The rumor mill is that NVIDIA originally planned to launch the GeForce RTX 4070 at $749 (just $50 less than the 4070 Ti). At the last moment, the chipmaker decided to cut the price to $599, driving AIBs into a panic. According to MLID, NVIDIA has mandated that 50% of initial board partner shipments of the RTX 4070 need to be priced at the MSRP. As a result, most cards that have been launched are lower-end SKUs.
NVIDIA is offering AIBs rebates to make up for the price difference, but the bulk of the flagships were designed to meet the $749 price target. Considering that the profit margins for board partners are already under 5%, such a large drop will surely cause many clients discomfort.
Cost-cutting in the AIC GPU market has led to low-quality heatsinks and cheap VRMs. The following images from ElChapuzasInformatico highlight this:
Here, you have a flimsy plastic backplate used by one of the AIB GeForce RTX 4070s. They have only two to three heatpipes with little to no anchors. In the below video, you can see how bendy and fragile the AIC card is.
In addition to the bending, manufacturers have also cheaped out on the VRM, resulting in overheating. The low-quality heatsink makes this even worse. Its weight peels off the thermal pad ever so slightly, cutting off contact with the VRM, and leading to high thermals.
In the above shot, you can see that the VRMs are hitting temps way over 100C. While this is still well below its 120C to 140C limit, it’s not ideal. The good thing is that a few AIB models and the Founders Edition feature high-quality components.