Nvidia Corp. and Intel Corp. threw down Wednesday as the two chip makers released new gaming cards with the GPU leader targeting elite, high-performance gamers, while Intel sought to appeal to budget gamers looking for slightly better performance than Nvidia’s last generation of cards. On Wednesday, Nvidia’s
flagship RTX 4090 gaming card went on sale at a suggested retail price of $1,599, a $100 premium to Nvidia’s then top-of-the-line RTX 3090 card when it was released in 2020.
For gamers used to the predictability of Moore’s Law and the convention that gaming cards be similarly priced to the models they were replacing, that bump in price came as a bit of an unpleasant surprise. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang explained that Moore’s law no longer applied to gaming cards and that silicon was “a ton more expensive.” At the end of September, the week after Nvidia announced its next-generation RTX 4000-series of cards using the “Ada Lovelace” chip architecture, succeeding the RTX 3000-series of cards that used Ampere architecture, Intel
announced it would be releasing its Arc A770 gaming card starting at $329 on Oct. 12, the same day Nvidia had said it would release the RTX 4090. While Nvidia is catering to the bleeding-edge gamer, Intel is appealing to the more mainstream gamer with claims the A770 outperforms Nvidia’s previous generation RTX 3060 card. Intel’s — years-ago-unthinkable — David-versus-Goliath approach to the company that invented the graphics-processing unit, or GPU, comes at a time when Nvidia is trying to siphon off some market share from Intel, the company now headed by Pat Gelsinger, who literally helped create x86 architectur …