Many people are hoping for a more affordable alternative to some of the best graphics cards, but there’s a risk that these GPUs may turn out to be a disappointment. The reason lies in VRAM.
We’ve already seen rumors about both the RX 7600 and the RTX 4060 Ti. It seems that the GPUs might make it in time for a May release, and even if not, they’ll be coming shortly after.
No one expects miracles from a budget graphics card, so the predicted specs aren’t too impressive when you stack them up against some of the more high-end models. The latest scoop says that Nvidia’s RTX 4060 Ti may arrive with 4,352 CUDA cores (which is fewer than the mobile RTX 4070) and with just 8GB of VRAM across a 128-bit bus.
Up until now, both GPUs were just whispers in the rumor mill, but now, they’ve been listed by the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC). Not all GPUs that are listed by the EEC end up being released, but it’s safe to say that we’ve now had enough signs to assume they’re both coming.
As the demands set by the gaming industry keep rising, the VRAM in affordable GPUs doesn’t rise quickly enough to meet them. Even a PC equipped with high-end hardware might struggle to run AAA titles, all because of the crazy VRAM requirements in the latest games. This includes titles like Hogwarts Legacy, Forspoken, and The Last of Us Part One on PC.
Some might say that’s OK, though, because not every computer should be capable of running AAA games on high settings. However, this leads us to the same old problem — the pricing. If the new GPUs are cheap, that’s fair enough if there are things they can’t do. If they’re expensive, however, that’s a whole different story.
Nvidia’s had a pretty aggressive pricing strategy in this generation, but AMD’s strategy is difficult to judge because it has only released its two flagships so far, the RX 7900 XTX and the RX 7900 XT. The XTX model is significantly cheaper than the rival RTX 4080, but the XT card costs about the same as the RTX 4070 Ti. In any case, we’re still yet to see a truly affordable GPU in this generation — even the RTX 4070 costs $600.
If the trend continues and these midrange (or entry-level in some ways) cards end up launching with depressingly high prices, the amount of VRAM will be difficult to justify. If you spend $500 on a GPU, you’d at least hope that it can run most games at 1080p. With just 8GB of VRAM, that won’t always be the case.
AMD still has plenty of cards with high VRAM in the previous generation, and even Intel packs way more VRAM than Nvidia does for way less money. Depending on the way the RTX 4060 Ti and the RX 7600 are priced, these last-gen offerings actually might turn out to be a better deal. Let’s hope that AMD and Nvidia act sensibly and account for the fact that these days, 8GB VRAM is really not that much at all.
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