Sky-high third-party Nvidia RTX 4080 GPU prices prove we’re in the worst timeline

Asus ROG Strix 4080 Graphics Card
(Image credit: Asus)

Nvidia’s RTX 4080 graphics card is out on November 16, and pricing has popped up at a major US retailer... but it doesn’t look like good news.

This is pricing for third-party models, and it was always expected that the beefier variants would sell for a chunk above Nvidia’s recommended price (MSRP), which is $1,199 in the US. But just how far above the MSRP these cards go as they’re now listed is a bit of an eye-opener to say the least.

Tom’s Hardware spotted the listings at Micro Center, and indeed some of the RTX 4080 graphics cards listed as ‘coming soon’ are at MSRP. Namely a PNY Verto Epic-X, Asus TUF Gaming, Zotac Trinity, and Gigabyte Eagle models, which is good to see (pats on the backs for these particular variants, for sure).

There are a few other GPUs shown here pitching up in the $1,200 to $1,300 bracket, which is to be fully expected, and we’re not going to moan about that. However, some RTX 4080 graphics cards are commanding a price tag of $1,400, which is going to be a bit more difficult to justify. Those are the MSI Suprim X and Zotac AMP Extreme.

But when we come to the priciest destroyer of wallets, that’ll really make you sit up and take notice: the Asus ROG Strix RTX 4080 card weighs in at $1,550. Ouch, ouch, ouch…

Analysis: How ridiculous can things get?

At this point you may be thinking if the ROG Strix is $1,550, isn’t that, like, an RTX 4080 that's pricier than an RTX 4090? Well, not quite, but it’s really not that far off – the MSRP for the 4090 is $1,599.

And of course rather than getting a tuned-up RTX 4080, you're much better off putting down an extra $50 to get the RTX 4090 which is an entirely different and way more powerful GPU. (Even in that most basic entry-level configuration, it still has a ton more cores, VRAM and more).

Granted, there may be a caveat here in that being able to go with an RTX 4090 requires considerable resources on the PC front in terms of a case big enough to fit the behemoth card in, good enough cooling, a big and stable enough power supply, and so on (plus there’s the cable controversy). But unless you’re short on that side of the equation, the high-end pricing of the RTX 4080 just makes little sense at all here.

However, GPU pricing not making much sense or seeming fair is not exactly a new phenomenon, and sadly, it’s something we’ve got used to in recent history. It still remains to be seen how much RTX 4080 stock there will be, too, and whether further price inflation might be something to worry about; though it’s difficult to imagine it getting much worse without consumers turning away in droves. Or, electing to go with AMD instead, perhaps, with Team Red taking distinct aim at the RTX 4080 with its incoming RX 7900 XTX.

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).