AMD's RX 6900 XT lacklustre launch means Nvidia doesn't need the RTX 3080 Ti anytime soon

The fight continues
(Image credit: AMD/Nvidia)

Nvidia and AMD have been trading some good blows over this latest generation of GPUs, with little space to breathe between each new release. It may come as a surprise then, that Nvidia is reportedly holding back a possible RTX 3080 Ti launch until later in 2021 than we first expected.

New projections suggest that, after the launch of AMD's most recent Navi card, the Radeon RX 6900 XT, Nvidia's going to be taking a leisurely stroll with the rest of the 30-series lineup. The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is now not expected to surface until mid to late February next year—certainly not before Chinese new year celebrations have come to a close around February 17.

According to sources (via Igors Lab), it looks as if the likelihood of Nvidia following up with the reflexive, potentially rash release of an RTX 3080 Ti has dwindled. Despite the extra 6GB onboard memory that AMD's RDNA 2 cards boast over the Nvidia RTX 3080, the 6000 series cards still have a tendency to falter at 4K. Subsequently, the pressure for Nvidia to deliver a better version of the RTX 3080, or a cheaper version of the 24GB Nvidia RTX 3090, has lifted somewhat. 

Considering the RTX cards superiority in many cases with this most recent GPU lineup, it seems Nvidia has positioned itself perfectly for a slower paced roll out of its intermediate range of Ampere cards. AMD has made it unnecessary for Nvidia to rush about, so Nvidia now lies in wait, secure in the knowledge that "it's got high-end refreshes in the bank"—as our Dave puts it.

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(Image credit: MSI)

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The RTX 3080 Ti, when it eventually drops, is rumoured currently to arrive with 9,984 CUDA cores (78 streaming multiprocessors), placing it neatly between the RTX 3080's 8,704 CUDA cores (68 SMs), and the 10,496 (82 SMs) coming out of the RTX 3090. What's more, it's expected to pack a favourable 20GB of VRAM. 

Some spicy predictions there. Let's just hope the stock shortages subside by February.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for three years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.