- Release date: Most likely Mid-May
- GPU: Nvidia GA102-225
- Core configuration: 10,240 CUDA cores (80 SMs)
- Memory: 12GB GDDR6 384-bit
- Performance: Faster than an RTX 3080, particularly at 4K, but only just
- Price: $999 most probably, although yet to be announced
There's still no official word about the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti release date from Nvidia yet, and just now the April launch has been pushed back again. You can expect performance leaks and specs sheets to start appearing by the end of April, with more juicy details as we head into the beginning of May.
The RTX 3080 Ti has been expected for a while now, if only because there's a Ti-shaped hole in the market, and a $999 rival from AMD in the Radeon RX 6900 XT to contend with. There are those who want more raw grunt than the standard GeForce RTX 3080, but don't want to stretch all the way up to the GeForce RTX 3090; a card which doesn't make too much sense for gamers at it's breathtaking $1,499 price tag. A faster RTX 3080, offering more raw grunt, particularly at 4K, makes a lot more sense.
All the signs are the latest addition to the Ampere family will feature 10,240 CUDA Cores, which is a notable chunk above the 8,704 of the RTX 3080. This would produce a card potentially closer in performance to the RTX 3090, although without the larger frame buffer the high-end card offers for the more professional end of the market. Having said that, the RTX 3080 Ti has long been rumoured to pack 12GB of GDDR6X compared to the 10GB of the RTX 3080, so it's not going to be lacking for gaming either.
There's no getting away from the fact that the market is starved of graphics cards right now, and given a new launch is the best time to get your hands on a polygon pushing powerhouse, we'd expect a high-end take on the RTX 3080 to do very well. Nvidia will probably use its Ethereum blocking tech on the new cards as well, although given the initial implementation has been scuppered due to a driver update, we could see a different take on the same idea.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti release date
The general consensus was that we'd see the RTX 3080 Ti launch sometime in April, possibly in the middle of the month if the stock levels were looking healthy enough. Now though, rumours are putting it closer to a mid-May launch. If this is the case, we should hear something on the subject from Nvidia itself soon, to confirm. Either way, you can expect at least a couple of weeks of notice before an official release.
There's still nothing official from Nvidia as to when the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti will be released, or even any confirmation this new GPU exists at all, but the whispers are mounting about it, and are starting to snowball as they tend to before a new graphics card is officially released.
One other thing we don't know is whether Nvidia will be releasing a Founders Edition of the RTX 3080 Ti. The last card it released, the GeForce RTX 3060, didn't get the special treatment, though that does tend to happen the lower down the stack you go. With such an important release as the RTX 3080 Ti though, it'd make sense for Nvidia to push for it.
Beyond Nvidia itself, you can expect cards from the usual suspects—Asus, EVGA, MSI, Gigabyte, Palit, Zotac etc. Given this is a high-end GPU, you can expect some of the more outlandish coolers to get an airing, with the potential for some factory overclocking as well. We may even see some high-end water-cooling options, although, given the state of the market, such solutions may appear later in the GPUs lifespan.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti specs
Given the RTX 3080 Ti doesn't officially exist yet, it should come as no surprise the following isn't set in stone. It is however what we've managed to piece together from various sources and leaks over the interwebs, with a smattering of our own understandings thrown in for good measure.
As far as we know, the GA102 chips will continue to be manufactured using Samsung's 8N process, exactly as the RTX 3080 was. Nvidia reportedly acquired some additional production allotment at the end of last year, and this could be what we're seeing put to use here, though there is perennially talk about a switch to TSMC despite the capacity struggles there. We won't know for sure, however, until the graphics cards start appearing.
|RTX 3090||RTX 3080 Ti||RTX 3080|
|GPU Base clock||1395 MHz||~ 1400 MHz||1440 MHz|
|GPU Boost clock||1695 MHz||~ 1700 MHz||1710 MHz|
|Memory||24 GB GDDR6X||12 GB GDDR6X||10 GB GDDR6X|
|Memory speed||19.5 Gbps||19 Gbps||19 Gbps|
|Bandwidth||936 GB/s||912 GB/s||760 GB/s|
The key spec for this new chip is the 80 streaming multiprocessors (SMs) it lays claim to, which is a notable bump over the RTX 3080's 68. With each SM housing 128 CUDA Cores, you're looking at a total of 10,240 CUDA Cores with the RTX 3080 Ti. That's a lot, and not far off the 10,752 of the RTX 3090.
