When Are Next-Gen GPUs Launching? Should You Buy Now or Wait?

With a new GPU generation not so far away, and new graphics cards coming from all three major chipmakers, we’re approaching the point where you’ll have to decide whether to grab the graphics card you want now or wait for the next generation. Let’s find out what makes the most sense by checking in on the current GPU market and what to expect for the rest of the year, based on some discussions we recently had at Computex.

We’ve had it confirmed from multiple board vendors that in the upcoming graphics card generation, only Nvidia will provide high-end options.

The decision on whether to buy now or wait can be split into different categories, depending on the type of GPU you usually buy. Do you mostly buy high-end or budget cards? Do you only consider Nvidia GPUs, or are you interested in all the GPU brands? How old is your current graphics card, and does it struggle in games? Are there any upcoming games you want to play on the highest possible quality settings?

The High-End GPU Market and RTX 50 Launch Whispers

Let’s start with high-end buyers. We’ve had it confirmed from multiple board vendors that in the upcoming graphics card generation, only Nvidia will provide high-end options. We’re not sure what Intel will do, but we don’t expect Arc Battlemage to have flagship-tier performers.

We do know that AMD’s RDNA 4 series is currently only planned to have mid-range models. So, if you’re after high-end performance in the $700+ range, GeForce will be the way to go.

When speaking to a wide variety of people familiar with upcoming GPUs, there are mixed signals on exactly when the GeForce 50 series will launch. However the general expectation is the first RTX 50 graphics card will launch in the last few months of 2024, and that will be a high-end card.

Exactly which models or when is still up in the air, though what we’ve heard generally falls into one of two categories: either the RTX 5080 and RTX 5090 will launch in close succession around the end of 2024, or the RTX 5080 will launch in late 2024 followed by the RTX 5090 at the beginning of 2025.

We’re talking about plans that are 4 to 6 months away, so nothing is firmly locked in, but board vendors are confident these models will launch first, with the 80-tier card expected before the 90-tier card.

  MSRP Lowest Price Jan Lowest Price April Lowest Price May Lowest Price June Current Discount Price Hike May to June
GeForce RTX 4090 $1,600 $2,000 $1,770 $1,900 $1,740 9% 0%
GeForce RTX 4080 Super $1,000   $1,000 $970 $980 0% 1%
GeForce RTX 4080 $1,200 $1,180 $1,120 $1,170 $1,300 -8% 11%
GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super $800 $800 $800 $780 $790 0% 1%
GeForce RTX 4070 Ti $800 $750 $680 n/a $750 -15%  
GeForce RTX 4070 $600 $600 $590 $590 $585 -2% -1%
GeForce RTX 4070 Super $550 $535 $550 $545 $545 -5% 0%
GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 16GB $500 $440 $450 $430 $430 -10% 0%
GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 8GB $400 $385 $390 $380 $380 -3% 0%
GeForce RTX 4060 $300 $295 $285 $290 $290 -2% 0%
          Average -2% 1%

With this in mind, for high-end buyers, we would recommend waiting before making a GPU upgrade. Most high-end GPUs are 18 months old and in the last few months of their release cycle, and there’s been little to no price movement over the last six months. If you weren’t tempted by an RTX 4080 Super back in January when it launched at $1,000 – the last significant launch and price shift in this market segment – that model isn’t going to tempt you today because it’s basically the same price.

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  MSRP Lowest Price Jan Lowest Price April Lowest Price May Lowest Price June Current Discount Price Hike May to June
Radeon RX 7900 XTX $1,000 $950 $900 $900 $920 -8% 2%
Radeon RX 7900 XT $900 $740 $690 $700 $700 -22% 0%
Radeon RX 7900 GRE $550   $550 $550 $540 -2% -2%
Radeon RX 7800 XT $500 $500 $490 $480 $470 -6% -2%
Radeon RX 7700 XT $450 $440 $395 $380 $380 -16% 0%
Radeon RX 7600 XT $330 $330 $320 $330 $320 -3% -3%
Radeon RX 7600 $270 $260 $270 $260 $250 -7% -4%
          Average  -9% -1%

The same goes for AMD’s Radeon RX 7900 XTX, which has spent the last 12 months priced between $900 and $950. RTX 4090s are also still very expensive at around $1,750 – it’s not worth paying above MSRP for a card set to be replaced around the end of the year.

