The release plans for Nvidia’s upcoming 40-series GPUs have deviated from their usual pattern. Initially, the company made an announcement about the RTX 4080 12GB GPU, only to retract it later, citing a naming error. Now, Nvidia has made another announcement, this time regarding the launch date of its most affordable GPU, the RTX 4060. Originally scheduled for a July release, the company has unexpectedly moved the launch date forward to June 29. The announcement was made on Twitter, but the reason behind the date change remains a mystery.
With a price tag of just $299, the RTX 4060 stands out as the most budget-friendly option among Nvidia’s RTX 40-series GPUs. Historically, the x60 models have been incredibly popular and sought after by consumers. Given this, it’s possible that Nvidia wants to get the RTX 4060 into the hands of gamers as quickly as possible.
Additionally, the recent launch of the $299 Radeon RX 7600 received underwhelming reviews, with critics highlighting its lackluster performance and minimal improvements compared to the previous generation. Nvidia might see an opportunity to capitalize on AMD’s misstep in the midrange GPU market by showcasing the enhancements the RTX 4060 offers, particularly with features like DLSS 3.
The GeForce RTX 4060 will now be available to order starting June 29, at 6AM Pacific.
— NVIDIA GeForce (@NVIDIAGeForce) June 14, 2023
However, the past track record of success for Nvidia’s x60 lineup doesn’t guarantee the same level of enthusiasm this time around. Early reception and pre-reviews of the RTX 4060 have been met with a collective lack of excitement. Gamers have grown tired of GPUs with only 8GB of VRAM, considering them to be outdated even for 1080p gaming. Reviews have demonstrated that certain AAA games can quickly consume all available VRAM, even at this resolution. When ray tracing is introduced, the situation becomes even more challenging.
This raises doubts about the value of investing $300 in a GPU that may not have a long lifespan unless users are willing to compromise on graphical settings. Moreover, there is a general belief that ray tracing will continue to gain prominence, making the RTX 4060 seem like a time-limited option that may perform well today but will struggle in the coming years.
To address the concerns of users looking for more VRAM, Nvidia has introduced the RTX 4060 Ti, which boasts 16GB of VRAM and comes with a price tag of $500. However, this higher-priced option, expected to be released in July, is also facing skepticism. Many consider it too expensive for a midrange GPU, leading to doubts about its potential success. The upcoming reviews of the RTX 4060 will be crucial in determining its reception, although it would be surprising if it receives overwhelmingly positive feedback.
Some have already nicknamed it the RTX 4050 due to its 128-bit memory bus, despite the 8GB RTX 3060 also having the same bus width. It will be intriguing to compare the performance of the RTX 4060 with the 12GB RTX 3060, which features a 192-bit memory bus, especially considering that they are currently priced similarly, despite the RTX 3060 initially launching at $399 in October 2022.