Should you buy the RTX 4070 or wait for the RTX 4070 Super?

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Nvidia’s RTX 4070 is one of the best graphics cards you can buy, and it’s quickly dropping in price at the start of 2024. You might be tempted to pick one up, but rumor has it that Nvidia is gearing up to release an upgraded version in just a few weeks in the form of the RTX 4070 Super. Is it worth it to wait?

The RTX 4070 Super hasn’t been announced yet, so we don’t have any official details on the rumored card. However, it might make sense to wait for the card to release given what level of performance leakers claim it will have.

Pricing and availability

RTX 4070 logo on a graphics card.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Let’s get the RTX 4070 out of the way. The card launched early last year for a list price of $600, and it’s still widely available at retailers for that price. Later on in the year, Nvidia dropped the price to $550 in response to AMD’s RX 7800 XT. You can find models in stock at $550 still, and sometimes even for less.

Those sales are what make the RTX 4070 so attractive right now. At the time of writing, for example, there’s this

, and over the holiday shopping season, I found models as low as $515.

The RTX 4070 Super is rumored to launch on January 17, according to VideoCardz. At this point, we’ve seen leaks from Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte, all confirming the existence of an RTX 4070 Super, but we still don’t have any idea about the price.

Early murmurs suggested Nvidia would price the Super cards in accordance with the base models, meaning the RTX 4070 Super would cost $600. That seems likely, given the price drops we’ve seen on the base RTX 4070, but we’ll have to wait until Nvidia has more to share. Thankfully, we shouldn’t have to wait long. Nvidia is presenting a keynote at CES on January 8, where we expect to see announcements for Super GPUs.

Specs

The inside of a PC build, showing an Asus graphics card with hidden cables and power connectors.
v / Asus

Although the RTX 4070 and RTX 4070 Super share a name, the Super model is rumored to come with a big boost to specs. Starting with what’s the same, the RTX 4070 Super is rumored to come with the same 12GB of GDDR6X memory we see on the base model. Presumably, it will come with the same bus width, as well.

The big change comes in the number of CUDA cores. The RTX 4070 has 5,888 CUDA cores, while the RTX 4070 Super is rumored to come with 7,168 CUDA cores. That’s almost as many as the RTX 4070 Ti and nearly a 22% increase over the base RTX 4070.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll get performance on the level of the RTX 4070 Ti. Rumor has it that the RTX 4070 Super will come with a power draw of 225 watts, which is a small increase over the 200W requirement of the RTX 4070. It’s possible that overclocking could push the card further, but in its base configuration, it will likely remain significantly slower than the RTX 4070 Ti.

That’s about all we know as far as specs go for now. Leaked images show that the RTX 4070 Super will use the same 12VHPWR connector as other RTX 40-series GPUs, though that, unfortunately, doesn’t confirm anything about its power requirements.

Performance

RTX 4070 average performance at 1440p.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

We don’t know much about the performance of the RTX 4070 Super, but we can make some guesses by looking at the RTX 4070 Ti. At 1440p, the RTX 4070 Ti is about 18% faster than the RTX 4070, and it comes with 30% more CUDA cores. That provides a good basis to understand how the CUDA cores scale with real-world performance.

As mentioned, the RTX 4070 Super is rumored to come with 22% more CUDA cores than the RTX 4070. Given that, I suspect the performance jump will be in the range of 10% to 15%, with most games landing closer to that 10% mark. If Nvidia launched the RTX 4070 Super at the same $600 list price, it’s hard to argue with that performance jump.

I can’t say anything conclusively about performance right now, however. Core counts only tell us so much, so we’ll have to wait until the card is released to see how it stacks up in a head-to-head battle.

Should you wait?

RTX 4060 Ti sitting next to the RTX 4070.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

I don’t suspect Nvidia will drop below the base price of the RTX 4070 with the Super refresh. So, if you’re sold on the RTX 4070 and spot a good deal on one — particularly a card around $500 — there isn’t much sense in waiting. If you haven’t found a deal, however, there’s not much harm in seeing how the Super refresh shakes out.

Nvidia has apparently paused production of some of the cards getting the Super treatment, so I suspect the remaining RTX 4070 stock will slowly dwindle. Hopefully, that means prices will drop, but I don’t think they’ll go much lower than what we’re seeing right now.

The big reason to wait for the RTX 4070 Super is if you already have $600 set aside to buy a GPU. If it indeed launches at that price and offers around a 10% boost in performance, it’s the GPU to buy.

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