If you're on the market for a new graphics card, you may be wondering whether to dive in now, or asking, should I wait for the RTX 40 series? The RTX 40 series is, of course, the highly anticipated new range of graphics cards that Nvidia is rumoured to be working on.
But given they haven't been launched yet, you may be pondering whether to go for something from the existing range. Or will you get much more for your money when the new line finally comes out? We'll run you through the key information that you need, to help you make as informed a decision as possible. So, should you wait for the RTX 40 series? Here's what we think.
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Should I Wait For The RTX 40 Series?
Deciding whether or not to wait for the RTX 40 series is not necessarily an easy decision. After all, there is a lot that we don't know for certain. So we'll break down the key information that is floating around, to give you a sense of what's expected. Let's dive in.
When Will The RTX 40 Series Be Available?
At this stage, Nvidia have yet to make any official announcements. But the rumour mill has been turning rapidly, and the consensus points strongly towards a release in the second half of 2022. Three different leakers have all said something similar.
On Twitter, Greymon55 suggests that Lovelace (the mathematician the new chipset is purportedly named after) is landing in September. This is supported by kopite7kimi, who suggests a Q3 arrival, so between July and September. And finally, a report from DigiTimes also strongly supports a release date in 2022.
Of course, nothing is definitive at this stage. But if these reports are accurate, then you've only got a few more months to wait. But what might you be getting, if you do decide to wait?
RTX 40 Series Specs
Once again, we are having to pull together leaks and rumours to build up a picture. But the suggestions are certainly very encouraging. The RTX 40 series is expected to introduce new architecture to the GPU, using a 5-nanometer process, as opposed to the current 8nm process found in the Ampere GPUs at the moment.
This is significant because it means the RTX 40 series is expected to offer a significant boost to some of the fundamentals. While we certainly don't have a full rundown of the specs for each model in the 40 series, there are strong rumours that the AD102 GPU (expected to be the top-spec in the new range) will offer the following:
- 12 Graphics Processing Clusters
- 18432 CUDA Cores
- 96MB L2 cache
- Potentially up to 92 Teraflops of compute performance
- 2.5GHz clock speed
If this is accurate, it could translate to an uptick in performance of around 150%, in comparison to the top GPU in the RTX 30 series, the RTX 3090. That's huge. And while we may not see quite such significant differences across the full range, it does offer a tantalising glimpse into the potential of the new GPUs.
How Does The 40 Series Compare To The Current Range?
As we mentioned above, the rumours around the top RTX 40 GPU suggest an enormous difference over the current range. For comparison, here are the specs for the RTX 3090, the current most powerful GPU in the range:
- 36 Teraflops of compute performance
- 10496 CUDA cores
- 7 Graphics Processing Clusters
- 6MB L2 cache
- 37.6 Tflops compute performance
- 1.4GHz clock speed
A quick comparison of the raw numbers shows how large a jump there might be. And the expectation is that this will translate into a similar jump in performance.
However, it is also expected that the new 40 series will be more power-intensive, with the AD102 potentially needing a 1500W power supply, with a TGP number of between 450W and 850W. And if you're building a PC, you'll then need to make sure you have an adequate cooling system to go with it.
Overall though, we are expecting the 40 series to offer significantly more bang for your buck. But exactly how much are we talking about?
RTX 40 Series Price
Once again, without any official information to go by, we do have to take any prices as slightly speculative. As a guideline, the RTX 3090 costs from £1399, while the entry-level RTX 3050 costs from £239.
We certainly wouldn't expect the RTX 40 GPUs to go for less. If anything, we might expect a slightly higher price, given the new architecture that is being developed.
We then have to factor in other global factors. There has been a worldwidel chip shortage for the last couple of years, which has pushed prices up in comparison to the list prices. Cryptominers are always looking for the most powerful GPUs they can get, and scalpers are always looking to turn a profit. And raw material costs are rising as a result of geopolitical turmoil. These are not good signs for anyone hoping to get a bargain.
On the flip side, Intel trying to enter the GPU marketplace, and AMD continuing to produce their own GPUS, may mean that competition keeps prices down. Nvidia apparently spent billions on securing enough supply from chip manufacturer TSMC (via Hardware Times). This may prevent the 40 series from suffering the same shortages that have blighted to 30 series.
Should I Wait For The RTX 40 Series?
There's a lot of information for you to take in, and a lot that we still don't know. But there are a few considerations when deciding if you should wait or not.
First of all, how urgently do you need a new GPU? If you absolutely cannot wait, then your decision is simple. But if you can hold off for a few more months, then it may be worth doing so. When the 40 series is officially announced, we'll have a much clearer idea of exactly how good those GPUs are.
Another factor to consider is availability. Even if you want a 30 series chip, they aren't exactly easy to come by. The 40 series might actually be easier to get when it arrives. There's also the possibility that the prices for the 30 series may come down once the new GPUs are announced officially.
And finally, how much performance do you need? If you want to future proof yourself, then waiting for the newer series will give you the best chance of longevity in your GPU. But if you aren't overly fussed about it serving you for the next few years, then this may be less of an issue.
Ultimately, whether or not you wait is an entirely personal decision. The 30 series offers a range of very good GPUs. If you can't wait, then these will serve you well. But the 40 series looks set to blow these out of the water. So if you can hold off for a bit longer, you might find it was worth the wait.
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