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Nvidia Wants $1200 More From You. Should You Pay It?

Even though many gamers aren't ready to trade in their consoles for PCs just yet, there's no denying that PC gaming has a dedicated following. PC gaming can also be quite expensive if you're looking to get the most out of it, which may explain why some players still prefer an Xbox Series X to a PC.

If you really want to enjoy the best PC exclusives in all their glory, you need to make sure your rig is up-to-date. But are you willing to pay $1200 for a new graphics card? Perhaps the real question is, would you rather have games that make your hardware cry, or a graphics card that will make your bank account cry?

For those whose wallets are not particularly plump, the bad news is this isn't just a hypothetical question. On June 3, Nvidia will release its "new gaming flagship" graphics card, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, and it will indeed run you around $1200. In anticipation of consumers balking at such a price, the company has provided a helpful graph to demonstrate the upcoming 3080 Ti's speed. This chart measures the new model's rasterizing, ray tracing, and rendering speeds against those of the previous two generations. There's a pretty hefty difference, even from last year's 2080 Ti. In fact, the post went so far as to admit that the 2080 Ti isn't quite enough to offer the best "Cyberpunk 2077" experience.

Is the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti worth the price of entry?

When it was initially announced, the RTX 30 series was meant to offer a high-performance option at a price point that's a little more down to earth, but $1200 may not exactly be checking that box for many gamers. Plus, Nvidia describes the cost as "starting at $1199," meaning the actual price could be even steeper at some retailers.

If that's more money than you're willing to spend, the company is at least offering a viable alternative. On June 10, Nvidia will release its GeForce RTX 3070 Ti with performance stats that aren't too far behind the 3080 Ti, and at half the price to boot. Well, "starting at" half the price, anyway.

So is it time to upgrade? If you fall into a category that Kotaku's Mike Fahey describes as "folks who like a little extra oomph, or people who need to be on the cutting edge" and you have the extra cash lying around, why not? Of course, Fahey goes on to note that "the slightly older stuff is cheaper and nearly as effective."