New leaks suggest tantalizing Nvidia RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 announcement

An imagined RTX 4090 against a black background
(Image credit: Nvidia/Future)

The recent photo leak of the Zotac RTX 4090 certainly grabbed people's attention, especially with the upcoming Nvidia GTC event on September 20th, where a lot of people, ourselves included, expect to see the announcement of the next generation of Nvidia graphics cards.

Seeing in-the-wild photos of actual fabricated graphics cards lined up on a clean sheet and pallet of detailed, newly printed packaging certainly raises the assumed authenticity of the photos. 

But as we saw recently with the QbitLeaks controversy, you really can't take photo evidence at face value anymore. And while QbitLeaks claimed to be leaking a render of the new RTX 4090, we live in an age of such incredible digital image manipulation that you can't really trust your own lying eyes anymore.

That was definitely the case with another leak about two weeks ago that also purported to show the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 in anti-static plastic. One Twitter user picked up on something that I immediately noticed myself when I saw it, namely the style of the font on the RTX 4080 branding on the card.

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Unlike the Nvidia Ampere reference cards, the font style on the numbers is different than the lettering. They are the same font, but slimmer, like the letters are in boldface while the numbers are not.

This would definitely make us question the veracity of the photos but we're pretty sure that that something has just shown up to give the leaked RTX 4080 photo a bit more credence. 

New Lovelace branding might be a giveaway

On their own, neither photo is enough to be definitive – though a pallet of Zotac retail packaging isn't the sort of thing you're going to print out for the giggles of fooling Twitter (or the kind of attention to detail that most fakes exhibit).

Together though, there is a noticeable overlap in the font styles of the numbers and letters on the card and packaging. Specifically the noticeably thinner numbers on both the card and the packaging that are directly attributable to Nvidia. 

On the RTX 3000 series, there was no difference in the font style for either, whether it was a reference card or a third-party one. That means that with both the RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 photos showing the same deviation from what came before, I'm much more convinced of their authenticity.

So what does it all mean?

More than anything, these two leaks really do point to September 20 being the formal announcement of the GeForce RTX 4000 series graphics cards, and that they will be shipping very soon afterward, most likely in October and early November.

It also would confirm that the RTX 4080 is going to be as chonky as rumors suggest. Whether that would make it as huge as an RTX 3090 Ti, we can't say. But if so, it does mean that other aspects of recent rumors, namely that the RTX 4080 is going to rival the RTX 3090 Ti in performance, are likely to be more or less in line with what we're getting, since the only reason for a card that big is if you needed it to support a powerful cooling solution to handle all that power.

It all remains to be seen, but if accurate, Nvidia Lovelace is shaping up to be a monster of a release and will surely upend our entire best graphics card list in very short order.

John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Threads @johnloeffler.

Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 (just like everyone else).