NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 will be the next-generation gaming flagship, offering the latest graphics architecture based on Ada Lovelace GPUs. The graphics card will be replacing the RTX 3080, a very popular gaming graphics card on its own.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Graphics Card – Purely Designed For Enthusiast Gamers
While there’s no denying the enthusiasm around the higher-end GeForce RTX 4090 series graphics cards that offer the best of the best gaming performance, the RTX 4080 series graphics cards are the tier that most gamers will be getting considering it doesn’t break your wallet and still offers a huge amount of gaming performance. It’s simple, the RTX 4090 series will be aimed at users who want the best of the best without worrying about the amount of money they are spending while the RTX 4080 series is aimed at users who want the best gaming performance at the best possible price.
The previous GeForce RTX 3080 was touted to offer a huge improvement over the RTX 2080 and while that claim fell a little short, it looks like the RTX 4080 has the potential to exceed far beyond its predecessor due to several reasons which will be apparent in this roundup detailing its specs & performance figures.
We should expect similar things with the next-generation gaming powerhouse too but an important factor to consider is that GPUs are becoming more power-hungry and more pricey. It is a trend that might continue into the future as we get better products but in return, there’s always a cost to pay for end consumers. So starting with what we know so far, first we should take a look at the brand new Ada Lovelace or AD10* class GPUs that will be powering the next-gen GeForce RTX 40 series cards.
NVIDIA’s AD103 ‘Ada Lovelace’ GPU – The Next-Gen Powerhouse
Starting with the GPU configuration, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 series graphics cards are said to utilize the AD103 GPU core. Think of AD103 as an optimized version of AD102 that sits between the AD102 and AD104 GPUs. The GPU is said to measure around 400mm2-450mm2 and will utilize the TSMC 4N process node which is an optimized version of TSMC’s 5nm (N5) node designed for the green team.
The NVIDIA Ada Lovelace AD103 GPU is expected to feature up to 7 GPC (Graphics Processing Clusters). This is the same GPC count as the Ampere GA102 GPU and one additional GPC over the GA103 GPU. Each GPU will consist of 6 TPCs and 2 SMs which is the same configuration as the existing chip. Each SM (Streaming Multiprocessor) will house four sub-cores which is also the same as the GA102 GPU. What’s changed is the FP32 & the INT32 core configuration. Each sub-core will include 128 FP32 units but combined FP32+INT32 units will go up to 192. This is because the FP32 units don’t share the same sub-core as the IN32 units. The 128 FP32 cores are separate from the 64 INT32 cores.
So in total, each sub-core will consist of 32 FP32 plus 16 INT32 units for a total of 48 units. Each SM will have a total of 128 FP32 units plus 64 INT32 units for a total of 192 units. And since there are a total of 84 SM units (12 per GPC), we are looking at 10,752 FP32 Units and 5,376 INT32 units for a total of 18,432 cores. Each SM will also include two Wrap Schedules (32 thread/CLK) for 64 wraps per SM. This is a 50% increase on the cores (FP32+INT32) and a 33% increase in Wraps/Threads vs the GA102 GPU.
NVIDIA AD103 ‘Ada Lovelace’ Gaming GPU ‘SM’ Block Diagram (Image Credits: Kopite7kimi):
NVIDIA Ada Lovelace ‘AD103’ GPU Specs ‘Preliminary’:
|GPC||7 (Per GPU)||Same||1.16x||1.16x|
|TPC||6 (Per GPC)||Same||1.20x||Same|
|SM||2 (Per TPC)||Same||Same||Same|
|Sub-Core||4 (Per SM)||Same||Same||Same|
|FP32||128 (Per SM)||Same||Same||2x|
|FP32+INT32||192 (Per SM)||1.5x||1.5x||1.5x|
|Warps||64 (Per SM)||1.33x||1.33x||2x|
|Threads||2048 (Per SM)||1.33x||1.33x||2x|
|L1 Cache||192 KB (Per SM)||1.5x||1.5x||2x|
|L2 Cache||64 MB (Per GPU)||10.6x||16x||10.6x|
|ROPs||32 (Per GPC)||2x||2x||2x|
Moving over to the cache, this is another segment where NVIDIA has given a big boost over the existing Ampere GPUs. The Ada Lovelace GPUs will pack 192 KB of L1 cache per SM, an increase of 50% over Ampere. That’s a total of 2.5 MB of L1 cache on the top AD103 GPU. The L2 cache will be increased to 64 MB as mentioned in the leaks. This is a 10.6x increase over the Ampere GA102 GPU that hosts just 6 MB of L2 cache. The cache will be shared across the GPU.
