AMD Attempts to Pour Cold Water on Nvidia’s RTX 4080 Launch

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This time around Nvidia has beaten AMD to market with its next-gen GPUs. It’s hard to say if this was happenstance or intentional by both parties. Regardless, with the RTX 4080 launching Wednesday, AMD is now trying to convince gamers to hold off on that purchase. To do so, it’s launched a barrage of info comparing its cards to Nvidia’s second-tier GPU. Unfortunately, there are no benchmark comparisons, but AMD still wants to highlight its GPUs’ advantages, of which there are many.

Whether those features will matter to gamers is up for debate. It’s notable in that AMD rarely calls Nvidia out by name. At the launch, Team Red only compared its RDNA3 GPUs with its prior cards.

AMD made its argument in a series of slides sent to the media, including Videcoardz. Its position is simple: Its GPUs are smaller, consume less power, and are more affordable despite offering more memory. Therefore, the entire upgrading process is easier. There’s no need for a new case, a new power supply, and no risk of your GPU’s cable melting. Now, for some gamers that might not be a good thing. They want a massive, powerful, nuclear reactor GPU and don’t mind paying for it. AMD is clearly not targeting those gamers.

Still, it does beat Nvidia’s GPUs if you just look at the spec sheet. Both of its RX 7900 GPUs have more memory than the RTX 4080, and wider memory buses too. Nvidia’s rocking 16GB on a 256-bit bus, with the Radeon XTX sporting 24GB on a 384-bit bus, and the XT with 20GB on a 320-bit bus. AMD has its Infinity Cache tagging along as well.

The Radeon RX 7900 PCB looks kind of old school compared to Nvidia’s “arrow-shaped” design. (Image: AMD

AMD also argues its GPUs are more future-proof thanks to their DisplayPort 2.1 connection. This compares with the older 1.4a interface on Nvidia’s GPUs. AMD does have a point here, as this is a next-gen feature that provides much higher bandwidth than its predecessor. A lot of gamers were shocked to find Nvidia’s flagship GPUs using an interface that’s been around for years. Still, DP 1.4a allows for 4K 240Hz with DSC, which should be more than enough for the vast majority of gamers. Without compression, it can run 4K 120Hz, which is still a glorious setup.

DisplayPort 2.1 bumps that number up to 480Hz, but few monitors can run that refresh rate. Still, it’s quite future-proof, but in three or four years’ time when that’s commonplace we’ll all have moved on to RDNA4 and the RTX 5090.

The big question remains benchmark numbers. Even though Nvidia has provided some 4080 benchmarks, AMD didn’t put its numbers up against them. And the two companies use different games to show off their upcoming GPUs. We’ll have to wait until we see Nvidia’s numbers tomorrow before we have an idea of which GPU might reign supreme.

AMD still isn’t sharing numbers against the RTX 4080. (Image: AMD)

Although, in the end, it might not even matter if the Nvidia GPU is more powerful. That’s because they will reportedly be very hard to buy, and priced extremely high. And that’s before scalpers get their hands on them. That could mean the RTX 4080 is almost twice as expensive as the Radeon 7900 XT. That’s an unprecedented price delta between two competing GPUs. The RTX 40-series pricing has generated a bit of a backlash against Nvidia too, which might swing people to the red team. It’s also possible scalpers will ruin RDNA3 pricing too, but we’ll have to wait and see about that.

Unfortunately, we still have many weeks to ponder our GPU decisions. The RDNA3 GPUs go on sale on Dec. 13, but we have no idea when we’ll see third-party benchmarks. The RTX 4080 is reportedly a GPU that will come and go, with nary a card to be found. After it sells out, Nvidia is supposedly limiting resupplies. This bolsters the theory that the 4080’s pricing is designed to entice people to buy RTX 3080s and 3090s.

In the end, we’re all winners thanks to the competition between these two companies. It’ll keep raging on into next year too when the RX 6700 XT and RTX 4070 Ti are released. Then things will get really heated when they delve into the $250 – $300 range, which is a big market.

We doubt AMD’s marketing campaign will dissuade any Nvidia fans, as both companies have dedicated followers at this point. Same on the CPU front, despite people saying they just want the best bang for the buck. We can’t wait to see benchmarks for both GPUs, regardless of which one comes out on top.

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