When you buy a graphics card that isn’t a budget option, you’re good to go for a couple of years before you have to upgrade again.
But whether your current GPU is obsolete or not, there comes a time when the next generation of cards is revealed, and we all start checking our wallets to see if we can make the jump or not.
With ray tracing becoming such an important part of high-end visual fidelity and DLSS becoming stronger every day, it was only a matter of time before Nvidia created GPUs that went the extra mile in supporting both of these technologies.
And that’s what brings us to the RTX 4000 series, which includes some of the strongest graphics cards that money can buy in 2022.
So, the most important question comes up – is the Nvidia RTX 4000 series good for gaming? Let’s take everything related to gaming into consideration and come to a definitive conclusion as an answer.
Nvidia has officially canceled the release of the 4080 12GB GPU and has implied that they will repurpose it as a different model at a later time.
This does not come as a surprise at all, as even we assessed that it’s almost pointless to purchase the RTX 4080 12GB over an RTX 3070 or RTX 4080 16GB.
As per our expectations, Nvidia is most likely set to re-release this GPU as the Nvidia RTX 4070 later down the line. For now – the other 4000 series GPUs are still set to release soon.
RTX 4000 Series – The Power
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Before anything else, how powerful a GPU is, is what we all look at – so let’s start with that.
As video games are becoming more and more demanding due to large open worlds, dozens of enemies on-screen at once, and realistic graphics – we need lots of power to keep up with them.
It’s easy to notice the difference between low, medium, and high graphics settings these days because just changing textures is not good enough.
Instead, games start to look blurry due to lower resolution scales and other compromises that are made to make the game run on older hardware. So, the only way to solve this problem is to make sure that our hardware is keeping up with the demand.
And thus, having budget cards is not as satisfactory as it once used to be.
So, it’s very evident that power is what Nvidia had on its mind above all when making the RTX 4000 series because it’s very high-end in every way possible. The lowest option in the line-up is the RTX 4080 12GB, which is already a powerful card that can run most modern-day games at their highest settings.
Then, we have the RTX 4080 16GB, which you can tell is a huge jump from the VRAM alone. And finally, the RTX 4090 24GB is, at the time of writing this, the most powerful GPU available to consumers right now.
So, in terms of power, there is absolutely no debate to be had that these are some of the best graphics cards that you can purchase right now.
Whether you just want to play the most powerful games at their highest settings, wish to experience RTX at its fullest capacity, or enjoy the currently-exclusive DLSS 3.0 (deep learning super-resolution) – the RTX 4000 series is the way to go.
Even the lowest card in this line-up still has the latest technologies that you can get your hands on. It has 7680 CUDAcores, a clock speed of 2.61ghz, 12GB of VRAM, and a great Ada Lovelace architecture.
Lastly, these GPUs are great for working and 3D rendering too, not just gaming. So, if you’re a video editor or make 3D models or even a game developer, the RTX 4000 series is for you. Especially since it takes hours for each frame of a CGI movie to process, and Nvidia intends to make this process run in real time.
As a gamer, you will be safe for many years ahead if you have one of these, especially the RTX 4080 16GB and 4090 – with no need to upgrade.
Nvidia RTX 4000 series – The Price Point
Sure, the Nvidia RTX 4000 series is great for gaming in terms of power and capability – but the price of such a product is just as important as everything else. What good would it be if it’s not worth what it costs?
The entry-level card of the RTX 4000 series costs $899 dollars – which is a very high price for a starting point. And this is further complicated by the fact that the 4080 12GB is more similar to the 3070 than it is to the 4090, which makes it a very questionable purchase.
So, it’s safe to say that from a price-to-hardware ratio, the RTX 4080 12GB is not worth it, and having a price so high for a GPU of this caliber is arguably bad for gaming.
On the other hand, the RTX 4080 16GB and the 4090 24GB cost $1199 and $1599 respectively – which is much better. Though they are undoubtedly expensive cards, the power that you are getting is very much worth the price and it’s clear from the beginning that they are not meant for budget or mid-range PC builds anyway. Being 2-4X faster than the 3090TI is no joke.
So, if you can afford the RTX 4080 16GB or the 4090 24GB, and need that kind of power, then it’s a good purchase that you should certainly consider. But if you already have a decent GPU or don’t want to spend so much, this is not something you truly need to buy – at least not this year.
For a more detailed explanation of the specifications of the Nvidia RTX 4000 series GPUs, you can head over to our article that summarizes it all in one place.
Is it worth the upgrade?
If you don’t have a GPU already, knowing the price point and how powerful a card is is good enough.
But things are more complicated if you already have a GPU. So, there are a few things that you need to take a look at.
- What GPU do you have?
- How long will your GPU run new games?
- Is your GPU from the RTX 3000 series of cards?
- Will your PC handle the new GPU?
If you have, say, an RTX 3070, 3080, or 3090 – then you don’t need to upgrade at all. While the Nvidia RTX 4000 series is good for gaming and at least 2X stronger than the previous generation, it’s not an important upgrade for those who already have a 3000 series card unless you’re in a professional work field.
You will still be able to run new games very well on 3000 GPUs and the RTX capabilities of that generation are still very good. However, if you have an RTX 3060, then upgrading might not be a bad idea after all. But try to go for a 4080 16GB or 4090 instead of the 12GB variant to really make the upgrade jump count.
On the other hand, if you have an older GPU from Nvidia such as the 2000 or 1000 series, then an upgrade is very much required, especially if you like ray-tracing. But it’s worth noting that 2080 is still very useful in 2022 and you don’t have to upgrade out of need.
The next thing to know is if your motherboard and power supply (PSU) can handle the new GPU or not. You must look at the power requirements and whether your motherboard supports the latest technologies. In case it doesn’t, you will need to change several components of your PC just to run a 4000 series GPU and it might not be worth the effort or money that you’ll put into it.
So, look at your current GPU and assess all the things that we mentioned. If the upgrade is worth it – then you should purchase the 4000 series GPUs. But if you already have a 2080 or a 3070 (and above), this is an upgrade you can comfortably sit out.
What games benefit best from the RTX 4000 series?
The RTX 4000 is great for every video game that is demanding in terms of hardware. As such, the names that pop up on the list are mainly recent games. For example:
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Watch Dogs: Legion
- Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
- Portal (with RTX, new edition)
- A Plague Tale: Requiem
- Warhammer 40,000: Darktide
- Microsoft Flight Simulator
Of course, these are just a few of the games that benefit from RTX, but their visuals should give you a good idea of what you’ll get.
But one important thing is that it’s not just new games that benefit from the Nvidia RTX 4000 series capabilities. With the use of Nvidia’s new modding tool RTX Remix, many old games, such as Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, are receiving ray-tracing upgrades too which is breathing new life into the graphics.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Portal are just the beginning, you can expect this technology to be present going forward in dozens of other older yet iconic games too.
Is the Nvidia RTX 4000 series good for gaming?
With everything discussed and considered, we have a conclusive answer to the initial question.
Yes, the Nvidia RTX 4000 series is good for gaming. In fact, it’s a great step towards the future of gaming due to how perfectly it supports the latest technologies and the sheer power that it holds.
If you can afford this new generation of GPUs, have a PC that can support it, and aren’t already an owner of an RTX 3090 – then get an RTX 4000 card without a second thought!