Finally, we have the ROPs which are also increased to 32 per GPC, an increase of 2x over Ampere. You are looking at up to 224 ROPs on the next-gen flagship versus just 112 on the fastest Ampere GPU, the RTX 3090 Ti. There are also going to be the latest 4th Generation Tensor and 3rd Generation RT (Raytracing) cores infused on the Ada Lovelace GPUs which will help boost DLSS & Raytracing performance to the next level. Overall, the Ada Lovelace AD103 GPU will offer:
- Same Amount of GPCs as GA102
- Same Amount of Cores as GA102
- 50% More L1 Cache (Versus Ampere)
- 16x More L2 Cache (Versus Ampere)
- Double The ROPs (Versus Ampere)
- 4th Gen Tensor & 3rd Gen RT Cores
NVIDIA AD103 ‘Ada Lovelace’ Gaming GPU Block Diagram Mock-Up (Image Credits: SemiAnalysis):
Do note that clock speeds, which are said to be between the 2-3 GHz range, aren’t taken into the equation so they will also play a major role in improving the per-core performance versus Ampere.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 Series Graphics Card Lineup (Rumored):
|Graphics Card||GPU||PCB Variant||SM Units / Cores||Memory / Bus||Memory Clock / Bandwidth||TGP||Power Connectors|
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 Ti||AD102-350?||TBD||144 / 18432?||48 GB / 384-bit||24 Gbps / 1.15 TB/s||~600W||1x 16-pin|
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090||AD102-300?||PG137/139 SKU330||126 / 16128?||24 GB / 384-bit||21 Gbps / 1.00 TB/s||~450W||1x 16-pin|
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080||AD103-300?||TBD||>84 / 10752?||16 GB / 256-bit||21 Gbps / 672 GB/s||~350W||1x 16-pin|
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070||AD104-400?||PG141-310 SKU341||>60 / 7680||12 GB / 192-bit||18 Gbps / 432 GB/s||~300W||1x 16-pin|
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Graphics Cards Specifications
As we saw with the GA102 GPU, NVIDIA can have various configurations of the AD103 GPU for its GeForce RTX 3080 series lineup. We realistically expect there to be two variants, the RTX 4080 and the RTX 4080 Ti. The former will be part of the initial lineup while the latter would launch as a mid-cycle refresh. The most entry-level GeForce RTX 30 had 23% fewer cores compared to the full chip but this time, the ’80-class’ graphics cards are going to be powered by their own chip rather than relying on the AD102 GPU that the flagships use. As such, we can expect anywhere from 8704 to 10752 cores.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 ‘Expected’ Specifications
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 is going to be a cut-down configuration with either than same cores as the existing GA102 part but tuned with much higher frequency or between 9000-1000 cores that allow some room for a ‘Ti’ variant in the future with the full-fat configuration. The GPU will come packed with 64 MB of L2 cache and up to 224 ROPs which is simply insane.
The clock speeds are not confirmed yet but considering that the TSMC 4N process is being used, we are expecting clocks between the 2.0-3.0 GHz range. The higher than usual clock speed bump comes from the fact that NVIDIA is making a two-node jump considering the Ampere GPUs with Samsung 8nm node was in reality a 10nm process node with some optimizations. NVIDIA is skipping 7nm and going straight for a 5nm node and not even the vanilla variant but an optimized version of it. With Pascal on the TSMC 16nm node, NVIDIA delivered a huge frequency leap and we can expect a similar jump this time around too.
As for memory specs, the GeForce RTX 4080 is expected to rock 16 GB GDDR6X capacities that might come at faster 21 Gbps speeds across a 256-bit bus interface. This will provide up to 672 GB/s of bandwidth. Now all these boosted specifications will result in higher power draw too and the flagship is expected to operate at a TBP of around 350W. Now for 350W, a single 16-pin Gen 5 connector should be enough for both reference and custom models.
