Nvidia is expected to launch its next-generation graphics cards this year, which will reportedly feature GPU architecture called Nvidia Ampere.
Rumours suggest the first consumer graphics cards to use the Ampere architecture will be called the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 and RTX 3080, although it’s expected we will see an RTX 3080 Ti card too.
Leaks suggest the Nvidia Ampere graphics cards will not only see enhanced performance power, but will also put a lot of focus on improving ray tracing.
Read on below for everything we know about Nvidia’s rumoured next-gen graphics cards.
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Nvidia Ampere release date – When will Nvidia launch RTX 3080 and RTX 3070?
Many reports suggest we’ll get our first glimpse of the Nvidia Ampere GPU at the GTC conference on the 22nd of March 2020, where Nvidia will reveal its latest roadmap.
We’ll have to wait a little longer to actually be able to buy Nvidia’s next-gen graphics cards though, with a Q2 release speculated, potentially coinciding with Computex 2020.
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Nvidia Ampere price – How much will RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 cost?
There’s little word on price right now, which is no surprise considering Nvidia traditionally like to set the price last minute 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.
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Nvidia Ampere specs
The Nvidia Ampere GPUs are widely expected to feature a 7nm architecture, which is already an upgrade on the 12nm architecture found with Turing.
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||Nvidia RTX 2080|
|Architecture||Ampere GA103||Turing TU104|
|Memory size||10/20GB G6||8GB G6|
|Nvidia RTX 3070||Nvidia RTX 2070|
|Architecture||Ampere GA104||Turing TU104|
|Memory size||8/16GB G6||8GB G6|
If these specs are accurate, then the Ampere-based graphics cards could offer a big performance boost compared to the Turing counterparts.
Related: Ray tracing explained
Nvidia Ampere performance
Reports from The Next Platform suggest the upcoming Nvidia Ampere GPUs will be 70-75% faster than the current generation. This news reportedly comes from Indiana University’s vice president for information technology and chief information officer, Brad Wheeler, who suggested the Big Red 200 supercomputer will feature Nvidia’s next-gen GPU.
It’s not entirely clear what that 75% performance boost entails, as it could be referring to raw performance or specifically in regards to deep learning. It would be incredibly impressive if it’s the former that’s accurate, since Nvidia’s Turing graphics cards are currently the most powerful available to consumers.
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 March for official details.