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Don't expect the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, even if another GPU leak just appeared

Nvidia
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Right now it seems like we're getting fresh and spicy graphics card leaks on a daily basis, but one of the most interesting cases is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 – or lack thereof. While another leak has surfaced that shows a supposed Nvidia Ampere GPU, you shouldn't get your hopes up for an RTX 3080 quite yet. 

This latest leak, spotted by the fine folks over at VideoCardz, shows an Nvidia graphics card with 124 compute units. For comparison's sake, the RTX 2080 Ti, the current consumer champion, has a comparatively tiny 68 compute units. That's nearly double the size – but that's not all that seems fishy.

The leaked GPU also comes with a whopping 32GB of VRAM which is way more than any consumer graphics card will need in the next decade, even with the PS5 and Xbox Series X around the corner. Coupled with the relatively low clockspeed of 1.1GHz – compared to the RTX 2080 Ti's 1.6GHz boost clock – it looks like this GPU is being primed to take on data center workloads. 

Given that right now the rumor is that Nvidia is going to unveil this mystery GPU at GTC 2020 – which will now be held exclusively online – the likelihood that this GPU will be targeting gamers just keeps getting more unlikely. 

At the end of the day we won't know what Nvidia's next GeForce graphics card will look like until Nvidia finally lifts the veil. Until that day finally arrives however, we'll be stuck with Nvidia Turing – or whatever AMD RDNA 2 graphics cards will look like.

If not now, when?

We've been stuck with Nvidia Turing graphics cards since August 2018, which means we'll be hitting the two-year anniversary in just a few short months. Since then, AMD has been making huge gains in the mid range with graphics cards like the Radeon RX 5700 XT. But, Nvidia has no need to rush out a new GPU. 

Even though competition has heated up substantially from where it was a year ago, Nvidia still has the only graphics cards that can do ray tracing and DLSS. That's not even mentioning performance, which is currently dominated by GPUs like the RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080 Super with virtually no competition from Team Red. 

This means that until AMD pushes out 'Big Navi' – another hotly anticipated GPU that's likely very far away – Nvidia has no reason to launch another graphics card generation. 

And historically speaking, we generally see a new pro graphics architecture before the consumers get theirs. For instance, Nvidia launched its Volta architecture in May 2017, and even back then all the rumors were suggesting that it would be the architecture behind the "GTX 1180" (those were the days). However, it wasn't until more than a year later than Nvidia lifted the veil behind Nvidia Turing and the GeForce RTX 2080.

The point is, Nvidia Ampere is likely going to be an architecture designed from the ground up for professional and creative workloads. Whenever Nvidia is ready to release another GPU architecture for everyday users, you can bet that it's going to be built from the ground-up for gaming. Until that happens, though, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.