We have also seen an alleged NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 Ti heatsink and cooler shroud which hints at the use of a beefier cold plate that provides coverage for both the GPU and memory dies along with an overall larger structure. The leaked cooler is a Founders Edition design and judging by how big it looks, the AIB models will end up being vastly bigger and we may even end up with quad-slot designs from all partners. We can expect the RTX 4080 cooler to be modified with similar changes.
As for its feature set, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 graphics cards will rock all the modern NV feature sets such as the latest 4th Gen Tensor Cores, 3rd gen RT cores, the latest NVENC Encoder, and NVCDEC Decoder, and support for the latest APIs. They will pack all the modern RTX features such as DLSS, Reflex, Broadcast, Resizable-BAR, Freestyle, Ansel, Highlights, Shadowplay, and G-SYNC support too.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Series Preliminary Specs:
|Graphics Card Name||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Ti||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080|
|GPU Name||Ada Lovelace AD103-350?||Ada Lovelace AD103-300?||Ampere GA102-225||Ampere GA102-200|
|Process Node||TSMC 4N||TSMC 4N||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm|
|Transistors||TBD||TBD||28 Billion||28 Billion|
|TMUs / ROPs||TBD / 224?||TBD / 214?||320 / 112||272 / 96|
|Tensor / RT Cores||TBD / TBD||TBD / TBD||320 / 80||272 / 68|
|Base Clock||TBD||TBD||1365 MHz||1440 MHz|
|Boost Clock||~2600 MHz||~2500 MHz||1665 MHz||1710 MHz|
|FP32 Compute||~55TFLOPs||~50 TFLOPs||34 TFLOPs||30 TFLOPs|
|RT TFLOPs||TBD||TBD||67 TFLOPs||58 TFLOPs|
|Tensor-TOPs||TBD||TBD||273 TOPs||238 TOPs|
|Memory Capacity||16 GB GDDR6X||16 GB GDDR6X||12 GB GDDR6X||10 GB GDDR6X|
|Memory Speed||24.0 Gbps?||21.0 Gbps?||19 Gbps||19 Gbps|
|Bandwidth||768 GB/s||672 2GB/s||912 Gbps||760 Gbps|
|Price (MSRP / FE)||$1199 US?||$699 US?||$1199||$699 US|
|Launch (Availability)||2022?||July 2022?||3rd June 2021||17th September 2020|
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Graphics Cards Performance
As for the performance of the gaming GPUs, we can only use theoretical numbers here since the launch is a bit far away but based on what we know, the RTX 40 series cards might be the first gaming cards to hit the 100 TFLOPs compute horsepower limit.
Just for comparison’s sake:
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 Ti: ~103 TFLOPs (FP32) (Assuming 2.8 GHz clock)
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090: ~90 TFLOPs (FP32) (Assuming 2.8 GHz clock)
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080: ~50 TFLOPs (FP32) (Assuming 2.5 GHz clock)
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti: 40 TFLOPs (FP32) (1.86 GHz Boost clock)
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090: 36 TFLOPs (FP32) (1.69 GHz Boost clock)
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080: 30 TFLOPs (FP32) (1.71 GHz Boost clock)
Based on a theoretical clock speed of 2.5 GHz, you get up to 53 TFLOPs of compute performance and the rumors are suggesting even higher boost clocks. Now, these are definitely sounding like peak clocks, similar to AMD’s peak frequencies which are higher than the average ‘Game’ clock. A 50+ TFLOPs compute performance means more performance on an ’80-class’ GPU than a ’90-class flagship’ which will be a good bump. But one should keep in mind that compute performance doesn’t necessarily indicate the overall gaming performance but despite that, it will be a huge upgrade for gaming PCs and an 8.5x increase over the current fastest console, the Xbox Series X.
This will be a 70% compute performance uplift for the GeForce RTX 4080 graphics card versus its predecessor and this is without even factoring in the RT and Tensor core performance which are expected to get major lifts too in their respective department. Now FLOPs aren’t necessarily reflective of the graphics or gaming performance but they do provide a metric that can be used for comparison. A 2x gain over the RTX 3090 & RTX 3090 Ti would be very disruptive and it makes sense why NVIDIA is going so hard with higher power limits on their cards.
