runs with an overclock (that’s what the OC in the name stands for) and is priced at $1,700 (around £1,550, AU$2,630).

Finally, there’s an MSI RTX 4090 Suprim Liquid X with a price tag of $1,750 (around £1,600, AU$2,700), a thinner card with a fancy cooling system that employs an external 240mm radiator to achieve two-slot svelteness (all the aforementioned models take up three PCIe slots due to their thickness).

Analysis: Hopefully Lovelace won’t be anything like Ampere for MSRPs

These prices are very much in contrast to the launch of current-gen Ampere graphics cards, where Nvidia’s GPUs were all marked up one way or another due to a seriously out-of-whack supply and demand situation (and price inflation subsequently became even worse when scalpers got involved). And of course Team Green’s flagship models are already expensive enough without any premiums on top.

So, it’s good to see custom RTX 4090 graphics cards appearing at the MSRP right off the bat, and fancier models – which will always cost more – not having a big extra ask heaped on top. There is always the possibility that Best Buy’s pricing could be placeholders, but with the launch in just under two weeks now (October 12), we’re thinking that probably isn’t the case.

Of course, we say it’s good to see this, but really, this is what we expect. You know, graphics cards priced at the recommended level, or at least some of them. With any luck, Nvidia will be able to push a decent amount of chips for the RTX 4090 to avoid any shortages, but as it’s very much a niche proposition – most people won’t spend this much on their entire PC, let’s face it – demand will not be huge. But if inventory is on the slight side, there remains the danger of price gouging and the like.

The really interesting bit will be the launch of the RTX 4080, which comes in November, and how stock issues and pricing will fall with that somewhat more (relatively) affordable GPU – or at least the lower-tier card with 12GB of VRAM. Yes, in case you missed it, there are two separate variants of the RTX 4080, the lesser spec of which some have theorized was originally destined to be the RTX 4070.

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