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Nvidia Ampere: everything we know about Nvidia's RTX 3000 series so far

It’s only been a month since Nvidia lifted the lid on their next-gen Ampere GPU architecture, but the internet is already awash with rumours about the release date, specs and price of their upcoming next-gen RTX 3000 graphics cards. As well as an RTX 3080 spotted in the wild, there’s also been talk that the expected RTX 3080 Ti will actually play second fiddle to an RTX 3090 GPU, which may or may not be a new version of Nvidia’s existing Titan RTX graphics card. Either way, the race to become the world’s newest and best graphics card is on, so I’ve gathered up all the information I can find about Nvidia’s Ampere GPUs to try and make sense of the current online rumours.

I will, of course, be updating this article on a regular basis as and when more information about Nvidia’s RTX 3000 GPUs gets announced, so watch this space for more details on the RTX 3080, RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3090’s release date, price and specs. For now, though, here’s everything we know so far.

Nvidia Ampere release date

As mentioned above, Nvidia haven’t even formally announced their RTX 3000 series GPUs yet, but that hasn’t stopped the online rumour mill from suggesting a potential Nvidia Ampere release date of sometime in August 2020. If that’s true, we can probably expect an announcement from Nvidia pretty soon regarding their Ampere RTX 3000 series, I wouldn’t be surprised if Nvidia took the opportunity to announce something more concrete in the next few weeks.

Indeed, in 2018, Nvidia unveiled their Turing RTX 2000 GPUs at Gamescom, which usually happens in August, so it would make sense for Nvidia to do the same thing again for their RTX 3000 GPUs. This year, Gamescom will be taking place online instead of its usual physical event in Cologne, Germany, but it’s currently slated to run August 27-30th. Could we see an Nvidia RTX 3000 launch then? As always, I’ll keep you up to date on exactly what’s announced as and when it gets confirmed.

Nvidia Ampere GPU

Over the first weekend of June, the first alleged image of Nvidia’s Ampere GPU design emerged on the forum Chiphell, which you can see below. The pictures show the front and back of the supposed card, including that all important RTX 3080 moniker, which would seem to confirm that Nvidia’s next generation graphics cards will indeed follow an RTX 3000 series naming convention.

The design is unusual, with fans on both sides of the alleged RTX 3080. Normally, graphics cards only have fans on one side of the GPU to help keep the circuit board cool, so this would be quite a marked departure from Nvidia’s existing design for their RTX 20-series cards if the image is actually real.

Apart from its strange double-sided fan design, though, the image doesn’t give much else away. We can’t see the sides of the graphics card, for example, so there’s no way of telling what kind of display outputs it has or what kind of power connector it requires.

Of course, there’s no way of knowing whether this is the final design of the RTX 3080 until Nvidia officially unveil it themselves.

Nvidia Ampere specs

When Nvidia unveiled their Ampere GPU architecture at their online GTC 2020 keynote speech in May, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang confirmed that it will be using a 7 nanometer (nm) manufacturing process.

This is significant as Nvidia’s current crop of RTX 2000 series graphics cards, such as the RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080 use a 12nm manufacturing process at the moment, so the jump to 7nm should bring with it a considerable leap in performance. The smaller the manufacturing process, the more transistors Nvidia can fit on a piece of silicon, leading to more powerful GPUs and faster performance across the board.

AMD’s Radeon RX 5000 graphics cards such as the RX 5700 XT have already made the leap to 7nm, and their upcoming AMD Navi GPUs are also set to be 7nm as well. As a result, Nvidia’s Ampere GPU architecture will finally bring them in line with their AMD rivals.

The war between AMD and Nvidia is about to get very hot indeed.

Of course, we’ll have to wait for Nvidia to release some specific performance figures before we can get an idea of how much faster their RTX 3000 series cards will be over their existing RTX 2000 GPUs, but the rumour mill is currently convinced that the RTX 3080 Ti will be up to 40% faster than the RTX 2080 Ti thanks to a massive 5376 CUDA cores, 12GB of memory and a 384-bit bus interface.

There have also been rumours that there’s an RTX 3090 in the works, too, which will have a massive 24GB of GDDR6X memory, as well as a 384-bit interface and a 350W TDP. Interestingly, the same leak suggests the RTX 3080 Ti won’t actually have 12GB of memory like previous rumours suggest. Instead, it will just have 11GB like the existing RTX 2080 Ti, albeit of the faster GDDR6X type like the purported RTX 3090. The regular RTX 3080, meanwhile, will have 10GB of GDDR6X memory.

All of those RTX 3000 specs could, of course, just be a load of bobbins dreamed up by eager specs leakers, so for now it’s best to take any alleged specs and performance figures floating about the internet with a pinch of salt.

Nvidia Ampere price

The same goes for anyone claiming to know how much Nvidia’s Ampere RTX 3000 graphics cards are going to cost, because that information just isn’t available yet. We can make some educated guesses, of course, based off the current pricing of Nvidia’s RTX 2000 series cards, but until Nvidia do a proper announcement, everything is just speculation at this point.

The only thing we have to go on is what Nvidia’s RTX 2000 cards cost when they launched back in 2018, which you can see in the graph below, along with their respective specs. I’ve also added in the launch prices of Nvidia’s RTX Super cards from last year, too, so we’ve got a complete picture of their current RTX 2000 line-up.

Graphics card CUDA Cores GDDR6 RAM Memory Speed Memory Bandwidth Power Price
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 1920 6GB 14 Gbps 336GB/s 160W £329 / $349
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super 2176 8GB 14 Gbps 448GB/s 175W £379 / $399
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 2304 8GB 14 Gbps 448GB/s 175W £549 / $599
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super 2560 8GB 14 Gbps 448GB/s 215W £475 / $499
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 2944 8GB 14 Gbps 448GB/s 215W £749 / $799
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super 3072 8GB 15.5 Gbps 496GB/s 250W £669 / $699
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080Ti 4352 11GB 14 Gbps 616GB/s 250W £1099 / $1199

As such, I wouldn’t be surprised if the RTX 3080 Ti’s price (or whatever it’s going to be called) is close to $1200 when it eventually comes out, and I’d imagine the RTX 3080 will cost somewhere in the region of $800, too.

Of course, a lot will depend on the pricing of AMD’s upcoming ‘Big Navi’ GPUs, which are also set to launch sometime before the end of 2020, but if Nvidia really want to win on price, then matching the launch prices of their RTX 2000 cards would certainly go some way to winning over prospective GPU buyers. Until they make a proper announcement, though, it’s currently anyone’s guess what the actual RTX 3000 series pricing is going to be.

That’s all the concrete facts we know about Nvidia Ampere at the moment, but we’ll no doubt be hearing more about Nvidia’s RTX 3000 line-up over the coming months. To stay up to date with everything Nvidia Ampere related, why not pop this article in your bookmarks, as I’ll be adding to it on a regular basis as soon as more information is announced. If the current leaks are anything to go by, the race to become the best graphics card could be about to get very interesting indeed.

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Who am I?

Katharine Castle

Hardware Editor

Katharine writes about all the bits that go inside your PC so you can carry on playing all those lovely games we like talking about so much. Very partial to JRPGs and the fetching of quests. She's also RPS' resident deals herald.

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