Nvidia announced a raft of new GPUs at CES earlier this year, including the extremely powerful RTX 3090 Ti, but it's the 4000 Series GPUs that we're fixated on at the moment, and we're keen to know a release date.
Expectations are sky high for the new generation of graphics card, and with that in mind, we've put together all the key information you need, in order to know exactly what's in store when these finally arrive.
It's certainly an interesting time in the world of GPUs. Worldwide supply issues have made graphics cards difficult to come by, if not impossible. But there are still high expectations that the RTX 4000 series is imminent. Nvidia themselves haven't said anything official. But with leaks, rumours, and an unfortunate data breach after Nvidia got hacked, there is still plenty to sift through. Here's what we know so far about the Nvidia RTX 4000 series.
Nvidia RTX 4000 Release Date Predictions
Nvidia is yet to confirm that the 4000 chipset is on the way, so at this stage we don't have a release date. But there are some clues that suggest that we can expect these to arrive in 2022.
Firstly, Nvidia has a track-record of releasing a new architecture every couple of years. The Ampere-based 3000 series arrived in 2020. This was two years after the Turing-based GPUs which preceded them.
Read More: When Will We Get AMD RDNA 3 Graphics Cards?
This is echoed by reports from well-respected leaker Greymon55, who stated that Lovelace (the name given to the new architecture for the 4000 series) will be available in September. It's still debatable as to whether the RDNA 3 cards will release before it though.
Greymon55 commented on this tweet, writing that the RTX 4000 series could follow a 'similar release order to that of Ampere', which would mean that you'd get the RTX 4090 and 4080 first, followed by the RTX 4070 later down the line.
A report from the DigiTimes was referenced by another Twitter user going by the name of RetiredEngineer. This article also mentions an anticipated release in 2022. And, kopite7kimi is anticipating the 4090, 4080 and 4070 GPUs to all arrive in Q3 of 2022. If correct, this would mean a potential release window of July to September.
On the note of Q3, a recent tweet from renowned leaker kopite7kimi has now suggested an 'early Q3' release, which could suggest we could see cards as early as July, as opposed to later in the quarter. It's expected that when the cards do launch, it'll be the higher-end cards first, which are likely to grab the most attention.
However, a recent report from WCCFTech has suggested that Nvidia may have pushed back the release date for the RTX 4090 to October 2022, as opposed to September, with the other cards following through on a month-by-month basis until the RTX 4060 is launched at CES 2023 in January.
VideoCardz has concurred with the WCCFTech report that suggests the release date for the RTX 4000 series cards has been pushed back by a month. Their justification for doing so is that Nvidia may wish to sell as many RTX 3000 series cards as possible before the new ones get launched.
In addition, kopite7kimi has noted that the release schedule of the RTX 4000 series of cards could follow a different pattern to that of the previous RTX 3000 series. This would involve the RTX 4090 releasing first, with the RTX 4080 and RTX 4070 following behind.
According to kopite7kimi, the RTX 4000 cards have recently begun internal and external testing, which would lineup with if partners got their samples last summer, ahead of an autumn 2022 release. Fingers crossed it goes well and everything remains on schedule.
As always, we have to take all this with caution, until such time as Nvidia decides to say something official. But the latter half of 2022 certainly seems to be the consensus.
Nvidia RTX 4000 GPUs Specs And Performance
Of course, the really important information is just how good will the 4000 series be? Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the new series of cards, is that they are expected to use new architecture, codenamed Lovelace. These are expected to use a 5-nm (nanometer) process, as opposed to the 8-nm that are in the current Ampere GPUs.
What does translate to in terms of performance? Well, if leaks are to be believed, the top-spec AD102 GPU will pack the following, Mike Tyson-sized punch:
- 12 Graphics Processing Clusters
- 18432 CUDA Cores
- 96MB L2 cache
- Potentially up to 92 Teraflops of compute performance
- 2.5GHz clock speed
In comparison to the RTX 3090, the most powerful of the current generation, which offers the following:
- 36 Teraflops of compute performance
- 10496 CUDA cores
- 7 Graphics Processing Clusters
- 6MB L2 cache
- 37.6 Tflops compute performance
- 1.4GHz clock speed
If true, this is an enormous jump in the specifications of the new flagship chip. This could lead to a performance increase of about 150%. But this does come at a cost. To produce these levels of performance will be power hungry. Greymon55 suggests you may need a 1500W power supply, and that the AD102 (believed to be the flagship chip) has a TGP number of 450W-850W.
Speaking of the flagship AD102 chips, the RTX 4080 and 4090, according to leakers, are expected to feature 71% more CUDA cores than their predecessors, that is, if they are based on Nvidia's most powerful AD102 dyes.
