No matter how far we come, it always seems as if the graphics card market is constantly fighting back and forth. From fantastic offers to terrible solutions, Nvidia and AMD both play their parts in this arena and with the RTX 4060, it’s Nvidia’s turn to upset users again. Coming off the already disappointing 4060Ti, the 4060 repeats the pattern. So why is this, and what does it reveal about the current state of the graphics card market?
The 4060 Let Down
The 40 series of cards from Nvidia have been a mixed bag, and while the 4060 is widely regarded as a missed step, the same can’t be said for everything. The 4090, the most expensive of Nvidia’s lineup, is the most powerful graphics card on the market, with processing speed only matched by its size and power draw. The 4060 is designed as one of their budget line options, so while it’s not held anywhere close to the standard of the 4090, 4080, or 4070, it still managed to negatively surprise tech enthusiasts.
The big problems with the 4060 come from how it barely manages to surpass the last generation 3060 in many games. Even when it does, performance increases can be so minor as to be practically invisible. Though the addition of DLSS 3 support can help increase frame rates through the technology’s insertion of faked frames, the latency introduced can render it unsuitable for many titles. In other words, compared to buying a last-gen 3060 at a cheaper cost, the 4060 will be disappointing for many users.
Does it Matter?
Ultimately, the importance of generational upgrades to graphics cards is like that of mobile phones, it’s hardly as noticeable as it once was. Sure, enthusiasts and those with bigger budgets might be happy to keep purchasing the latest and greatest, but for most of us, getting good gaming performance can be achieved on systems generations old.
This is especially the case for eSports titles, which are both extremely popular and less demanding on hardware. Budget gaming systems can easily run titles like CS: GO, Dota 2, and Street Fighter 6. Since the pros tend to play with graphics options turned down to maximize visual clarity and frame rates, the new generation of upgrades failing to excel isn’t hugely important to the masses.
A more illustrative example of the concept in action comes from mobile phones and the online casino game market. Online casino games like Bison Fury and Eye of Horus long ago reached a place where extra power didn’t offer any gameplay advantages. Even phones years old can play these titles without issue, because the focus is on central gameplay systems rather than graphical gimmicks. This has increasingly been the case in video games too, where the most popular titles on PC aren’t the most demanding, rendering upgrades less necessary with each passing year.
Every computer eventually breaks down and needs replacement parts, but the need for constant yearly improvements only shrinks over time. For the average user, this means we don’t have to worry so much about releases like the 4060, since better options will arise, eventually. Patience is the key, as we wait for the generations to come.