Update: The Nvidia GeForce RTX 40-series GPUs has been tipped for Q3 launch, so it might be worth wating for that if you can't find a GeForce RTX 3080.
Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 30 graphics cards celebrated their first birthday in September, but a year of production hasn’t made them any easier to find. Getting hold of finding where to buy Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 stock has been nigh-on impossible, and the same is true for the more advanced Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, which go for at least double their RRP on the likes of eBay.
It now sounds like the GeForce RTX 30 shortages won’t be resolved before the cards are no longer the top-end Nvidia GPUs, either. On Twitter, RetiredEngineer (opens in new tab) shared a pay-walled story from DigiTimes (opens in new tab) reporting that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs are set to arrive in 2022.
While far from officially confirmed, the next-gen GeForce cards are tipped to use a 5-nanometer process produced by TSMC (an advance on the 8nm Samsung chips used on the current-gen Ampere generation cards).
DigiTimes: (2021.11.30):"Nvidia gaming GPUs getting major refresh next year, Taiwan factories all-out to support 5nm RTX40 generation" pic.twitter.com/K2fdjjhE3ENovember 30, 2021
According to what Wccftech (opens in new tab) calls “reliable leakers," the new hardware will certainly pack a punch. There’s talk that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 flagship chip will be powered by the Ada Lovelace AD102 and come with 18,432 CUDA cores with a clock speed as high as 2.5GHz and 92 teraflops of compute performance.
For comparison’s sake, the current top-end Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 card — theoretically priced at $1,499, but expect to pay double that thanks to the shortages — packs 10,752 CUDA cores, 1.6GHz clock speed and around 37 teraflops of compute power.
If — and it’s a big ‘if’ — the leaked specs are correct, it looks like we’re set to see a performance increase of around 150%, which sounds like a lot, but is about what was seen between the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 3090. Of course, real-world in-game performance is a different beast, and it actually translates to gains of around 50% — certainly noticeable, but not as big a gain as the specs would indicate as possible.
Given the information in these leaks, there an indication that the next-gen GeForce RTX GPUs could be further into their development than we'd have expected. There was a gap of tow years between the current Ampere-based GeForce GPUs and their Turing predecessors. But if Nvidia has the GeForce RTX 40 series ready to launch in 2022, it could be on a cadence of introducing a new GPU architecture every year.
But all of this is academic if you can’t buy one, and the global chip shortage doesn’t look like abating anytime soon. And while shortages are partly thanks to the coronavirus pandemic’s blend of increased demand and severely disrupted supply chains, the GeForce RTX GPUs’ ability to effectively mine cryptocurrency makes them especially appealing to buyers who have no interest in testing their ray tracing abilities on the best PC games.
So far, Nvidia’s attempts to nerf GeForce RTX cards’ cryptocurrency mining ability has been pretty ineffective and easily sidestepped. Assuming the company doesn’t have more tricks up its sleeve and the price of cryptocurrencies continue to spiral, the GeForce RTX 40 may be every bit as hard to get hold of as GeForce RTX 30 cards are today.