NVIDIA's supposedly imminent RTX 4070 graphics card has been the subject of more leakage which reasserts that the previously rumored $599 price is correct - but there's a sting in the tail here.
The latest video from YouTuber Moore's Law is Dead (MLID) discusses the RTX 4070 in some depth, going into more detail on the pricing and also the potential performance levels of some of these graphics cards (which is the aforementioned sting).
At the end of last month, the grapevine was suddenly alive with chatter of a $599 recommended price (in the US) for the GeForce RTX 4070, and we were pretty surprised to see the MSRP theoretically pitched at that level. Particularly when previous rumors suggested NVIDIA could be looking at a much higher price tag, closer to the RTX 4070 Ti (indeed, $750 was one idea floated).
Take all this with the usual skepticism that should be employed around any rumor, but MLID notes that it was actually NVIDIA's intention to give card makers (AIBs) the impression a higher price was going to be pinned on this GPU, then drop that expectation at the last minute.
We're also told NVIDIA dropped some hints to AIBs that the pricing could likely go lower, and MLID has now said this is indeed what's happening (add seasoning again, naturally). Although even MLID's source at NVIDIA observed that $599 was even lower than they believed Team Green would go with the price tag of the RTX 4070.
Apparently, we're looking at $599 for the lowest-end RTX 4070 GPUs, and crucially, the Founders Edition (from NVIDIA itself) will also be pegged at $599.
This has purportedly left graphics card manufacturers rather unhappy at being left in a tight spot where their cheapest RTX 4070 boards (with 8-pin power connectors) are having to compete with the Founders Edition (premium boards with a 16-pin power connector). When clearly, going up against the boost speeds the latter is capable of is going to be challenging for lesser-powered cards, to say the least.
The good news for gamers is that a lot of RTX 4070 models are apparently set to be priced at that MSRP level of $599 - with NVIDIA forcing the hands of card makers in that respect - so there shouldn't be any shortage of choice at the lowest-end of the spectrum for the 4070.
The bad news this leak brings, though - that sting in the tail - is that some RTX 4070 models may turn out weaker than has been widely anticipated by the gaming community.
Hamstrung cards at the entry-level?
MLID points out the differences between the existing RTX 4070 Ti and the rumored spec for the RTX 4070 include some major gulfs in CUDA Core count (which is cut by a quarter in the RTX 4070) and clock speeds (400MHz or so lower for the base clock is the theory).
Now, the point is that with some of the beefier RTX 4070 graphics cards - the boards which are more expensive, with premium components, coolers, and so on - they will obviously allow for some chunky overclocks that could still get this GPU close to 4070 Ti performance (or at least close enough).
The entry-level models sitting at that $599 price, though, with 8-pin power connectors (Founders Edition aside) and some serious limitations on how much they can be juiced up - these cards could be disappointingly weak sauce, MLID theorizes.
The leaker floats the idea that more powerful (16-pin) RTX 4070s could be equivalent to the 3080 Ti, but the lesser models (8-pin) of 4070s may be behind the RTX 3080, at least in some games. It may turn out that base models of the 4070 are only 25% to 35% faster than the 3070, MLID further muses, while being 20% more expensive.
Hence MLID concludes this could be a reason why NVIDIA has dropped the MSRP, although the leaker touches on how the apparent price drop may also be wrapped up in the positioning of further Lovelace graphics cards down the line. Namely the RTX 4060 and 4060 Ti, and where the RTX 4070 may have to fit in with these cards price-wise.
In short, while the freshly changed rumored price is a positive thing - as is the assertion that there may be plenty of models at this entry-level point - the performance levels here may not be nearly as 'rosy' as the rumor mill has suggested thus far.
Ultimately, we'll have to wait and see. NVIDIA's RTX 4070 isn't far off now, with the graphics card expected to launch this month (possibly on April 13).