Nvidia could release a speedy new RTX 4070 Super that makes the RTX 4080 GPU irrelevant

An Asus RTX 4070 BTF graphics card
(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Nvidia is purportedly readying an RTX 4070 Super to run alongside existing models at this tier (the plain 4070, and the 4070 Ti are already on shelves, of course).

VideoCardz noticed that a regular hardware leaker on X (formerly Twitter), MEGAsizeGPU, theorizes that there might – and note the use of the word – actually be two new spins on the RTX 4070.

The rumor is that one product would simply be a small refresh of the existing RTX 4070 using GDDR6 video RAM rather than newer GDDR6X modules, cutting a corner in that respect with no other differences.

The other is the big one, though, a claimed RTX 4070 Super which would use the AD103 chip. That’s a major shift because this GPU is the one employed in the RTX 4080, whereas the current 4070 models use the next tier down, AD104.

The step up to AD103 would enable Nvidia to give this RTX 4070 Super a 256-bit memory bus, and the VRAM configuration is supposedly going to be upped to 16GB (from 12GB).

Analysis: Wild theory alert – a sort of retirement plan for the RTX 4080?

Clearly, those spec changes could make the RTX 4070 considerably peppier (and it’s already our top pick for the best graphics card from Nvidia). Perhaps that’s why we heard another rumor earlier this week that there’s going to be an RTX 4070 Ti Super, and maybe with this new speculation indicating it might be a considerable step up, the new model could justify denoting it as a Super(charged) version of the Ti.

Well, as we said at the time, we’re still not buying that ‘Ti Super’ theory, as it’s confusing Nvidia’s branding too much in our opinion. Just calling such a refreshed model an RTX 4070 Super makes more sense to us – we don’t even know for sure that it will be superior to the current 4070 Ti, even (more on that later) – and if it needs to be made clear that it’s the top of the tree 4070 model, just throw in the mention of 16GB (RTX 4070 Super 16GB).

We should stress that just because the theorized RTX 4070 Super jumps to use the same AD103 chip as the RTX 4080, it obviously won’t be as powerful as the latter. Obviously, Nvidia would cut down the GPU appropriately (dropping the CUDA core count – again, we’ll come back to that) to ensure it didn’t make the RTX 4080 look silly.

Although cynics might argue the RTX 4080 doesn’t need any help to look silly, it has done a good enough job all by itself with its off-kilter price/performance ratio.

All we’ve been hearing lately via the GPU rumor mill regarding the RTX 4080 is that sales are pretty poor, and buyers are dropping to grab the RTX 4070 Ti instead. Or maybe even just going all-out for the RTX 4090, at the other end of the pricing scale. But either way, there’s a lot of ignoring the RTX 4080 going on, if what you read online, and what the rumor mill contends, is true. And frankly, we can believe it is…

So, if there is an RTX 4070 Super in the pipeline that boasts more VRAM, and faster video memory to boot, maybe with some kind of CUDA core uplift, too – well, that would be the end of the RTX 4080, more or less. After all, with the RTX 4070 Ti already talked about as interfering with RTX 4080 sales, if an even better RTX 4070 spin appears, well, that would surely sink the 4080 for all intents and purposes.

A PNY GeForce RTX 4070 XLR8 running on a test bench in an office

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

There’s a hefty caveat here, though, namely that there may not be any increase in the amount of CUDA cores for this purported Super model, meaning the switch to AD103 may be purely to facilitate those changes on the memory side (that AD104 doesn’t offer).

Further in the thread of their tweet, MEGAsizeGPU notes that beefed-up CUDA cores are possible for this RTX 4070 Super, but that at the current time, the spec remains unclear, and it could be worse than the RTX 4070 Ti in some respects, even. So, we can’t be too sure of anything here (and really, we can’t with any rumor).

If Nvidia did want to retire the RTX 4080 without actually canceling it, though, a beefier RTX 4070 like the suggested Super would be one way to effectively do so, making the 4080 kind of irrelevant. Then RTX 4080 production could be wound down to a minimum, without actually having to dump the model like it was, say, a version of this card with 12GB of RAM (which if you recall was publicly ‘unlaunched’ in squirm-worthy fashion).

Of course, ditching the RTX 4080 is not something Nvidia would even consider for a moment, but this rumored RTX 4070 Super could be a way of kind of doing this, without actually doing it, if you get our drift. Especially with a rumored RTX 4080 Ti possibly inbound, putting the squeeze on from the other direction.

All of this is speculation in more wild territory, naturally, but we shall see how it all plays out going forward.

Whatever the case, it certainly seems like Nvidia intends to produce some new spins on the RTX 4070 next year. It’s worth mentioning that the other rumored refresh, the vanilla RTX 4070 with lesser quality VRAM (GDDR6) could also be an opportunity for Nvidia to present an even better value proposition for this graphics card. Fingers crossed.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).