Stock shortages for Nvidia’s RTX 4000 desktop GPUs? Rising prices? New rumor forecasts a bleak future

An Nvidia RTX 4060 Ti against a green and black background
(Image credit: Nvidia)

Nvidia’s RTX 4000 graphics cards could be running short of stock in the future, if fresh whisperings from the grapevine are to be believed.

A new report (flagged by Hardware Times, via PC Gamer) from MyDrivers – suggests that Nvidia is switching manufacturing capacity away from the DIY market (desktop graphics cards) to gaming laptops.

The theory is that the desktop GPU market is doing “better” than the notebook market. So MyDrivers says Nvidia is going to switch more supply over to the laptop graphics card side of the equation, where demand is going unfulfilled.

Or as the website puts it, Nvidia wants to “save” the laptop market (or that’s the translation provided by Google, as the source is from China).

The crucial bit here is that Nvidia isn’t ramping up chip production for laptop GPUs, but rather, the firm is keeping everything at the same level – and using chips that would be destined for desktop graphics cards for the notebook sector instead.

Therefore, the conclusion that could be drawn is that there may be stock shortages for Nvidia’s desktop GPUs down the line due to this new preference for the notebook market.

As MyDrivers writes (again, translated by Google): “Therefore, in the third quarter, there is a high probability that the RTX 40 series graphics cards will be out of stock again.”

At the same time, Nvidia may adjust the balance of things according to exact supply and demand, and MyDrivers also hints that more popular models of desktop Lovelace GPUs – the RTX 4070 and RTX 4060 are mentioned – may see a slight increase in supply. But not by much, we’re told, if at all – Nvidia will react to changing market conditions, as you would expect, and a lot will depend on how the situation with GPUs continues to play out.

Analysis: Confusing – and worrying – times for GPUs

As MyDrivers concludes, there are contradictory opinions floating around from the rumor mill about Nvidia’s GPUs right now.

Even within this report, we’re told stock of desktop Lovelace GPUs may have issues going forward, and that there’s a high likelihood of this, and yet Nvidia may still slightly up production for certain models (RTX 4070 and 4060). And when MyDrivers says the desktop GPU market is doing “better” than notebooks, does that refer to actual unit sales, or stock surplus (due to a lack of demand for Lovelace desktop), which are clearly very different things.

It’s a confusing picture, and when that’s the case with rumors around hardware production and sales, that tells a story in itself. Namely that uncertainty is looming large, and therefore, things could (in part) go either way when it comes to RTX 4000 supply.

The worrying bit here is that elsewhere on the GPU grapevine in recent times we’ve been hearing about slight price rises for both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards. The chatter is about sales picking up at retail (at least in the US) for GPUs, and the market turning a corner – and that we may have hit the bottom with price drops. Furthermore, another recent rumor contends Nvidia is cutting Lovelace production right back to a minimum.

If Nvidia is indeed looking at favoring supply for the best gaming laptops over desktop Lovelace GPUs, and is perhaps cutting back production in some respects too, that could all be more pressure on pricing. Arguably, this could be Nvidia’s way of avoiding dropping price tags on what have seemingly been less popular GPUs like the RTX 4060 models – with fewer stock units out there, pricing will be maintained, or it’ll even rise.

All that said, we should underline that we’d take this report in particular with a whole lot of seasoning, firstly due to the source, and secondly that it pertains to the market in China. However, it is nonetheless another note sounded as part of the overall rumblings that desktop GPUs have bottomed in price, and we might even see price hikes going forward with Nvidia graphics cards.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).