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Nvidia Ampere release date, price, specs and performance

Nvidia Ampere is official, with Nvidia finally revealing the next-gen graphics card architecture during its GTC 2020 video keynotes. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until later this year for news on the next-gen RTX 3000 GeForce card that will make use of the architecture.

There’s no confirmation from Nvidia regarding a release date, but a report from DigitTimes claimed the Nvidia Ampere graphics cards will launch in September. While the report didn’t offer any source, it does line up nicely with previous reports.

With Nvidia Ampere confirmed to be used in next-gen RTX 3000 cards, we at least know the RTX 3000 cards will use a TSMC 7nm node, which is a noticeable upgrade on the 12nm node found with previous Turing graphics cards. Nvidia also discussed how the new third-generation Tensor cores result in a far superior performance for data centres, and while GeForce graphics cards won’t use such cores, it still suggests RTX 3000 cards could get a serious performance upgrade too.

A lot of speculation has also suggested Nvidia will go big on ray tracing, which makes a lot of sense given PS5, Xbox Series X and AMD Navi 2X will all be embracing the technology this year.

Read on below for everything we know about Nvidia’s rumoured next-gen graphics cards.

Related: Intel Core i9-10900K review

Nvidia Ampere release date – When will Nvidia launch RTX 3080 and RTX 3070?

Multiple sources are suggesting Nvidia Ampere RTX 3000 graphics cards will launch in September 2020.

Tweaktown reports that it expects the Nvidia Ampere graphics cards to be officially revealed in August and then launch in the following month. This would mean Nvidia Ampere would likely have a major presence in the postponed Computex trade show.

Related: AMD Navi 2X

Nvidia Ampere price – How much will RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 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

Related: Intel Core i5-10600K review

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Nvidia Ampere specs

The Nvidia Ampere GPUs are confirmed to use 7nm architecture, which is already an upgrade on the larger 12nm architecture found with the current Turing graphics cards. 

Further specs details are far more uncertain though. Wccftech suggests the Ampere GPUs will see more vRAM, higher clock speeds and improved power efficiency. 

Other sources, including MyDrivers and Twitter account KittyCorgi, have been far more specific with the specs, but aren’t as credible a source. If they are to be believed though, the Nvidia Ampere specs could be as follows (with comparisons):

Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti
Architecture Ampere Turing
CUDA Cores 5376 4352
Memory size 12GB 11GB 
Memory Bus 384-bit 352-bit

 

Nvidia RTX 3080 Nvidia RTX 2080
Architecture Ampere  Turing 
CUDA Cores 3840 3072
Memory size 10GB  8GB 
Memory Bus 320-bit 256-bit

 

Nvidia RTX 3070 Nvidia RTX 2070
Architecture Ampere  Turing
CUDA Cores 3072 2304
Memory size 8GB  8GB 
Memory Bus 256-bit 256-bit

Recent leaks have suggested the Nvidia Ampere specs are even better than the ones shown above, although we’re not convinced by those reports. The China Times (spotted by Videcardz) has supposedly given us a sneak peek at the specs for some of the new Nvidia Ampere cards, including the RTX 3080 Ti, RTX 3080, RTX 3070 and RTX 3060.

However, these specs are so astonishing that they’re difficult to believe, as they suggest the Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti has 8192 GPU cores, 256 RT cores, 1024 Tensor Cores and a Boost Clock Speed of 1750MHz. These figures are substantially higher than what previous rumours suggested, making the new leaks dubious to say the least.

Related: Intel vs AMD

While we’re not sure about the exact specs, most rumours and leaks are at least correlating with the fact that Nvidia will look to push the ray tracing performance to new heights, which makes a lot of sense given Nvidia’s investment in its RTX range.

Related: Ray tracing explained

Nvidia Ampere performance

Rumours suggest the upcoming RTX 3080 Ti will be 40% more powerful than the current RTX 2080 Ti. Considering the latter is currently the mot powerful consumer graphics card by a big margin, this news is incredibly impressive and could potentially see frame rates reach new levels for 4K gaming.

Nvidia is also rumoured to be intensifying its efforts on ray tracing, which makes a lot of sense since both the PS5 and Xbox Series X will support the technology and likely increase the awareness and demand for the realistic light-rendering feature. 

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 will likely discuss more visual-boosting features made possible via the Ampere architecture, including improved rasterization, but we’ll have to wait until August for official details. 

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