A noted tech leaker is claiming the prospective Nvidia RTX 4090 Ti has now been cancelled. Though, given that it was never confirmed or announced, it's maybe a bit tough to call this a cancellation. Whatever, there will reportedly be no big boi Ada coming out over and above the existing top-end of the RTX 40-series stack.
And, honestly, I don't think anyone is going to be crying over that, especially given the ludicrous girth of the quad-slot cooler that's been regularly doing the rounds on social media. I mean, who's got the space in their rigs for a 600W graphics card of that scale?
But that's maybe not the most interesting part of the tweet from Kopite7Kimi, as they go on to point to further versions of both the RTX 4070 and RTX 4060 coming out using higher-end GPUs than their initial iterations.
There are many reasons why Nvidia would do this—spare chips that don't quite make the grade as higher-spec cards is the most common reason—but given the company's recent launch of a memory-heavy version of its RTX 4060 Ti it's maybe possible the green team is doing so in order to slap more memory onto those two GPUs.
The tweet explicitly states that: "Some low-grade AD103 and AD106 chips will be another versions of RTX 4070 and 4060."
The AD103 is currently only used in the RTX 4080 on the desktop, while the AD106 is running in the 8GB and 16GB versions of the RTX 4060 Ti. That potentially means we could be looking at a 16GB RTX 4070 making good use of the 256-bit bus of the RTX 4080, though expecting a 16GB version of the RTX 4060 would seem a bit optimistic given its lowly status among the current GPU stack.
The counter to this, however, is that an RTX 4070 16GB card, potentially at $699, then looks weird sitting underneath an RTX 4070 Ti 12GB card at $799. And an RTX 4070 with a 256-bit bus and 16GB of VRAM would be nice, and we don't get to have nice things, do we?
For its part, Nvidia has a long history of using cut-down versions of higher-end chips in lower-spec cards, without changing either core counts or memory specifications. So, there's a very good chance that if the rumour of new RTX 4070 and RTX 4060 cards is actually true, there may still be effectively no difference between the initial versions and the newer cards with tweaked GPUs.
Flipping back to the reportedly now not happening RTX 4090 Ti, that was a massive card said to use almost the full AD102 GPU, with 18,176 cores—against the 16,384 of the RTX 4090—but still the same 24GB of GDDR6X memory on a 384-bit bus.
And yes, it was supposedly going to come with a ridiculous cooler that would take up four PCIe slots and probably require specific concrete foundations to be built underneath your motherboard. Though there is also the suggestion that behemoth of a GPU chiller was actually just the test board for Ada.
Still, the RTX 4090 Ti was expected to come with a TGP of 600W and require a pair of those 16-pin power connectors. If that beast ever started to melt you might have been in trouble.
There's no suggestion as yet why the card's development might have halted, but it does feel like, in the current GPU climate, there really isn't a lot of need for another super high-end GPU when we're still struggling with a dearth of good low-end graphics cards. As a PR move, dropping the RTX 4090 Ti right now probably wouldn't have gone down so well.