Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 leak hints at massive performance upgrade

Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics card
(Image credit: Nvidia)

A fresh snap of an alleged Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 has popped up in Reddit, giving us a little more insight into what a next-generation graphics card from Nvidia might look like. 

The new pic is from a someone going by the name of LeeJiangLee, a name not associated with any previous leaks, so we’d advise you take the new snap with a good pinch of salt. But if it’s indeed a photo of the GeForce RTX 3080, then it shows us there’s going to be a heck of a lot of cooling in the graphics card. 

The new pic shows the graphics card without its shroud on, showing what’s going on underneath the dual fan design and sitting alongside the large exposed heatsinks. And there appear to be plenty of heat pipes to help siphon heat away from the GPU.  

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

(Image credit: LeeJiangLee)

Despite this guts-and-all style photograph, there’s not much more we can glean about the GeForce RTX 3080 just yet. But we can posit that the large heatsinks, and the fins and fans seen in the previous picture, are needed to keep the RTX 3080’s GPU power in check. 

For the uninitiated, in general, the more powerful a graphics card gets, the more electrical power it needs. And more electricity flowing across the transistors in a graphics card means more heat, which, if left unchecked, can damage the silicon on which a GPU is built. 

Adequate cooling can stop a powerful graphics card from damaging itself, but serious cooling is needed to ensure that the card can run at full power for extended amounts of time. Ineffective cooling can lead to a graphics card ‘throttling’, effectively causing the GPU to slow itself down. That’s not something you want when graphically demanding next-generation games, soon to be ushered in with the PS5 and Xbox Series X, arrive later this year. 

Sadly, this could lead to the GeForce RTX 3080 sporting a design that doesn’t exactly appeal to our tech taste. But we appreciate that some of you don’t care about the aesthetics in the innards of your gaming PC, and instead want as much power as possible. And if that’s the case, the GeForce RTX 3080 could be the card for you. Unless, of course, AMD has a Radeon retort in the works

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.