The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card is a hotly-anticipated new GPU that's expected to fill out the middle tier of Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4000 series.
Anticipation has been building ever since the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 and 4090 were unveiled in September 2022 during Nvidia's annual GTC keynote. While their performance is unprecedented, so are their prices, which range from $899 to $1,599.
Those prices might seem reasonable after the outrageous GPU price-gouging we saw in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing global supply chain shake-ups. But they're still quite expensive, and we're hoping the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 and other mid-range 40-series cards deliver similar performance at a much more compelling price.
With that in mind, here's what we know so far about the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070: Price speculation
We don't yet know how much Nvidia will ask for a GeForce RTX 4070 GPU, but we can make a pretty educated guess by looking at the pricing of existing 40-series cards and comparing them against the prices of previous generations.
When Nvidia initially unveiled the 4090 and 4080 they actually announced two models of GeForce RTX 4080, a $1,299 16GB model and a cheaper $899 12GB model. The cheaper model didn't just have less RAM than the RTX 4080 16GB, either; it also had fewer cores and was weaker in a few ways that made fans feel as though they weren't getting enough for their $899, which is why Nvidia backed off and ended up cancelling the GeForce RTX 4080 12GB's November launch.
That's notable because many of us felt the Geforce RTX 4080 12GB had specs that were more in line with what we might expect from a GeForce RTX 4070 or 4070 Ti, based on Nvidia's history of pricing its cards. However, it seems unlikely that Nvidia would "unlaunch" a 4080 12GB and then put it back on sale in the future as the GeForce RTX 4070, and even if it did it would be unlikely to keep the initial $899 price tag.
Since the Geforce RTX 3070 has an MSRP of $499 and the lowest-specced 4080 had a price tag of $899 before its launch was cancelled, it seems very likely the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 will cost between $500 and $900. Our money is on the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 shipping with a $699 price tag, but we'll have to wait and see where Nvidia sets the final price.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070: Predicted release date
Predicting when Nvidia will release the GeForce RTX 4070 is tricky business. The rest of the 40-series debuted a little late in 2022, which is why Nvidia put the $1,599 4090 on sale in October 2022 and the $1,299 4080 16GB debuts in November.
It's possible Nvidia might surprise us by unveiling the 4070 in late November or December 2022, but that gets less likely with every passing day.
It seems far more likely Nvidia will wait to talk about the 4070 until at least CES 2023, which takes place in early January. If that prediction pans out, we expect you should be able to buy one as soon as late January or early February 2023.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070: DLSS 3 support
One of the most exciting new features of the Nvidia 4000 series is DLSS 3, the latest version of Nvidia's DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) graphics upscaling technology. It's only supported on Nvidia 40-series cards, which makes it a key selling point of the GeForce RTX 4070.
DLSS is a big deal because it uses machine learning to try and intelligently "upscale" graphics that are rendered at artificially lowered resolutions, affording you the speedy performance of gaming at a lower resolution without a big drop in graphical performance.
Nvidia pitches DLSS 3 as being leaps and bounds more effective than DLSS 2, and to use DLSS 3 you need the fourth-generation Tensor cores and new Optical Flow Accelerator tech built into Nvidia 40-series cards like the GeForce RTX 4090, 480 and (hopefully!) the 4070. The company also claims that for the first time ever, it's possible to use AI to fill in whole frames of gameplay, rather than individual pixels, with DLSS 3.
This new feature is branded Optical Multi Frame Generation, and it appears to work by using the Optical Flow Accelerator to analyze sequential frames of gameplay and interpolate new frames based on work done by a convolutional neural network. When firing on all cylinders, Nvidia claims DLSS 3 can improve game framerates by up to 4x what they are without DLSS.
Of course, we'll have to wait and see how the GeForce RTX 4070 performs while running DLSS 3 to know how much of a difference these buzzwords really make in moment-to-moment gameplay.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 outlook
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 is exciting because it could potentially be the sweet spot between price and performance in Nvidia's 40-series lineup, delivering more power than most GPUs on the market at a price that's a little more reasonable than the $1,299 you'll pay for a 4080.
However, it's possible that Nvidia will price the 4070 so high that it makes more sense for most people to buy an older 30-series card instead. Remember, Nvidia 30-series GPUs were hard to find or buy for the past few years, and now that costs are finally tumbling and GPUs are becoming widely available at uninflated prices, the big price tags on the existing 40-series cards seem remarkably high for the minor (but meaningful) performance increase they deliver over their predecessors.
If mid-range 40-series card like the 4070 can deliver a more compelling blend of price and performance than their beefier siblings, they'll cement Nvidia's success in 2023. If not, rivals like AMD and now Intel have a chance to take some market share away from Nvidia in the year ahead.