Gamers should expect 4K gaming to be buttery smooth on these graphics cards and with DLSS, we might even see playable 60 FPS at 8K resolution which is something that NVIDIA has been trying to achieve with its RTX 3090 series BFGPUs for a while now.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Graphics Cards Price & Availability
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 was launched at $699 US but its refreshes have really messed up the prices. The RTX 3080 12 GB launched without an MSRP but NVIDIA had internally planned at an $899 US price point for this variant while the RTX 3080 Ti had an MSRP of $1199 US. The pricing is simply all over the place and we would never want to see consumers pay anything about $600 or $700 US for a standard 80-class graphics card. The Ti makes sense but even a $1200 US pricing is absurd but it’s what the market has become accustomed to since the RTX 2080 Ti. I wish we can go back to the days of the GTX 1080 Ti at $699 US but I don’t see it happening. As such, the RTX 4080 can set us around $650-$700 US while its Ti variant can end up close to the $1000-$1100 US mark.
The difference between the RTX 4080 Ti and RTX 4080 will be way bigger this time around too. It looks like NVIDIA didn’t get as much of a positive response from the RTX 3080 Ti as it hoped so and instead of removing the card entirely from its GPU segment, they could have decided to cut down the specs of the non-Ti variant more. Since the spec downgrade will lead to a bigger difference in performance between the RTX 4080 & RTX 4080 Ti than the RTX 3080 & RTX 3080 Ti, it might just be worth getting the higher-end variant for a 15-20% performance gain instead of the single-digit gain you are getting right now.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 series graphics cards are rumored for a mid-July launch and while we have seen cooler shrouds of the RTX 4090 Ti leak out earlier, NVIDIA could still release the non-Ti variant first with the RTX 4090 Ti variant hitting the market much later. But this wouldn’t be the first time that NVIDIA releases a high-end SKU during the very start of its next generation. The RTX 2080 Ti flagship was launched with the rest of the lineup even though its predecessor, the GTX 1080 Ti appeared months after the launch of the initial lineup. The RTX 3090 launched with the initial line of RTX 30 series cards but the 3090 Ti came more than a year late. This time, NVIDIA could launch the entire family from the start and go for a mid-cycle refresh later on but that remains to be seen.
NVIDIA GeForce GPU Segment/Tier Prices
|Titan Tier||Titan X (Maxwell)||Titan X (Pascal)||Titan Xp (Pascal)||Titan V (Volta)||Titan RTX (Turing)||GeForce RTX 3090||GeForce RTX 3090 Ti
GeForce RTX 3090
|Price||$999 US||$1199 US||$1199 US||$2999 US||$2499 US||$1499 US||$1999 US
|Ultra Enthusiast Tier||GeForce GTX 980 Ti||GeForce GTX 980 Ti||GeForce GTX 1080 Ti||GeForce RTX 2080 Ti||GeForce RTX 2080 Ti||GeForce RTX 3080 Ti||GeForce RTX 3080 Ti|
|Price||$649 US||$649 US||$699 US||$999 US||$999 US||$1199 US||$1199 US|
|Enthusiast Tier||GeForce GTX 980||GeForce GTX 1080||GeForce GTX 1080||GeForce RTX 2080||GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER||GeForce RTX 3080 10 GB||GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB|
|Price||$549 US||$549 US||$549 US||$699 US||$699 US||$699 US||$999 US|
|High-End Tier||GeForce GTX 970||GeForce GTX 1070||GeForce GTX 1070||GeForce RTX 2070||GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER||GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
GeForce RTX 3070
|GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 16 GB|
|Price||$329 US||$379 US||$379 US||$499 US||$499 US||$599
|Mainstream Tier||GeForce GTX 960||GeForce GTX 1060||GeForce GTX 1060||GeForce GTX 1060||GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER
GeForce RTX 2060
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER
GeForce GTX 1660
|GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB
|GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB
|Price||$199 US||$249 US||$249 US||$249 US||$399 US
|Entry Tier||GTX 750 Ti
|GTX 950||GTX 1050 Ti
|GTX 1050 Ti
|GTX 1650 SUPER
|GTX 1650 SUPER
|$149 US||$139 US
As of now, the rumors point out the Mid-July launch so we have to wait two more months to see how well that goes!
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