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PC gamers shun high-end Nvidia GPUs, survey finds

black and silver round device - NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti and RTX 2080 Shot, tags: pc gamers survey - unsplash

A new Steam hardware survey released recently shows that Nvidia still dominates the graphics card market over other competitors. However, the top 10 graphics cards listed on the survey — all Team Green’s budget and mid-range cards — may indicate great hardships to come for the RTX 4000 series and any other high-end expensive cards.

Pricing is the reason why PC gamers are shying away from high-end cards. The survey clearly shows that gamers are leaning more toward affordable GPUs, with the most popular GPU being the GTX 1060 and followed by the GTX 1650 in second place.

Only three RTX 3000 series were placed in the top 10, from the RTX 3060 Laptop GPU in fifth to RTX 3060 in sixth and RTX 3070 in 10th. As for the RTX 3080, it ended up in 16th behind AMD Radeon Graphics.

This raises concern over the potential pricing and whether or not Nvidia’s upcoming GPU series could perform well in the market. As the company taps into the high-end market, its two other competitors — AMD and Intel — are more than willing to entertain the budget gamers.

Problems with Nvidia’s GPUs, why gamers are shying away

It is no secret that Nvidia charges a premium for their GPUs, with the best example being the recently revealed RTX 4000 and its predecessor, the RTX 3000 series.

In September, Nvidia unveiled its state-of-the-art new GPU lineup, the RTX 4000 series. Until today, only two GPUs have been confirmed, including the RTX 4090 and RTX 4080. The former, which is due to be released on October 12, will be going for $1,599 or about $100 more expensive than the RTX 3090. The latter will hit the market with two versions, the 16GB and 12GB, sometime this November starting at $899.

The price tags of these new GPUs caught many off guard, especially with no information being mentioned about the series’ budget and mid-range options, the RTX 4070 and RTX 4060. Amid the scarcity and high price of the RTX 3000 series this year, Nvidia released another higher-end model, the RTX 3090 Ti.

The RTX 3000 series offers many groundbreaking features that the previous series does not. Aside from being much faster and more powerful, the Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), native to the RTX 3000 series, has become one of the main appeals of this GPU series. It is, put simply, an AI-powered graphics-boosting feature that allows a higher frame rate and better playing performance without reducing much of the image quality.

However, despite its powerful features, scalpers and scarcity issues in recent years have led to a massive spike in the prices of the RTX 3000 series. This pushed PC gamers to choose previously released Nvidia GPUs instead, and while prices have fallen from their peak since then, many still consider the series overpriced.

For Nvidia, neglecting the budget gamers might lead to its downfall, as AMD, with its 7000 series along with Intel’s upcoming Arc GPUs, might easily undercut Nvidia’s new GPU series primarily in terms of pricing.

It is no doubt that the RTX 4000 series is way more powerful than its predecessors. But for regular gamers and non-enthusiasts, the new series seems out of reach. The RTX 4000 series will outperform previous releases, but even then, the old graphics card can still deliver a smooth gaming experience running recent triple-A titles. The same goes for professional designers.

At least for now, Nvidia still dominates the GPU market. However, if the company is still keen on keeping its status, actually pivoting to regular PC gamers may help.