Prepare your wallet: Nvidia RTX 4090 GPU could already be in production

Nvidia RTX 3080 Graphics Card
(Image credit: Nvidia)

Nvidia’s RTX 4090 has been spotted in what are apparently documents from a manufacturer, indicating that the flagship graphics card is already in production.

At least that’s the theory, but we need some heavy seasoning with this leak – which comes from the Baidu forums (in China), as highlighted by a regular Twitter rumor pedlar, Harukaze5719 – because as ever, we can’t be sure that said photographed documents are genuine.

That said, this does line up with what we’ve been hearing via the rumor mill for some time now; namely that Nvidia is planning to launch the RTX 4090 as the first Lovelace GPU.

If that is the case, it makes sense that this would be the first card to go into production, which is what has seemingly happened here – and indeed the assembly lines fired up on August 16, according to the leaked material.

As VideoCardz, which spotted this spillage on Twitter, explains, the name of the factory which manufactured the RTX 4090 has been blurred out (for reasons of maintaining anonymity for the leaker), but it shows purported production line schedules, and that the GPU is to be equipped with 24GB of video memory (as per previous speculation). Oh, and also that the 4090 will have three DisplayPorts and an HDMI connector.

Analysis: Reasonable doubts to bear firmly in mind

As observed above, these documents do suggest that Nvidia’s plan is to get the flagship RTX 4090 out of the door first, and if graphics cards are being made now, they’ll certainly be ready for an October launch which is the purported plan. Indeed, this could point towards an early October release timeframe.

However, before we get carried away with this one, there are reasons to be skeptical around the source of the leak – Baidu isn’t the most cast-iron of places to get spillage from – and furthermore, there’s another interesting snippet, as pointed out by commenters online.

Namely that the documents state a rate of production for the other Nvidia products listed, like the RTX 3060 being made at 139 units per hour on one assembly line (assuming everything runs flawlessly). The RTX 4090, however, has a blank entry in this column, which leaves some question marks over what that might mean – possibly that the documents were prepared before the GPU went into production, so the rate was unknown at that time. That being the case, can we be sure that this schedule was adhered to?

To be fair, chatter from the grapevine like this is always going to have some fairly chunky what-ifs and buts around it, but if genuine, we can take this as a positive sign that we will indeed be seeing the RTX 4090 in October to kick-off the next-gen Lovelace range. The question would still remain, though: how much longer might we have to wait for the other RTX 4000 GPUs to emerge?

This has been something of a debate in recent times, with Nvidia apparently having to weigh a decision between getting the RTX 4080 and 4070 out hot on the heels of the Lovelace flagship, or delay them – potentially until next year, even – to allow for rumored excess stock of their Ampere equivalents to sell through more (in order to keep graphics card making partners happy).

And let’s face it, most gamers aren’t waiting for the RTX 4090, with its doubtless hefty price tag making it a niche proposition – the majority are looking at the two graphics cards below it, and probably the RTX 4070 in particular, given how the rumors are shaping up around that GPU being something special.

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).