The launch of Nvidia’s next generation of Lovelace GPUs is approaching, and that means it’s leak season! A supposed approximation of the RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 Founders Edition PCBs has hit the web and gives us a lot to ponder. The first thing to consider is the VRM phase count. With no less than 24 phases for what is likely a standard Founders Edition card, it’s clear that talking about very high TDPs for high-end RTX 40 cards is accurate.
The leak comes through Igor’s Laboratory. The PCB overview indicates that the card includes space for 12 GDDR6X memory chips. This would indicate that the RTX 4090 will include 24GB of VRAM, while the RTX 4080 will include 12GB, likely on a 384-bit bus. It’s the same one that’s available now.
Igor’s Lab believes that the next generation GA102 and AD102 GPUs are pin to pin compatible. This means manufacturers can reuse their current high-end designs and that upcoming RTX 3090 Ti PCBs will likely be ported to the RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 class boards. The 3090 Ti is also slated to feature the PCIe 5.0 power connector. If we assume that the 3090 Ti’s 450W+ TDP rumors are accurate, then it could be considered a test of sorts before the main RTX 40 event.
Lovelace GPUs must be manufactured using TSMC’s 4N manufacturing process, which is specifically tuned for Nvidia. Despite the significantly smaller knot, those rumored 600W or even higher TDPs it just won’t go away. Keep in mind that we’re talking about enthusiast-class cards here, where power consumption is usually secondary to performance. We expect mid-range and entry-level cards to end up with much more power savings. Imagine the difficulties that system integrators will face if they have to accommodate an entry-level to mid-range 300W GPU.
All of this information is subject to change. We are still many months away from the release of the RTX 40 Lovelace cards. Nvidia still has time to tweak the PCB design, clocks and GPU power consumption. Whatever the final form of the Founders Edition card, it’s clear the cards will be hungry and hot. Partner cards will be even more so. Let’s hope they deliver the performance to justify it.
Before the release of the RTX 40 cards, there were Intel Alchemist Cards come over. While they are not expected to offer flagship-level performance, if they are priced right and have a good level of performance and driver maturity, they can end up being very popular. There is also the next AMD RX 6000 range upgrade. That’s Before AMD Released Its Competing RTX 40 RDNA 3 series of cards at the end of the year.
While 2021 might have been a lost year for PC gamers, the second half of 2022 looks mighty, especially if the continued downward trend in GPU prices continues.