Rumors around Nvidia’s incoming graphics card refreshes for Lovelace have spiked recently, indicating that maybe there’s more weight to this chatter – with the latest speculation being that there’s an RTX 4080 Super with a VRAM upgrade coming.
Benchlife checked with Nvidia's AIC partners and learned that the three SKUs have basically been confirmed, but no specific information has been obtained. They only know that the new version of RTX 4080 will use 20GB GDDR6X video memory.https://t.co/6clcqLA8jTOctober 22, 2023
IT Home noted another recent leak on X (from Hongxing2020) contending that there are three new graphics card refreshes coming from Nvidia, one being the RTX 4080 Super, and the others are two spins on the RTX 4070 (4070 Super, and a purported 4070 Super Ti, but we have serious doubts on that last possible name, as we’ve said in the past).
IT Home reports that Benchlife (another Chinese site) followed this up, checking with Nvidia’s graphics card making partners in Asia, and found that three new Lovelace models are indeed all-but-confirmed.
Strictly speaking, of course, nothing is confirmed until it’s announced by Nvidia, but that’s the language the – translated – article uses. At any rate, you get the gist – this looks very likely to happen, at least if the sources are legitimate and correct.
We don’t get any info on what refreshed models these will be, though – except for one nugget – so we guess this underlines that the theories of Hongxing2020 are speculation for now, and maybe the exact direction Nvidia is going is still up in the air.
What was the aforementioned nugget that did crop up, then? That the new version of the RTX 4080 (purportedly the Super) will have 20GB of GDDR6X VRAM.
In other words, this RTX 4080 Super is supposedly set to upgrade the video RAM from 16GB to 20GB.
Analysis: To switch the chip, or not to switch?
Such an upgrade to 20GB would have implications for the spec elsewhere, as a 20GB loadout would need a heftier memory bus, so that would be upgraded from 256-bit to 320-bit. And for that to happen, the AD102 GPU would need to be used – not the AD103 that drives the RTX 4080.
Of course, if the RTX 4080 Super did go with the AD102 chip – which is the engine of the RTX 4090 – it would be appropriately cut down to make sense compared to the Lovelace flagship.
Other rumblings on the rumor mill, however, are doubtful that the switch to AD102 would be made, as there’s room to use the full capacity of the AD103 with an RTX 4080 Super, in theory. That’s because the vanilla RTX 4080 cuts the CUDA Core count down a bit (it only uses 95% of the full number on that chip).
If this is the case, though, and AD103 is used, an upgrade to 20GB of VRAM wouldn’t be possible (although the 16GB of video memory could be made a bit faster, instead). At this point, we need to take all this as the speculation it is, but the idea that Nvidia is going to produce more than one refreshed graphics card, most likely for the RTX 4080 and 4070, is certainly gathering considerable momentum.
We might just see the RTX 4080 Super (or indeed Ti) in early 2024, if previous spillage from the rumor mill proves to be correct.
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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).