Nvidia could make a next-generation GPU which is even more power-hungry than previous rumors have suggested, and that’s really saying something, because the speculation on TDP has already reached pretty ridiculous levels in the past.
The theory, as aired by kopite7kimi on Twitter, is that with the most powerful incoming Lovelace GPU, known as AD102, Nvidia could produce a ‘full-fat’ monster of a top-end graphics card which might pull 900W of power (yes, you read that right).
In fact, there is another full-fat AD102 SKU with 900W TGP, 48G 24Gbps GDDR6X, 2*16pin and higher frequency. But no one knows whether it will become an actual product. Because the test board of AD102 has more than two 16pin connectors, so everything is possible.April 27, 2022
Now, the first thing to note here is that this is just what a hardware leaker has heard, and moreover, kopite7kimi states that it’s not known whether this purportedly fully unleashed version of AD102 will ever be made into an actual product. In other words, while Nvidia is supposedly tinkering with such a GPU, it may never leave the testing or prototyping stages.
If it does, though, the theory is that as well as that 900W power usage, it’ll be absolutely stuffed with VRAM – 48GB of GDDR6X running at 24Gbps, according to the rumor.
Analysis: Titanic power struggle?
The AD102 chip is expected to be the engine for Nvidia’s RTX 4090 and RTX 4080, and indeed we’ve already heard that it’s now in testing. On the face of it, that power usage of 900W sounds absolutely staggering – remember, even the RTX 3090 Ti only pulls half that (at 450W, which is still very heavy usage as we pointed out in our review).
So this would be equivalent to a pair of RTX 3090 Ti graphics cards, in theory. But then we have heard rumors of power usage of around 800W or 850W before, although that was a couple of months ago now, and more recent word from the grapevine has been floating figures more at the 600W mark (which is still a big ask, mind).
If there was a 900W version of AD102 in the (graphics) cards – and it’s a big, fat if – then it would surely not be a consumer model. Maybe this variant in testing is a potential return of the Titan RTX with Lovelace? (There was no Titan model for Ampere; the last one Nvidia produced was with Turing or RTX 2000).
At any rate, if realized, this will surely be a pro-targeted heavyweight GPU not meant for consumers with that kind of power usage, which would demand a hulking power supply, not to mention some kind of ridiculous cooling setup to cope with that kind of heat in a PC case. (And indeed we can only guess at what the price tag might be, but it’d be untenably out of reach of the average PC enthusiast’s build fund, of course – and that’s before considering the undoubted and unwelcome contribution this would make to the electricity bill).
We’d treat this rumor with an extreme amount of caution for the time being, and the best bet is to watch this space, and see if any further speculation turns up about what might just be a new Titan GPU.