Of course, we have no idea whether GeForce 50 series GPUs will provide significant improvements to value, but Nvidia is mostly competing with itself in this price range. If they don’t offer a substantial leap in performance-per-dollar in the $700+ range, they won’t tempt existing owners of RTX 3080s and the like to upgrade.

The RTX 4080 and RTX 4070 Ti were basically the same cost per frame as the RTX 3080, so a third generation at a similar level of value is unlikely to sell in volume. Plus, even if value doesn’t take a step forward, waiting to see what the 50 series has in store will arm you with the most information to make the best purchasing decision.

Mid-Range GPU Market and RDNA 4 Launch Whispers

For mid-range graphics card buyers, it’s also heading towards the point where waiting makes sense, though to a lesser extent. The next major mid-range graphics card release is expected at the start of 2025 with AMD’s RDNA 4 series. We’ve heard from multiple board vendors that AMD is targeting a CES 2025 announcement in January for their next-gen GPUs.

With AMD targeting the mid-range with RDNA 4, the theory is that next-gen Radeon GPUs will offer better price-to-performance ratios than existing cards. We’re not sure where top-end RDNA 4 performance will lie, but rumors suggest it will be around the level of the Radeon RX 7900 XT, which has been retailing for $700 since the start of the year. It wouldn’t be ideal to grab the 7900 XT now, or an equivalent GeForce card like the RTX 4070 Ti Super, only to have that level of performance drop in price $100-200 early next year.

However, we’re also talking about six months from now, with plenty of new game releases between now and then, like Star Wars Outlaws, Assassin’s Creed Shadows, Call of Duty Black Ops 6, God of War Ragnarok, and Dragon Age: The Veilguard. Depending on what graphics card you are currently using and your interest in 2024’s holiday releases, it could make sense to upgrade sooner. Just be aware that current GPU pricing in the mid-range has not shifted substantially this year, so any card you buy now is probably going to be a similar price to what it was back in January.

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If anything, I would wait for holiday GPU sales in November, given the lack of price movement in the last few months. I’m confident that AMD, Nvidia, and board vendors will try to push existing models out the door at discounted prices around that timeframe ahead of new GPU launches to avoid previous situations where old models piled up unsold.

With AMD expected to launch RDNA 4 GPUs in January 2025, where does that leave mid-range GeForce? We haven’t heard much about those cards, which is an indication that Nvidia isn’t planning to launch them anytime soon. Both AMD and Nvidia have been lengthening their release cycles with each generation, so mainstream GeForce 50 cards might be some time away.

For example, back in the GeForce 10 era some 8 years ago: the GTX 1080 launched in May, followed by the GTX 1070 in June and the GTX 1060 in July, taking just two months to hit the mainstream class.

With the 20 series, we got the RTX 2080 Ti and 2080 in September 2018, followed by the RTX 2070 in October and the RTX 2060 in January 2019 – a four-month release period.

With the 30 series, it was the RTX 3080 and 3090 in September 2020, then the RTX 3070 in October, the RTX 3060 Ti in December, and the RTX 3060 in February the following year. Now we’re out to five months.

And more recently, the RTX 40 series had the longest release cadence yet. The RTX 4090 came in October 2022, then the RTX 4080 in November, the RTX 4070 Ti in January 2023, the RTX 4070 in April, the RTX 4060 Ti in May, and finally the RTX 4060 in June – a whopping eight months to get the mainstream models out the door.

