Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti GPU could have 20GB of VRAM (but at what cost?)

(Image credit: Future)

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3000 graphics card rumors are coming thick and fast as the initial launch approaches, and some fresh speculation has appeared regarding the memory configurations of the higher-end Ampere GPUs.

As spotted by Videocardz, this rumor comes from a known hardware leaker wjm47196, although it’s posted on Chiphell which is, shall we say, not the most reliable forum to go by – so take all this with a heftier dose of the usual caution and condiments required with any rumor.

Anyway, the theory is that Nvidia’s next-gen graphics cards will run with a range-topper that will have 24GB of video memory on-board (presumably this with be Ampere’s Titan), and 20GB with the RTX 3080 Ti (assuming that’s the name – this GPU has previously been referred to as the 3090, too), plus 10GB with the RTX 3080. The post also contends that these GPUs will use a 384-bit or 320-bit memory bus.

This is where the caveats and caution come back in, because loading up the 3080 Ti (or whatever it ends up being called) with 20GB of RAM would certainly be a surprising move. Previous rumors are in line with the RTX 3080 having 10GB, and 24GB of RAM for the Titan, but speculation had previously pegged the RTX 3080 Ti as coming with 12GB, not 20GB (other whispers have pointed to 11GB or 16GB).

Out of all those possibilities, 20GB just doesn’t seem a likely amount, and remember that certainly the early hope was that Nvidia’s high-end Ampere cards might come in slightly more affordably priced than Turing GPUs. Stuffing the 3080 Ti with that much video memory is hardly going to help on the cost front (particularly if it's the alleged new GDDR6X memory the grapevine keeps chattering about).

Breakthrough GPUs

The Chiphell post also mentions 16GB and 8GB Ampere models with a 256-bit bus, which is presumably referring to the RTX 3070 having 8GB of VRAM, and perhaps a Quadro model with 16GB (based on the same GA104 GPU) as Videocardz theorizes (or maybe it could refer to the eventual 3070 Super).

Whatever the case, at least we won’t have long to wait now to find out the truth behind the matter, because Nvidia is all set with its GeForce launch event going ahead on September 1. Inside a few short weeks we will find out about what Nvidia is calling the “biggest breakthroughs in PC gaming since 1999”, so the firm is drumming up some major hype for this one.

We’ve now seen a few leaks claiming that the GeForce 3080 Ti will purportedly be around 50% more powerful than the current GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, which in itself is a suitably worrying prospect for AMD’s rival Big Navi GPU. DLSS 3.0 could also prove a major factor in the next-gen graphics card wars.

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).