It’s being reported that Nvidia has almost entirely ceased production of its latest RTX 4000 gaming GPUs, such as the AD102 used in the RTX 4090 or the AD107 used in the RTX 4060. Instead, it has shifted its production capacity to manufacture more lucrative AI chips.
Moreover, what production is continuing is apparently only occurring out of contractual obligation with its production partner, TSMC, rather than a desire from itself to produce more gaming GPUs.
This news, which comes via regular tech story leaker Moore’s law is dead (MLID), isn’t entirely surprising, given the company’s widely reported surge in its stock price off the back of huge uptake of its AI chips. However, it could be seen as highlighting just how low a priority consumer graphics card production is for the company.
However, there’s a long lead time between GPU production and graphics card stock hitting shelves, so it would make sense anyway for Nvidia to be ramping down production of its current-gen chips in favor of other products and possible next-gen GPUs.
What’s more, there are also reports that suggest Nvidia already has plenty of GPU stock and that producing more chips now would just lead to an even larger stock pile sitting unsold. There’s also a significant downturn in graphics card sales right now compared to a couple of years ago, so it makes even less sense to have an excess of stock.
The one potential solution to that stockpile of GPUs and downturn in the graphics card market would be to drop prices to encourage users to upgrade but Nvidia seems determined to keep graphics card prices at current levels. That way it still serves the PC market a little bit – with those on tighter budgets forced to buy older or used cards – without making a loss and still serving the lucrative data center and AI markets.
All the above would also suggest it might be prudent for AMD to lower its graphics card prices to gain market share from Nvidia, but as MLID highlights, AMD is essentially in the same boat. It would like to have a bigger share of the graphics card pie but right now there’s more money to be made producing chips for data centers and people just aren’t buying as many GPUs anyway, after the huge demand seen a few years ago.
That said, we are expecting AMD to release its RX 7800 and RX 7700 cards soon, while an RTX 4050 is also expected from Nvidia, so once those arrive we could see a slight reshuffle of pricing. For the time being, though, our top graphics card picks can be found in our best graphics card guide, which includes the RTX 4070 – our current pick for the best 1440p GPU.
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