The mid-gen graphics card refresh we were all waiting for
Nvidia just got done announcing its mid-generation refresh of its graphics cards, but to say that’s all the tech company had in store for CES 2024 wouldn’t even be telling half the story. Not only did we get three brand new graphics cards, including one with a lower price, but we even got a sneak peek at Half-Life 2 running with RTX, and a whole lot of AI news.
Nvidia RTX 4000 Super – The Star of the Show
At CES 2024, Nvidia announced three new graphics cards: The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super, RTX 4070 Ti Super and RTX 4070 Super. These new GPUs are replacing, well, the RTX 4080, RTX 4070 Ti and RTX 4070 at the same price points. The only difference is the RTX 4080, which is thankfully a little bit cheaper than 4080 was at launch.
The RTX 4080 Super is launching at $999, making it about $200 cheaper than the $1,199 RTX 4080. Meanwhile, the RTX 4070 Ti Super and 4070 Super are launching at the same price points as their original versions at $799 and $599, respectively. But while these do feature a bit of a boost over the original versions, they really aren’t for folks who already bought into the RTX 4000 series, rather these Super cards seem to just sweeten the deal a bit.
Nvidia claims the RTX 4080 Super can run pretty much anything at 4K with ray tracing enabled, while the RTX 4070 Super and 4070 Ti Super are a bit more modest, targeting either high-refresh 1440p gaming monitors or 4K. This is more or less what you can already expect out of the RTX 4070 Ti and the RTX 4070, but we’ll see exactly how they stack out when we publish full reviews later this month.
Half-Life 2 RTX – Not Exactly Half-Life 3
Piggybacking on the success of Portal RTX and Minecraft, Nvidia has worked with community modders to create a version of the beloved Half-Life 2 running with ray tracing, but the update goes beyond fancy lighting. It looks like there are all-new assets in some of the scenes, so it looks almost like a full remaster of the classic shooter, rather than just some RTX injection, like we got with Quake and Portal.
Nvidia didn’t give any release date for this community update, but my gut is saying it may be out sooner, rather than later.
Nvidia also announced that Horizon Forbidden West will be launching with DLSS 3.0, which includes frame generation, along with DLAA for gamers with especially powerful PCs. The big difference between these is that DLAA renders the game at a higher resolution and then scales it down to your native screen size, rather than rendering at a lower resolution and upsclaing, as DLSS does.
RTX Remix – Ray Trace Everything
If you’ve ever, for whatever reason, felt like your favorite game absolutely needed ray tracing to be brought to the next level, RTX Remix finally has a beta release date of January 22. This is a tool that will let you create your own little RTX remasters of your favorite games. We haven’t had a chance to test this tool for ourselves, so I’m not sure how easy it will be to actually use, but it should be pretty straightforward. Only time will tell, though.
AI Everything – Just Like Every Other Tech Company at CES 2024
We already knew AI was going to be a huge talking point at CES 2024, and Nvidia definitely showed that we weren’t wrong. A vast portion of the company’s CES 2024 presentation centered on AI, and how its GPUs are going to be powering local generative AI.
From a chatbot that you can train with documents stored locally on your computer to image generation software that will take a written description and turn it into a fresh photograph, you can do all of this locally on your computer rather than using a website that’s down more than its actually running correctly.
Nvidia also showed off AI-powered NPCs in games, that will supposedly be able to have dynamic conversations with you as you play. The demo seemed more like a text-to-speech program reading off from a ChatGPT output, but hey at least you can have conversations with a bartender in your video game, right?