Reliable leaker kopite7kimi had noted that the highest-end Nvidia RTX 4000 GPUs based on the AD102 dyes may be set to smash the 100 teraflops barrier to provide competition to AMD's upcoming Radeon RX 7000 series in what he's called an all-out 'gaming war'.
kopite7kimi has also floated the idea that there is allegedly a card in development based on the 'full fat' AD102 dye, complete with 900W TGP and 48GB DDR6 VRAM.
If this is the case, it would make sense for it to be the RTX 4090 Ti, given these specs are doubly powerful than what we believe the top-end RTX 4090 to be, although it's worth noting that, according to the leaker, 'no one knows whether it will become an actual product' due to its double 16 pin power connectors. We can remain hopeful.
Intriguingly, kopite7kimi has also noted that the RTX 4000 series of cards may well stick with PCIe Gen 4.0 support, as opposed to going with PCIe Gen 5.0, which may be from the standpoint of practicality.
Intriguingly, a recent leak from kopite7kimi has provided a new set of specs for the RTX 4090 that put it as being double the power of a 3090. His Tweet suggests the card will have 450W TDP which is a step down in power consumption from the long-rumoured claims of Nvidia's top-end card pulling 600W or more.
In addition, it should have 24GB of GDDR6X VRAM with a speed of 21Gbps, which is exactly the same as an RTX 3090 Ti, and a shader count of 16,128 represents a large increase over Nvidia's current top-end cards.
kopite7kimi has also noted that the RTX 4060 supposedly consumes more power than the RTX 3070, which could potentially lead to a TDP of 250W or more, which is a large jump for any -60 series card, and could make it quite the beefy choice.
On the point of TDP and power usage, kopite7kimi has also noted that the RTX 4080 could nearly pull as much power as an RTX 3090 Ti with a potential TDP of 420W. For reference, the RTX 3090 Ti features a TDP of 450W, whilst the current-gen RTX 3080 pulls 320W.
kopite7kimi has recently updated his predictions for the power consumption figures of the new RTX 4000 series cards. The top-end AD102 dye is expected to feature 800W of power delivery, whilst the AD103 desktop chip is slated to pull 450W, alongside the AD104's 400 watts, and AD106's 260W.
In addition, kopite7kimi has also noted the RTX 4090 may well reach the 100 TFLOP barrier in terms of performance with a clock speed of 2.8GHz, which reiterates the potentially serious power of these new RTX 4000 cards.
We've also seen a leaked design for the RTX 4090Ti Founders Edition which looks to retain the same dual-axial fan design as previous Founder's Edition cards, as well as a metal frame, thanks to a poster on the Chiphell forum (via VideoCardz). You can check out the alleged design below:
Nvidia RTX 4000 Ray Tracing
Perhaps one of the most sought after features of these graphics cards is their ray tracing ability, and it looks like we may be in for something next-level, based on patent filing from Nvidia.
The patent references a new way of handling light levels and auto-exposure application in relation to context-sensitive content.
Basically what this means is that the card could 'adjust' the lighting if it's too bright or dark. That's important as if it goes either way you could lose image quality or detail.
With more CUDA cores rumoured for the 4000 series, this may be a feature that doesn't have to come at the expense of overall performance.
Nvidia RTX 4000 GPUs Price
Once again, there is no concrete data on prices, so we are having to speculate a little. The RTX 3090 is currently priced at £1399, while the RTX 3050 was launched with a price tag of £239. We certainly wouldn't expect the 4000 series to be cheaper than this.
And that's before we factor in issues such as worldwide manufacturing shortages, the increased costs of raw materials, or the competition created by cryptomining, that have made it so difficult to actually buy a new GPU in recent years. So if anything, we'd expect the new GPUs to cost more than their predecessors. But how much more, at this stage, is anyone's guess.
There is a glimmer of hope, however. According to Hardware Times, Nvidia has paid billions to chip manufacturer TSMC in order to reserve enough capacity to try and cope with demand. If they have successfully secured enough supply, it may keep prices from exploding, especially when supply falls into the hands of scalpers. There are also suggestions that Nvidia may try to include anti-mining drivers into the RTX 4000 series, as they did with the RTX 3060. That would also put off certain customers, if it came to pass. And finally, with Intel hoping to get involved in the GPU market, that may limit how high Nvidia can set the prices as well.
Anything Else Worth Knowing?
At this stage, everything remains slightly speculative, so do bear that in mind. Until Nvidia confirms something officially, we just have to absorb the various leaks and rumours, and try to form an impression of what seems to be coming up.
And if those rumours are true, we could be looking at something truly impressive. PC gamers should be excited. But now would probably be a good time to start saving those pennies, as we don't expect these to come cheap. Assuming you can actually get hold of one, which is, of course, the other elephant in the room at the moment.
If you are currently looking for a new graphics card, we'd say let our friends at Stock Informer give you a hand, as they track loads of hard to pin down GPUs.
As always, we'll continue to keep abreast of any news, and update you as soon as anything new comes to light, in relation to the RTX 4000 GPUs.