We’re once again on the verge of another graphics card generation launch, and the top dog RTX 4090 is the first to the party. We had the chance to review Nvidia’s beastly new GPU, and the results show it’s a card that can handle pretty much anything you throw at it, whether that be high refresh 1440p or 4K gaming, and even ray tracing with maximum quality settings if you pair it up with DLSS. Needless to say, enthusiast gamers who’ve got the cash will flock to get this latest and greatest graphics card. Nvidia launches the RTX 4090 tomorrow on October 12, so here’s where to buy it for the $1,599 MSRP, what models are available, and some suggestions to keep in mind.
You’ll find availability from the following major retailers: Newegg, Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo, Antonline, and Micro Center. We also suggest checking with your local enthusiast PC shop. Pricing appears to be consistent this time around, with most models costing between $1599-1699. From what we’re hearing from various sources, there will also be enough day one stock in general. That will vary per retailer, but it should not be a situation like with the last-gen launches. There are plenty of RTX 30 Series cards available for reasonable prices, and there’s no demand for crypto this time around.
There’s apparently also much greater day one volume for the RTX 4090. Scalpers and bots will undoubtedly try to cause problems, but there are much fewer reasons to do so this time. If you want to play it safe, try and get to a brick and mortar store like Best Buy or Micro Center in the morning while checking online for availability as you wait.
Another clue that demand has normalized is the very reasonable pricing of the RTX 40 Series. If you take a look at the product listings from the different partners, the majority of RTX 4090 models are within $100 of MSRP. There are also plenty of options priced exactly at the MSRP. This leads to the question of options. Yes, you will be able to freely choose which graphics card you want again, and the partner models look very competitive.
Buy smart, not fast
If you do plan to make this upgrade, remember that it’s ultimately up to you to decide which RTX 4090 to buy. It’s a good idea to do a little research on the different brands and how each handles things like warranty processes and customer support. Now that EVGA is no longer an Nvidia partner, the arguably best provider of customer service won’t be an option. Still, we’ve tested plenty of cards from different brands, and it is not to say that you’ll be disappointed over choosing one over another. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to wait on independent reviews for specific models you’re interested in.
You can find the full partner list for the RTX 40 Series in our previous coverage, as well as a basic rundown for all of the RTX 4090 launch models. With that said, a few models immediately stick out to us as good options for consideration. If you just want an RTX 4090 that performs to spec, the ASUS TUF series build quality is excellent, and the base model costs $1,599. If you want something with a modest factory overclock, a flashy presentation, and other extras, the MSI SUPRIM X and Zotac Extreme AIRO are both flagship cards for a relatively small price bump up to $1,699. Compared to the $2,000 ROG Strix flagship card, that’s not bad at all. If you prefer the Nvidia Founders Edition though, you’ll need to get to a Best Buy, as it is the primary retailer for that model.
Generally speaking, though, the build quality on all of the RTX 40 Series cards shown so far look impressive and all will perform well out of the box. Don’t be afraid to stick with a model that costs exactly the MSRP, as premium cards typically offer worse value to performance. Another nice thing about the pricing this time around is that you can also choose a card that matches the style you want without having to pay way more, as was common for the RTX 30 Series. Lastly, don’t forget the RTX 4080 16GB is due to launch soon if you’d prefer something a tad cheaper with relative performance, smaller dimensions, and less power consumption.
Please note that all prices are in USD.