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Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series rumors — everything we know so far

An Nvidia RTX GPU
(Image credit: Nvidia)

Editor's Note: As of September 2022 the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080, 4090 have been unveiled — here's what they'll cost.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4000 series cards will soon be here. Their arrival isn't surprising given how the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics cards are well over a year old. However, the current-gen Nvidia GPUs remain difficult to find at retail prices due to the ongoing global chip shortage. Even the new RTX 3090 Ti, which was announced at CES 2022, is nowhere to be found due to supply issues. Despite this, Nvidia is moving forward with plans to release next-generation GPUs – nominally called the RTX 4000 series.

Nvidia hasn’t officially announced the RTX 4000 series graphics cards but, given the persistent rumors from reliable sources, it’s almost certain the GPUs will see the light of day soon. The rumors in question suggest that the RTX 4000 cards are using new Nvidia Lovelace architecture built on a smaller 5nm process. However, the GPU series may also be incredibly power-hungry.

Here’s everything we know about the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4000 series.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series: latest news (updated Aug. 3)

Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series: Release date and price 

Twitter user 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 late 2022. Well-known leaker Greymon55 corroborated this by posting that the RTX 4000 cards could release in September of 2022. However, a new leak suggests we might get just a single RTX 4000 this year — and it’s the most expensive one.

The next-gen cards could resolve the restock nightmare, according to rumors. Nvidia is allegedly investing a lot of money into the RTX 4000 series' manufacturing to avoid the problems it faced with RTX 3000 GPUs. As reported by Hardware Times (opens in new tab), Nvidia is paying chip foundry TSMC about $10 billion to ensure it has reserved enough capacity to meet demand. Whether that eye-watering sum is enough to ensure a steady supply is another matter though.

Given the information in these leaks, there's a possibility that the next-gen GeForce RTX GPUs could be further into their development than we'd have expected. There was a gap of two years between the current Ampere-based Nvidia GeForce GPUs and their Turing predecessors. But if Nvidia has the GeForce RTX 40 series ready to launch in 2022, it could be aiming for a cadence of introducing a new GPU architecture every year.

There have been no rumors surrounding RTX 4000 GPU pricing. As PCGamesN (opens in new tab) points out, the RTX 2070 and RTX 3070 each launched at a base price of $499. A potential RTX 4070 will likely cost more, given how the cost of wafers has climbed. Reports also say that 5nm chips will cost more to manufacture.

Given these factors and how Nvidia is paying exorbitant prices to secure chips, the price of even the cheapest RTX 4000 could be higher than in the past. And that’s at MSRP. If scalpers get their hands on these cards (as will certainly be the case), procuring an RTX 4000 series card could cost a small fortune.

Nvidia GeForce 3090 Ti

The RTX 3090 Ti was unveiled during CES 2022. Could we see the RTX 4000 series in the same year? (Image credit: Nvidia)

Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series: Specs and performance 

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).

According to what Wccftech (opens in new tab) calls “reliable leakers," the new hardware will likely pack a punch. There’s talk that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 flagship card 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 packs 10,752 CUDA cores, a 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 we'll have to see how that boosted performance affects actual gameplay.

Previous rumors suggested the RTX 40 series cards could consume as much as 1,200W of power. The latest rumor from Greymon55 (opens in new tab) suggests some cards may consume between 450W to 850W. Leaker Kopite7Kimi (opens in new tab) confirms these numbers.

According to leaker MEGAsizeGPU (via VideoCardz), we may see two versions of the RTX 4080 — one with 12GB GDDR6X and another with 16GB GDDR6X. Despite both variants being RTX 4080 cards, the 16GB version is reportedly using a 12-layer Printed Circuit Board (PCB) while the 12GB variant has a 10-layer PCB. If this is the case, prospective buyers need to look at this GPU's specs carefully. The 12GB variant will likely be more affordable, though potentially offering less performance. As PCGamer notes, Nvidia has previously released multiple memory configurations for its GPUs, namely the RTX 3080 Ti (opens in new tab).

Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series: Outlook 

If you’re a PC gamer then the prospect of new Nvidia cards is enough to get excited about. However, if the RTX 4000 GPUs are as difficult to procure as the RTX 30 series cards, then all of this is academic. After all, the global chip shortage doesn’t seem like it will end this year. And while shortages are partly thanks to the COVID-19 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 have been pretty ineffective and easily sidestepped. Assuming the company doesn’t have more tricks up its sleeve and the price of cryptocurrencies continues to fluctuate, the GeForce RTX 40 may be every bit as hard to get hold of as GeForce RTX 30 cards are today.

If the next-gen Nvidia GPUs launch in September as rumors suggest, we’ll hopefully get official word sooner rather than later. We’ll update this hub with any and all pertinent information regarding the RTX 4000 cards, so be sure to come back for the latest.

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.