Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 design just leaked — and we have bad news

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Leaked images posted to Chinese tech forum ChipHell have revealed what the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 could look like. And it’s a bit of an ugly beast. 

Slated to be Nvidia’s next top-of-the-line graphics card that will use its new Ampere architecture, the GeForce RTX 3080 is expected to have the graphical power to easily crush the performance of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, as well as Nvidia’s current graphics card lineup. And to keep all that power from burning out the GPU a large cooling system is needed; we just hope it’s not the one in the leaked images. 

A crisscross like design that resembles the outline of an hourglass sits around the dual fans of what’s marked as an RTX 3080. And there’s a huge amount of heatsink fins all over the card’s body, which might very well keep it cool but look more like something one would find in an industrial HVAC system rather than at the heart of a gaming PC.  

We appreciate that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and some PC gamers might not care about hardware aesthetic. But a lot like to use cases with a clear side panel to peer into their PCs, so the RTX 3080 might turn off gamers who want something elegant to show off within their beastly builds. 

However, it could simply be an engineering sample and one that’s lacking a finalized shroud. With a proper shroud, the ugly but necessary parts of a graphics card could be kept out of sight. There’s also a chance that this could be an early card from a partner brand like Asus or MSI who build upon Nvidia card, rather than a reference or Founder’s Edition GPU from Nvidia itself.

As it stands, we don’t know a great deal about the next wave of GeForce graphics cards. We’re expecting not only boosted performance, especially at 4K resolutions, but also improved ray-tracing performance; the first batch of RTX GPUs brought in dedicated ray-tracing hardware so Nivida is expected to build upon that.

A graphics Titan  

However, that’s not the only Nvidia leak that’s popped up. A hardware leaker going by the name of Kopite7kimi tweeted that there could be a new GeForce Titan card in the works as well as a GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card to spearhead the next generation of Nvidia GPUs. 

Nvidia hasn’t had a Titan card — the very peak of consumer GeForce performance — for a while, so it’s arguably due for a successor. But we’re going to advise you take a granary of salt with this leak, as not only does it break Nvidia’s established naming convention, but there was also no source mentioned in the tweet. And logic dictates Nvidia will put out a flagship graphics card for its next-generation GPUs, like the GeForce RTX 3080 or RTX 3080 Ti, and then perhaps follow it up with a supercharged GPU once its Ampere architecture has matured a little. 

Nevertheless, such a leak would indicate new Ampere GeForce RTX graphics cards are on their way. That’s handy given AMD plans to have a GeForce-killing graphics card ready for around the winter. And if both AMD and Nvidia put out new graphics cards before the end of the year, then they could steal some attention away from the PS5 and Xbox Series X, both of which are scheduled to launch over the holidays.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face. 

  • d0x360
    Definitely ugly, and where are the heatpipes hiding? Also having the fan placement like that could mess up case air flow. I setup my fans and their speed to obviously meet thermal needs but try to keep the air from getting turbulent so that it gets where it's needed.

    Having a fan on the bottom and one on the top is going to change airflow in the case and create turbulent air where you don't want it. That might not be as important to some but it is to me.

    I'll likely buy an aib card anyways as they usually have better, quieter cooling solutions and better VRM's.

    I'm also not a fan of the potential of a 3090... nVidia never reveals their entire product stack and I would want a card below a Titan but only a single notch below. If I were to buy a 3080ti to replace my 2080ti only for a 3090 to come out a few months later I'd be pissed and rightly so considering nVidia raises their prices with every generation of cards and has since AMD was competitive at the high end with the 290x and 295x.

    Had they come out with a 2080ti super a couple months after the 2080 super I would have been angry about that too. They need to say ok here are our top 2 consumer cards, you can buy them safely knowing we won't suddenly have a better version for the same price or less in a couple months.

    But back on topic and aside from airflow issues...I agree, these are ugly.
  • frijoles
    Slow news day?

    Why does this matter? Can we get past point of video cards "LoOk aT mE I'm A GaMeR" stage with 100 lumens of random RGB lights going off in every direction like some bad acid trip. My PC isn't a fashion show. All PC hardware looks like crap, it's not like this junk is hanging in the Louvre. Can we ever go back to a clean design? I prefer this over the stuff that's plaguing the 2000 series cards any day of the week. Asus being one of the worst ones with all their ridiculous designs. Does everything need to light up and let all the ants in your grandmas basement know that you're a badass gamer?

    lol @ turbulent air. Bruh this ain't a Delta Airlines flight from Chicago to LA.
  • akashtaker001
    First I don't give a damn how my GPU looks if it can performs well and stays cool. This RGB everything and sleek slim design is not applicable to components inside your PC. And secondly these don't look ugly to me they look very unique and utilitarian. My aging HD 7950 has started to show its age and I can't wait for RTX 3xxx and RDNA2 to come out.
  • techrabbit2015
    Honestly, the design doesn't make it faster, and most of the times you don't have some creepy other dudes staring into your PC to make it worth it, so...
  • Kurnis
    What a ridiculous headline, but hey, you got me to click...

    No one CARES what it looks like. It could look like a giant turd but if it gives me more fps for the right price they've got my money.
  • Nightseer
    Well, if you don't like the looks, there are always partner models with classic "gamer" aesthetic. I kind of find it interesting, even if not nice looking. I really miss times when card partners actually we're doing different designs. Today they all do basically same design with bit different color and RGB scheme.

    As for 3090, I guess nVidia feels like they can further milk people who want top end card. It is low volume high price market and 2080Ti has proven that consumers will just consume and eat price hikes without restrain of saying enough, we will make do with what we have and boycott you till you go back to reasonable prices. So why not try to see where there is limit, they would be crazy not do it. Plus making it 3090 makes it easier to sell the idea of price hike, since it makes people feel like they are getting more. While nVidia is just profiting more from you.