Nvidia did AMD a favor with the launch of the RTX 4070 Ti

When AMD released the RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT, it was obvious which would steal the spotlight. The RX 7900 XTX is a solid GPU, overshadowed by its weaker sister. However, now that Nvidia has launched the RTX 4070 Ti, there is still hope for AMD.

As strange as it may sound, Nvidia may have really done AMD a favor by releasing the RTX 4070 Ti the way it did.

The RX 7900 XT from AMD is a single GPU

RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT on a pink background.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The RX 7900 XT is so weird, that’s because it makes no sense to buy it over the RX 7900 XTX.

At Newegg, you’ll find card templates ranging from (Buying this is just pure madness). RX 7900 XTX cost between (again, madness), but a lot of models were sold out. The cheaper RDNA 3 card doesn’t have the same problem – most cards out there, no wonder.

It’s not that the RX 7900 XT is bad, because it isn’t. It beats the RTX 4070 Ti in most respects. It’s about 15% slower than the RTX 4080, but the latter is much more expensive. However, that doesn’t change the fact that at its recommended list price, the RX 7900 XTX is a much better deal.

This leaves the RX 7900 XT in a very awkward position, as it makes you wonder why it was released (and since it was, why wasn’t it sold for less). Imagine that the RX 7900 XT is out of stock, at least not unless we run into another GPU shortage.

The RTX 4080 12GB is making a comeback – with moderate success

RTX 4070 Ti graphics card on a pink background.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Nvidia’s recently released RTX 4070 Ti is one of the best graphics cards on the market today, but that doesn’t make it a great GPU or a bargain. In fact, many would argue that it is not.

The same can be said about the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT. Behind the flagship RX 7900 XTX, the card seems just as out of place as the RTX 4070 Ti.

When Nvidia first launched the RTX 4070 Ti, it was called the RTX 4080 12GB and announced alongside the existing RTX 4080, which is much faster. The 12GB version fails to impress – even on paper. With a $900 price tag, it was quite expensive when offered alongside the $1,200 RTX 4080 – also expensive, but at least equipped with much better specs.

Nvidia thought better of it and soon “didn’t release” the RTX 4080 12GB. However, it wasn’t long before it reappeared during CES 2023, only to land on shelves two days later, now dubbed the RTX 4070 Ti. It’s strange that the Ti version of the GPU arrives before the base RTX 4070, but I digress.

We had the opportunity to review this GPU and found it to be a good fit – at a glance. Since it’s priced anywhere from $830 to $1,000 It’s not quite as good a deal as some other GPUs in a similar price range. It’s not ray tracing the way the RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 do; It also doesn’t beat AMD at 4K or even 1440p.

This brings me to my point: AMD should almost thank Nvidia for releasing the RTX 4070 Ti with such specs and at this price.

Not amazing, but mostly better

Nvidia and AMD executives are shown side by side in a split screen presentation.

The RX 7900 XTX is Team Red’s strongest competitor right now, but even then, it rivals only the RTX 4080. The RTX 4090 blows every other card out of the water, no questions asked.

With the RX 7900 XTX facing off against Nvidia’s RTX 4080, the RX 7900 XT was the odd one out from the moment it launched. If it were cheaper, it would probably have generated a lot more interest. At $900 and up, it’s probably doomed not to make much of a splash.

However, Nvidia’s RTX 4070 Ti suddenly makes AMD look somewhat desirable.

While both cards are capable of smooth 4K gaming, let’s compare 1440p performance—if only because Nvidia markets the 4070 Ti as a 1440p GPU. At this resolution, the Nvidia card is 8% slower than the RX 7900 XT and 14% slower than the RX 7900 XTX. The same trend continues throughout the testing period. It wins in ray tracing, but not by quite the same huge margin as the RTX 4090.

Average 1440p performance for the RTX 4070 Ti.

This means that Nvidia has a direct competitor in AMD. The RX 7900 XT can outpace the RTX 4070 Ti, and if you don’t care about ray tracing, you can get better performance for around the same price. Keep in mind that you’re still better off getting the RX 7900 XTX instead, but if your budget only stretches from $850 to $900, the 7900 XT is still a pretty good deal.

If Nvidia made the RTX 4070 Ti cheaper, AMD would have been easily destroyed. Unfortunately, with an $800 MSRP and no Founders Edition cards, Nvidia’s partners are pricing them higher, so the final cost is still close to that of the unlaunched 4080 12GB.

This works for AMD. Suddenly, the near-forgotten RX 7900 XT looks good in comparison. The same can be said of the RTX 4090 and RTX 4080; Both are very expensive, but the pricier card is actually the better deal.

Will this influence more people to try Team Red and leave Nvidia behind? I don’t like him very much; Nvidia controls the vast majority of the market. Still, it’s an interesting summary of GPU pricing in this generation of cards — it simply doesn’t always make sense, and that’s a real shame for those who want to build a new PC.

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