With AMD's Radeon RX 6900 XT (opens in new tab) said to be aiming squarely at the Nvidia RTX 3090 (opens in new tab) at the high-end of the performance slider, while also significantly cheaper, Nvidia may be looking to rebuff AMD's efforts with a brand new graphics card: the often rumoured RTX 3080 Ti. Rumour has it, this new card could arrive as soon as January.
That's according to at least one Taiwan board manufacturer speaking to HKEPC (opens in new tab). The website reports that an RTX 3080 Ti will offer price parity with the RX 6900 XT at $999, and will feature near-enough the same specifications as the RTX 3090 in all but memory configuration.
The RTX 3090 offers 24GB of GDDR6X memory across a 384-bit memory bus, but rumour has it the RTX 3080 Ti will offer just 20GB across a 320-bit interface. I know, how will we survive? Reportedly NVLink will also be stripped from the slightly lower-spec card, although it will remain at a 320W TDP.
The HEKPC report (translation provided by Google (opens in new tab)) further states how the RTX 3080 Ti is looking to garner a much more aggressive price/performance ratio, and it looks clear that will be the case if such a card exists. That does leave us wondering where might the RTX 3090 slot in to all this post-launch, and where the RTX 3080 Ti could land in terms of performance.
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The RTX 3090 offers, at best, a 15% performance boon in gaming workloads over the RTX 3080 (opens in new tab), by our testing, and that drops to as low as 2% (or on rare occasion, negligible gain) in a few runs. There's not a great deal of wiggle room for a card to sit between the two in terms of performance, especially given the far bigger cooler attached to the RTX 3090, and the fact its chonk GPU is already clocked impressive high for such a big boi.
There is clearly plenty of space for the high-end card to join the fray when it comes to pricing, however. The RTX 3080 sits at a $699 MSRP, while the RTX 3090 will set you back $1,499.
The maths doesn't paint a rosy picture for the RTX 3090, and even more so should Nvidia release a close-run RTX 3080 Ti for $500 less come January.
RTX 3080 Ti FE:PG133-SKU15,GA102-250-KD-A1,20GB GD6X,the same FP32 count as 3090, 10496FP32,the same MEM speed and TGP as 3080,no NVLINK.November 4, 2020
This remains merely a rumour today, but let's not pretend it's the first time we've heard about the potential RTX 3080 Ti. Leaker Kopite7kimi on Twitter has reported a card between the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 on a couple of occasions. Most recently, the leaker claims an RTX 3080 Ti would sit alongside HEKPC's report, with 20GB of GDDR6X memory, 10,496 FP32 cores, same TGP, and no NVLink.
No matter what the exact specification, be sure that Nvidia will have an answer to AMDs's entire 6000-series GPU lineup in one form or another. It's just a matter of what form that response will take.