Nvidia is packing one of its midrange chips for gamers with more artificial intelligence features to improve graphics, underscoring the importance of gaming for the company despite the segment’s slowing revenue.
The new RTX 4070 chip, which Nvidia will start shipping on Thursday, will cost US$599 (R10 800 before import duties and other taxes), putting it near the middle of the company’s range of graphics processing units (GPUs), which list for up to $1 600.
The chip that it updates, the RTX 3060, is the fourth most popular gaming chip on the market, according to survey data in March from game distribution platform Steam.
While Nvidia’s data centre chips for training AI systems such as ChatGPT have powered the company’s revenue growth in recent years, it still got about a third of its $26.9-billion in fiscal 2023 revenue from gaming chips, though gaming revenue was down by 27%, dragged down by a sagging overall PC market.
Nvidia’s chips help PC videogames render images on to high-resolution screens more quickly to make games look more realistic. The 4070 chips will be the cheapest available that use Nvidia’s newest AI technology to do so.
Rather than calculate precisely what the value of each pixel on a screen should be, which can take extra time, the newest Nvidia gaming chips use AI to predict what about seven out of every eight pixels should be, including generating entire frames using AI.
A game “is not like a movie where everything’s been pre-recorded. It’s dynamic, it’s moving, and there’s user input. I can’t just put a frame halfway between two frames. I have to really understand the motion between the two frames,” Justin Walker, senior director of Nvidia’s GeForce products, said in an interview. — (c) 2023 Reuters