If true, it also means the 3080 Ti will lay claim to 80 RT cores, which should mean it's much smoother at delivering a convincing ray tracing experience. It'll also deliver more Tensor Cores, supposedly 320, which will help with Nvidia's DLSS cleverness.
What we've got no idea of right now is how fast the GPU clocks will be. It's not unreasonable to assume the clocks will be in the same ballpark as the RTX 3080's 1,440MHz base clock and 1,710MHz boost clock. It's worth noting the RTX 3090 has slightly slower clocks than this though, so don't expect the RTX 3080 Ti to run much faster than the RTX 3080, if at all. It'll still have better performance due to the amount of CUDA Cores on offer.
The other assumed big improvement with the RTX 3080 Ti is the move to a 12GB GDDR6 configuration. Importantly this is some way off the 20GB the RTX 3090 calls on, which will help protect that card for the more-serious market. 12GB is still a healthy bump over the 10GB of the RTX 3080 though, yet the direct benefit to any games right now is going to be tough to spot.
One thing to keep an eye on is the memory bandwidth for this GPU. There have been plenty of rumours Nvidia is going to use a 384-bit bus for the RTX 3080 Ti, but with the same 19Gbps memory clock as the RTX 3080. Those two equate to an overall memory bandwidth of 912GB/s—very close to the 936GB/s of the RTX 3090.
Another figure has been doing the rounds though, and that points to an overall bandwidth of 864GB/s. That would only be possible if Nvidia drops the memory clock down to 18Gbps (assuming the move to a 384-bit is correct).
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti performance
There were already rumours about the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti prior to the release of the RTX 3080, the first Ampere GPU, and we can only assume the reason this card hasn't seen the light of day until now is basically because Nvidia hasn't needed to call on it yet. The general vibe was Nvidia was holding on to it in case AMD brought out something monstrous. That never came, and the RX 6900 XT certainly wasn't it.
Because if there is an issue with this card right now, it's the straight RTX 3080 is pretty damn powerful. Take a look at our RTX 3080 review, and you'll discover even at 4K that the flagship Ampere card has enough raw grunt to render your games smoothly.
Sure you can never have too many frames, but a 10 percent or so improvement in fps isn't going to make too much difference, and that's exactly the order of magnitude you're likely to see with the RTX 3080 Ti.
For reference, the RTX 3090 offers an 11 percent improvement over the RTX 3080 on average—obviously not worth more than double the price tag. Even so, if we saw this kind of improvement with the RTX 3080 Ti for $999, then that's a little easier to stomach if you absolutely need top performance (and aren't a content creator).
Until we get the final speeds and feeds in, we're not going to be able to make a serious guess at what sort of performance upgrade the RTX 3080 Ti can offer over the straight RTX 3080, but anything less than a 10 percent boost for $300 or so extra hardly adds up.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti price
Looking at the specs for the RTX 3080 Ti, It would be easy to take the pricing of the current RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 and split the difference—for reference, the MSRPs of the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 are $699 and $1,499 respectively. This lead to the RTX 3080 Ti costing around $1,199. We don't see this happening though, as the RTX 3090 isn't a graphics card aimed at gamers, while the RTX 3080 Ti absolutely is.
It is still a potential pricing plan though, mimicking what we saw with the previous generation, which also happened to have the RTX 2080 at $699 (although it was later replaced by the RTX 2080 Super at the same price) and the RTX 3070 for $499. Back then, the RTX 2080 Ti launched at $1,200, so it's reasonable to predict the RTX 3080 Ti will launch at $1,200 too.
There is the tiniest chance it could ship for less though, because the RTX 3080 Ti isn't the launch card, while the RTX 2080 Ti was for the Turing generation of cards. If this is the case, then it makes more sense to look at the pricing of the RTX 3070 and project upwards from there. The RTX 3070 is keenly priced at $499, which would infer the RTX 3080 Ti could go for more like $899.
The realistic expectation, however, is the RTX 3080 Ti launches as a $999 card, although anything less than that would be welcome. This would be for a base model, and you can expect to spend more on the more esoteric editions with factory overclocks and high-end coolers.
It's going to be interesting to see how much restraint Nvidia shows when it comes to the pricing of the RTX 3080 Ti. We've seen AMD release the Radeon RX 6700 XT at a fairly ridiculous $479, which doesn't make a lot of sense given the RTX 3070 costs just $20 more, and thrashes it across the board—even the $399 RTX 3060 Ti nipps at its heels in several tests. This didn't stop the card selling within minutes of launching though, and the current stock situation is undoubtedly going to impact any pricing decisions right now.