The RTX 3090 Ti could be trounced by a power-mad RTX 4070 Ti

An Nvidia graphics card slotted into a test bench with its power cable in the foreground
(Image credit: Future)

Nvidia’s full-fat AD104 chip, the GPU for its next-gen Lovelace graphics cards which is expected to be the engine of the RTX 4070, could end up being as powerful as the RTX 3090 Ti, according to the latest from the rumor mill.

This will be the maximal configuration of AD104 which will purportedly have 7,680 CUDA Cores and crank the power up to 400W, well-known Twitter based leaker Kopite7kimi claims.

As you can see, the expectation from the leaker is that this fully unleashed version of AD104 will be a match for Nvidia’s current most powerful consumer graphics card, the RTX 3090 Ti, and the suggestion is that it’ll ‘easily’ match the performance of that Ampere flagship, meaning we could actually see a slightly more powerful GPU here.

The vanilla RTX 4070 will be a cut-down AD104, with Kopite7kimi previously saying that it’ll use 7,168 CUDA Cores with a power draw of around 300W.

The full-fat variant, then, is considerably heftier with the power, and therefore likely considerably faster (with those 512 extra cores, too) – this should in theory be the RTX 4070 Ti (or whatever naming scheme Nvidia chooses to employ for supercharged versions of base models, such as the ‘Super’ moniker seen in the RTX 2000 generation).

Analysis: The battle for efficiency, not just performance

Take all of this with a great deal of skepticism, naturally – it is just a rumor, and should be regarded with caution as with any such chatter. Part of the reason for the extra power requirements for the 4070 Ti will be the supposed use of 12GB of GDDR6X, as opposed to 10GB of GDDR6 for the base 4070; and doubtless driving those clock speeds very hard, too.

Still, for Nvidia to push up to 400W with the RTX 4070, even if it is the Ti version of the card, seems a bit of a stretch to us. As noted above, the vanilla 4070 supposedly sits at 300W, and even the RTX 4080 (AD103) is only expected to draw around 420W (we say only meaning in comparison to this theoretical AD104).

So, we’d take this as an indication that the RTX 4070 Ti (or whatever it ends up being called) is going to be relatively power-hungry, and might be reaching up towards 400W. If it actually hits a full 400W for an xx70 model, well, that wouldn’t be a good look for Nvidia.

This is also another hint that the battle for raw performance aside, AMD looks more and more likely to be the clear victor when it comes to the energy efficiency of next-gen GPUs. And that’s becoming more of a consideration for some folks with electricity bills heading swiftly upwards, and the looming specter of further spiraling energy costs to come. Price/performance will be a key metric not just in terms of the actual price tag, but also with the ongoing running costs of a next-gen graphics card…

Still, all that said, there’s no denying a buzz of excitement around the possibility of an RTX 4070 variant which might actually (just) outgun the RTX 3090 Ti.

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).