NVIDIA didn’t have much to show at CES 2020 as far as their graphics cards are concerned. While AMD has been making massive gains with its Navi lineup of graphics cards, it is still pretty far off in terms of top-tier graphics as compared to NVIDIA. However, as reports of an ‘RTX Killer‘ AMD graphics card ramp up, it is only fair that we hear about what’s next from NVIDIA as well.
NVIDIA has been playing its ‘cards’ very well lately. The company has only been pushing for better performance when there is a need for it. When AMD Vega graphics cards came out to rival the RTX Series, NVIDIA was quick to shut them down with the very well received RTX Super graphics cards.
Likewise, when there seems to be a threat of another AMD refresh looming over the top tier RTX lineup, NVIDIA is ready to counter and reclaim its throne as the top dog. So, not even a year after the RTX Super lineup was released, we now have new details about the next big thing for NVIDIA, the RTX 3000 series.
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NVIDIA Ampere GeForce RTX 3080 (20 GB) and RTX 3070 (16 GB) Specifications leaked
We’ve been hearing about the NVIDIA Ampere RTX 3000 graphics cards for a while but haven’t really gotten any solid details about the new graphics cards. However, thanks to MyDrivers and KittyCorgi on Twitter, we finally have some specifications for the top tier RTX 3000 cards, the RTX 3080 and the RTX 3070.
According to the leaks, the new graphics cards will be based on NVIDIA’s newer Ampere architecture. While the leaks cover the GA103 and GA104 GPUs only, there is no reason to think that NVIDIA isn’t working on a GA102 GPU as well.
We’ve also seen details of the existence of a GA100 GPU. However, that will probably be limited for the extreme top-tier compute GPU market, similar to Volta and Pascal. For now, the gaming oriented chips seem to be limited to GA102, GA103 and GA104 tiers.
Ampere GPU will make massive gains over Turing in all departments
Apparently, NVIDIA is touting the Ampere GPU as game changer for the company. Ampere will take a massive leap ahead of the previous Turing based cards in all departments, from rasterization and shading performance to better ray tracing results.
Obviously, the first generation for anything is bound to face some hiccups and henceforth, the RTX 2000 series had a hard time establishing itself as well. However, better optimization over time has helped the cards become viable for ray tracing at stable framerates.
With Ampere, NVIDIA hopes to further build upon the foundations and provide the peak real-time raytracing performance that everyone has been waiting for. However, optimization alone isn’t enough to achieve this so Ampere will also come with more RT and Tensor cores.
In addition to that, to combat the bandwidth bottlenecks, the new graphics cards will also support PCIe Gen 4.0 for better next-generation gaming performance at higher resolutions.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 – 20 GB GDDR6 memory, 320-bit Bus, GA103 GPU
Let’s talk about the RTX 3080 now, which is the higher-tiered card of the two that have been leaked. The card will be a successor to the GeForce RTX 2080 and will be aimed towards the high-end consumer. Featuring an impressively high total of 60 SMs with 64 CUDA cores each, the RTX 3080 is alleged to have a total of 3840 CUDA cores.
In comparison, the current RTX 2080 comes with 3072 CUDA cores. However, the gains won’t be limited to the core count since NVIDIA can also provide higher clock speeds thanks to the newer 7nm process node.
Other than that, we can also expect a 320-bit bus interface for the RTX 3080 meaning that the card has the potential to support up to 20 GB of GDDR6 memory. However, 10 GB, which is still 2 GB higher than the 2080, would be a much safer bet considering recent memory shortage concerns.
We can also expect higher bandwidth on the RTX 3080 coming in at 640 GB per second as compared to 496 GB per second on the RTX 2080 Super.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 – 16 GB GDDR6 memory, 256-bit Bus, GA104 GPU
Although the higher-end RTX 3080 does seem very exciting, a lot of people would argue that lower-powered graphics cards are the ones that define a generation with more consumers buying them for the better price to performance ratios.
The GeForce RTX 3070 doesn’t pack as much of a punch as the RTX 3080 but it is no slouch by any means either. Succeeding the Turing based GeForce RTX 2070, the 3070 is touted to have 3072 CUDA cores in its 48 SM units, which is the same number as the RTX 2080.
While the 256-bit bus interface does support up to 16 GB of GDDR6 memory, expecting an 8 GB card would be much more accurate, once again due to memory shortage.
These leaks are indeed extremely promising but they don’t just stop there. According to Taipei Times, the Ampere GPU will not only have massive performance gains of almost 50% over Turing GPUs but they will also do it while being extremely power efficient. So, you can expect RTX 2080 Ti levels of performance with lower power consumption numbers than an RTX 2060.
With an RTX 3080 Ti also possibly in the works alongside the consumer friendly RTX 3060, it seems like Ampere could finally be the thing that kicks off real time raytracing at 4K60.
However, NVIDIA still needs to be vary of the looming threat from AMD as team red has been making some massive gains over the past couple of years and is ready to take NVIDIA on head-to-head, even in the enthusiast graphics card market.
Do you think NVIDIA will prevail once again with Ampere or can AMD catch them napping this time around? Let us know down in the comments below!