Nvidia RTX 4000 series: all we know about Lovelace GPUs

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There is still no official word from Nvidia on the RTX 4000 series. Only speculation from previous generation releases as well as leaks and rumors to go on. But with the success of the RTX 30 series as some of the best graphics cards, Nvidia will want to continue its success.

The RTX 40 series GPUs are nicknamed Lovelace after Ada, the 19th-century mathematician thought to be the first programmer. The series will try to further improve on the RTX lineup released with the 20 series in 2018. As well as take advantage of further improvements such as the PCIe 5.0 implementation AMD is supposedly bringing.

Another massive stock injection of graphics cards can also help with the massive price hike we have seen throughout the pandemic. GPUs have never been so expensive and so with a large stock increase, we should expect a price drop. As long as scalpers don’t get their hands on them first.

Nvidia RTX 4000 series release date

Nvidia’s consumer GPU releases have been very regular. Its recent GPU microarchitecture releases have been:

Even with Ampere being nearly 2 years old, plenty of new GPU variants are still coming out. Most recently with the RTX 3050.

This sort of pattern leads us to believe that the RTX 4000 series will release in the second half of 2022. Nvidia’s own datacenter roadmap shows Ampere next (placeholder name) is expected for 2022 which would likely also provide consumer-grade hardware. With no news on the release leads us to believe it will be later on in the year.

There has been talk of the release by tech insiders and leakers in the industry. The latest does suggest that it is late 2022 further suggesting the second-half release.

Even more confirmation of September 2022 for the RTX 4000 release date comes from Greymon with a tweet on the date.

RTX 4080 release date

Likely to be the fan favorites like the RTX 3080 was, the RTX 4080 will be the cheaper powerful alternative to the flagship. Due to this, it will likely be in the initial lineup and so in the first release of the Lovelace GPUs. So quite likely the RTX 4080 is going to arrive in September 2022.

In the current generation, the RTX 3080 was half the price of the RTX 3090. With still very impressive performance, without the overkill for gamers. So Nvidia will likely continue this trend with the RTX 4080, giving us a good selection of powerful cards.

Specifications

There have been no definitive specifications released for the 4000 series cards. However, there are a few leaks that we can interpolate from.

As previously mentioned by kopite7kimi, the Lovelace cards are built on TSMCs N5 process. Further corroborated by greymon55 listing the whole range of processes for the next-gen GPUs. For Nvidia, this means moving away from Samsung that they used for the 8nm process used in the RTX 30 series. A smaller process also benefits from greater power efficiency, leading to better performance per watt.

Further rumors suggest the full specs of the AD102 (RTX 4080 and 4090 chipset) to be:

We compare the rumored specs to the RTX 3080/3090:

With a much smaller process, the GPU is fitting more streaming multiprocessors on the card. The rumored cards have double the 3080 count, with the count reaching triple digits. Same for the number of CUDA cores, with the 4080/90 cards having 18432, compared to just 8960 on the 12GB 3080. Likely to improve performance, as seen by the FP32 float performance doubling in the new-gen cards.

Where there is likely to be less difference is in the memory or VRAM of the GPUs. With the count at 24 GB, it equals 3090. Along with the same interface and type of memory, it relies on the clock to gain performance in that spec. Another area it also gains in is the alleged boost clock reaching over 2.0 GHz ranging in the 2.3 to 2.5 range. A big improvement for an Nvidia card.

Another leak suggests that the AD102 (RTX 4090) will be a very power-hungry card requiring a 1500W power supply to feed it.

RTX 4000 GPU architecture

With Nvidia’s recent cyberattack, plenty of data was taken from their internal servers. This has led to the dripping out of the next-gen information. The latest was about the RTX 4000 GPU architecture, it shows the L2 cache of the new GPUs is massively increased, with the lowest AD107 die containing 32 MB. Whereas the current-gen GA102 (3080/3090) only has a 6 MB count. Increasing the throughput of the memory massively.

The same can be said for the CUDA and SM (streaming multiprocessor) count on the Lovelace cards. Not to as an extreme amount but definitely an overall boost in power over now. Especially with the next-gen of cards requiring a new PCIe power spec to provide up to 600W each and running over PCIe 5th gen connector.

Lovelace price

With the AMD and Nvidia competition in the GPU market, we can expect an MSRP close to previous releases. Or the potential for another jump like in the past. The GTX 1080 had an MSRP of $599, then the RTX 2080 and 3080 had an MSRP of $699. With the 70 cards having an MSRP of $499.

If the price were to stay similar then we can expect the 4080 to cost around $699~$800. Then the 4070 is in the range of $499~$600. For a successor to the flagship, an RTX 4090 would also have an eyewatering price like the 3090, which had an MSRP of $1,499.

However, with the GPU scalping and lack of stock, it is hard to predict if they will even be available at MSRP. Graphics cards are expensive for plenty of reasons but likely only in the short term. More recently GPU prices falling with the volatility of crypto prices as well as better stock and recovery from the pandemic.

Is it worth waiting for RTX 4000 series?

Still can’t find a GPU or don’t want to overpay for one, then it is a good idea to wait for the new RTX 4000 series. Coming at the second half of the year you have to wait a little while before you can get them. But it is likely to be worth the wait, as the cards will offer up plenty more stock in the market and much more choice. This will likely lead to the price stabilizing, and availability close to the MSRP. Giving all of us hope of a new build or long-awaited upgrade to our current setups.

RTX 4000 series overview

With an expected release in the second half of 2022, there is much to look forward to. It seems not long ago was the RTX 30 series was released. From market struggles, it’s been hard to get new graphics cards but there has been a trend to a more stable situation.

In the new generation of cards, we also expect better specs and performance too with a move to an even smaller process. So as long as price can compete they should be a good generation to look forward to.

We’ll be sure to keep our eyes open on any more news and update this page with any new details that are relevant to the RTX 4000 series.

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