The RTX 4090 is finally getting cheaper – but there’s bad news for some

The 'Not Stonks' meme man standing in front of a declining line graph with an RTX 4090 graphics card in his crossed arms.
(Image credit: Nvidia, Future)

After high demand and fierce price-gouging at launch, Nvidia’s RTX 4090 graphics card is finally starting to drop in price – but if you’re in the US, you might not be so happy about it.

While it’s finally possible to snap up an RTX 4090 below list price in America – specifically, this PNY XLR8 model, which has seen a price cut down to $1,549.99 on Amazon – most models are still selling above the $1,599 launch price, and the biggest price drops are actually in Europe.

In most European countries, the original retail price was €1,949, and it’s dropped steadily each month since February this year; first to €1,859, then €1,819, and now all the way down to €1,769. You can get a Palit model from German retailer Mindfactory for just €1,648.

That’s still around $1,950, but higher taxes and EU import fees mean that computer hardware typically costs more in Europe than it does across the pond, and those prices are for Nvidia’s own Founders Edition of the GPU – third-party models are cropping up for even cheaper.

This proves one thing: Nvidia messed up

Over in the UK, it’s a similar story. The price cuts haven’t been quite as pronounced as they are in mainland Europe, but you can pick up that same PNY XLR8 card for £1,546.51 on Amazon right now.

What can we learn from this? Well, if the prices keep declining, then I’d say we’ve got pretty clear confirmation that Nvidia did indeed make the launch price of the RTX 4090 too high. Sure, it’s one of the best graphics cards ever made, but there’s no denying that many balked at the asking price.

Beyond that, the repeated European price cuts on the Founders Edition model could signal that Nvidia is actually struggling to shift RTX 4090 stock now that the initial rush of orders has slowed; the GPU giant already allegedly had to throttle 4090 restocks in order to sell its ill-fated RTX 4080, and now that the excellent – and more affordable – RTX 4070 has arrived, it becomes even harder to justify buying the flagship graphics card.

Frankly, I still wouldn’t recommend it. Unless you’re a professional 3D animator or require some serious GPU grunt for running scientific modeling software, you simply don’t need the level of performance that the 4090 offers. The RTX 4070 can play the vast majority of games at 4K with high frame rates thanks to the magic of Nvidia’s DLSS 3 upscaling tech; beyond that, you’re just wasting money.

I do hope the RTX 4090 keeps dropping in price, purely so it becomes more accessible and fewer people settle for the unimpressive 4080, but I have to wonder what this could mean for Nvidia’s future in the gaming GPU space.

With AI chatbot expansion threatening to cause another GPU shortage and Nvidia notably going all in on AI development, Team Green’s hardware is likely to be in hot demand in the coming years – but not from gamers. Honestly? If you just want to play some PC games, you might be better off with one of the best AMD graphics cards instead.

Christian Guyton
Editor, Computing

Christian is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing Editor. He came to us from Maximum PC magazine, where he fell in love with computer hardware and building PCs. He was a regular fixture amongst our freelance review team before making the jump to TechRadar, and can usually be found drooling over the latest high-end graphics card or gaming laptop before looking at his bank account balance and crying.

Christian is a keen campaigner for LGBTQ+ rights and the owner of a charming rescue dog named Lucy, having adopted her after he beat cancer in 2021. She keeps him fit and healthy through a combination of face-licking and long walks, and only occasionally barks at him to demand treats when he’s trying to work from home.