Based on this and expected launch timeframes for the higher-end models, it’s unlikely we’d see mid-range Nvidia 50 series GPUs until the later parts of Q1 2025 at the earliest – though this could be accelerated if AMD launches RDNA 4 first. All we’re saying is, we wouldn’t get our hopes up on seeing a mainstream RTX 5070 type of product until several months into 2025, and that might impact your decision on whether to grab something now or wait what could be 9+ months for new products.

The Entry-Level GPU Market

For those who typically buy mainstream to entry-level graphics cards in the sub-$400 market, we wouldn’t expect new releases in this range until early to mid-2025 at the earliest. Especially down near the $250 range, probably not until mid-2025, which is a year away. This is based on AMD and Nvidia release timelines over the last few generations, rather than any confirmed information.

The wildcard here could be new Intel Battlemage GPUs, with some rumors suggesting these could launch anywhere from late 2024 to early 2025 – potentially a little ahead of AMD and Nvidia’s offerings.

Waiting around a full year to upgrade isn’t great advice if your current graphics card is insufficient and you want to play the latest PC game releases. At the same time, current GPUs are not amazing value, and prices have been settled for a while now that each company has released their full line-up.

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The Radeon RX 7800 XT and RX 7700 XT are the only two GPUs to have dropped in price by any notable amount since the beginning of 2024. The competing GeForce RTX 4070 has been at ~$550 since last September, and the RTX 4060 Ti 16GB hit its current $430 price back in November 2023.

Wrap Up

To summarize the current GPU market, there’s been little to no price movement across 2024. A 5% drop here or there in terms of baseline pricing, but no major discounts or price corrections for the majority of models.

The biggest mover is the Radeon RX 7700 XT, which now sits at $380. Nvidia released the Super series at the beginning of the year, but outside of that, it’s been a flat, consistent market.

This is good and bad for buyers. It’s good in the sense that we’re not in a period where you’ll buy a graphics card one month and then suddenly find that GPU much cheaper the next one, which can be frustrating. It doesn’t matter when you buy a graphics card; they’ve been the same price for a while now. The bad news is there’s no downward trend in favor of consumers, so for a GPU generation market that’s not been well-priced to begin with, GPUs aren’t getting cheaper or returning to more “acceptable” levels over time.

That said, the market is looking healthier in the lead-up to a new graphics card generation. Back when Nvidia and AMD were gearing up to release the GeForce 40 series and Radeon 7000 series, there were tons of old graphics cards still sitting on store shelves following the boom in sales due to crypto mining and lockdowns.

This would have impacted Nvidia and AMD’s decision-making around graphics card pricing and release strategy. If either company went too aggressive on prices, it would have devalued a significant chunk of older models they and their partners were trying to sell. And with so much remaining stock, flash sales and discounts weren’t enough of an incentive. This meant that the GPU vendors had to consider previous generation prices and stock more heavily than what they normally would.

In 2024, there isn’t as much of a huge backlog of supply. Things are looking more ‘normal’ – as in, before the most recent boom. One example of this is how easily Nvidia was able to clear the RTX 4070 Ti from the market once the 4070 Ti Super was introduced – that simply wouldn’t have been possible in the RTX 30 series era. RDNA 2 stock is rapidly dwindling, with many cards no longer available, and supply for RDNA 3 is looking normal.

We’re not suggesting for one second that Nvidia and AMD will suddenly make next-generation graphics cards better value as a result. But internally, there will be less need to factor in existing models.

The biggest consideration for the next generation of GPUs will be other more lucrative products using up wafer allocations, such as AI datacenter GPUs at Nvidia and Epyc server CPUs at AMD.

Shopping Shortcuts:
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super on Amazon
  • AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT on Amazon
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 Ti on Amazon
  • AMD Radeon RX 7700 XT on Amazon
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super on Amazon
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super on Amazon
  • AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT on Amazon
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 on Amazon
  • AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX on Amazon

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