Nvidia has sent the PC gaming community into a frenzy by seemingly teasing Nvidia Ampere via its Nvidia GeForce Twitter account.
The tweet features a short eight-second clip of an explosion, with the sound of a ticking clock in the background. Nvidia also posted “#UltimateCountdown” alongside of the tweet, hinting at an imminent graphics card announcement.
Eagle-eyed fans will also notice Nvidia has posted the caption “21 days. 21 years” on the new banner of the Twitter account. While Nvidia launched its first graphics card (GeForce 256) 21 years ago, it’s not clear what the 21 days alludes to, although it’s safe to assume it’s the number of days until we get an official announcement for the next-gen graphics cards. That would mean we’ll get official details on 31 August.
However, this contradicts recent reports, courtesy of GamersNexus, that Nvidia Ampere graphics cards will be officially revealed on 9 September 2020. But since the two dates are only two weeks apart, it’s safe to assume a big reveal is expected in either late August or early September.
But that’s enough about launch dates. What do we know about the actual graphics cards? It’s been suggested that Nvidia will adopt Samsung’s 8nm node, as well as a (via renowned leaker @KkatCorgi) 627mm² die which is smaller than the RTX 2080 Ti. This means Nvidia Ampere should be more efficient than the Turing Generation, potentially leading to a significant performance boost.
Ray tracing is likely to be a major focus for Nvidia again too, especially with the likes of the PS5, Xbox Series X and AMD Big Navi will all be embracing the technology this year. The bad news is that you may have to upgrade your PSU to accommodate a Nvidia Ampere graphics card, with Chinese publication FCPowerUp (spotted by Overclockers) claiming they will use a a new 12-pin PCIe power connector.
Keep reading for more in-depth rumours and leaks for the upcoming Nvidia Ampere graphics cards.
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Nvidia Ampere release date – When will Nvidia RTX 3ooo launch?
Nvidia Ampere graphics cards will be available from from 17 September 2020 according to Chinese publication IThome.
While IThome has clarified that it’s impossible to know whether this information is accurate, it does back up previous reports that had cited September as the launch window for Nvidia Ampere. A recent Nvidia tease has hinted at a launch at the end of August, which adds further credence to an early September release.
However, it’s been suggested that Nvidia plans to stagger the launch of the Ampere graphics cards, with the RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3080 arriving first, and the RTX 2070 and RTX 2060 landing in stores in October and November respectively.
Related: AMD Big Navi
Nvidia Ampere price – How much will RTX 3ooo cost?
There are very few rumours regarding price so far, which is to be expected since Nvidia likes to set the price at the latest possible time to undercut the competition.
A Wccftech report claims that Nvidia is looking to make the RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 slightly cheaper than their Turing counterparts in a bid to make ray tracing accelerated cards more appealing to a mass market. With the RTX 2080 Ti graphics card currently costing over £1000, that comes as no surprise.
Buy the RTX 2080 Ti from Scan Computers for £1,077.98
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Nvidia Ampere specs
Nothing is confirmed regarding Nvidia Ampere specs so far, but there has been plenty of rumours. It was expected that Ampere would use TSMC’s 7nm process, but recent reports claim Nvidia will opt for Samsung’s 8nm process instead. This is according to renowned leaker @kopite7kimi, but it’s still worth retaining a bit of scepticism for now.
There have been various conflicting reports on the exact specs of the Nvidia Ampere graphics cards, so it’s difficult to establish which is true or false. One rumour that remains consistent is that the new Ampere architecture will allow for decent performance gains,
New reports from FCPowerUp also suggest the new Ampere graphics cards will use a 12-power connector in order to meet the the power demands of high-end GPUs. This could potentially (although not confirmed) have the knock on effect of forcing Ampere owners to buy a new PSU, which won’t be a popular design choice given the expected high price of the RTX 3080 Ti.
Related: Ray tracing explained
Nvidia Ampere performance
A recent 3DMark Time Spy benchmark leak suggests an unnamed Nvidia Ampere GPU is 30.98% more powerful than the Founders Edition RTX 2080 Ti. That’s a sizeable performance jump, and should help big budget AAA games perform better for 4K gaming.
It’s also very likely Nvidia will make a big push with ray tracing. It’s no secret that Nvidia is investing a lot of time and money into the technology, and with AMD, PlayStation and Xbox all confirmed to be launching their own ray tracing-capable hardware in the coming months, it’s expected Nvidia will ensure it remains the front runner in such advancements.
Wccftech reports that, “Ampere’s ray tracing cores will be faster, more power efficient and Ampere GPUs will have more of them as compared to Turing.”
It remains to be seen whether Ampere will actually improve the ray tracing visuals, or simply enhance the frame rate performance when the technology is activated. But with an increasing number of upcoming games confirming support for ray tracing, Nvidia already has a greater platform for success than it did with its Turing GPUs.
Nvidia Ampere design
Recent leaked images (seen above) supposedly showed off an Nvidia RTX 3060 card.
The ‘leaked’ images were posted to a Chinese forum Chiphell, showing the RTX 3060 next to an unidentified graphics card. We’re not convinced these graphics cards are legitimate though, as they don’t feature the same attention-to-detail styling as previous cards, while one also sees the “RTX 3080” in an upside-down position in relation to the PCIe power connector.
It’s very possible these are just early production models, but either way, it’s highly likely that final Nvidia Ampere cards won’t end up looking like this.
Another leaked image has shown off the supposed Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. This leak seems more legitimate, but while it features a triple-fan design, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Founders Edition version will too, as third-party cards often see numerous design modifications.
The leaked image at least suggests a launch is imminent though, with Ampere expected to be revealed as early as next month. Stick to Trusted Reviews for the latest information.