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I hope this new RTX 4080 leak is fake or we're going to need a bigger PC

Alleged RTX 4080 image alongside an RTX 3090
(Image credit: Nvidia, @KittyYYuko)
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There is a picture posted on Twitter showing an alleged RTX 4080 graphics card (opens in new tab), which looks for all the world like it's sporting the oversized shroud of the RTX 3090 Founders Edition (opens in new tab). That means it's big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to the RTX 3090.

I remember this happening prior to the release of the RTX 30-series cards—where pictures of the FE cards spilled out of the factories where they were being put together, and Jacob and I spent hours poring over them trying to discern whether they were Photoshopped or not. They looked so damned big they couldn't be real. 

But it was the RTX 3090 design that was pictured and, when it finally landed on my doorstep ahead of launch, it really did look for all the world like some novelty sized graphics card. And it still does. Every time I look inside my PC it makes me giggle at the absurdity of its scale.

And now the RTX 4080 is supposedly running to the same size. I can't quite make out whether the bracket is for a dual- or triple-slot card, but other than that they look exactly the same scale.

So, if this is indeed a genuine image of a new RTX 4080 retail-ready card then we're going to need some bigger PC cases to cope with the scale of the new cards.  

I dread to think just how vast the RTX 4090 might end up being. It's also going to mean the small form factor gaming PC crowd is going to be completely left behind by Nvidia's top RTX 40-series (opens in new tab) cards.

As I said, I scoffed at the leaked RTX 30-series cards, and thankfully the enormous triple slot Founders Edition shroud was limited to the RTX 3090, and the RTX 3080 came out as a far more svelte design. And I'm really hoping this leaked image is either a fake, or some test platform for the RTX 40-series that's been created to provide the new Ada Lovelace GPUs as much cooling as they could need while they're being put through their paces, and the specs finalised.

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We've seen rumoured specs change month-by-month (opens in new tab) and if Nvidia is playing around with different configurations it makes sense to use an existing shroud that has ample thermal performance to cope with a wide range of different power and temperature demands. It would also make sense, given the inevitability of such leaked images, to have these test cards in non-release designs.

We still don't have any concrete news about the new Nvidia RTX 40-series cards, with the expectation that Jen-Hsun is going to reveal something official at the GTC keynote on September 20. That may just be the launch timing of the flagship RTX 4090 card, as rumours suggest team green is holding back the full suite of cards until next year while it tries to clear out the excess inventory in the channel.

I've still got to hope that isn't the case and that we get more than just the RTX 4090 and a single Navi 31 GPU from AMD this side of the new year. But that hope is getting fainter by the day.

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.