We might get just a single RTX 4000 this year — and it’s the most expensive one

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
(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 reportedly plans to release just one of its upcoming RTX 4000 “Lovelace” graphics cards, according to a recent rumor,. Unfortunately, it may be the most expensive version of the RTX line. If that's true, this would be the ultimate case of good news/bad news.

As reported by TechRadar, hardware leaker Greymon55 posted a tweet as part of a larger thread suggesting that Nvidia will only release a single RTX 4000 GPU using the AD102 chip. It’s believed that the graphics card using this chip is the RTX 4090.

Nvidia normally releases a range of graphics cards, not just a single GPU. But given how we’re still feeling the effects of the global chip shortage, focusing on a lone graphics card makes some kind of sense. And as cold as it may be, if a company is going to only release one product, then it also makes sense to produce the most expensive one — especially when early adopters will no doubt snatch it up, regardless of price.

Other rumors indicate that the RTX 4090 will be ridiculously powerful. Back in June 2022, GPU leaker kopite7kimi tweeted that the AD102 chipset should find it “easy to reach 2.8GHz” or “at least not very hard.” After that, the same leaker added another tweet to the thread and said that “we can expect a much higher frequency.” The leaker didn’t divulge figures, but his posts suggest a boost clock that could break the 3GHz barrier.

HardwareTimes also believes that this adds up to a GPU with a massive 100 teraflops of power. In comparison, the beastly Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 has 37.6 teraflops, while the PS5 boasts 10.3. However, this kind of power won’t come cheaply — not to mention that 3GHz will generate a lot of heat, perhaps requiring a liquid cooling solution.

The RTX 4090 could be extremely power hungry, perhaps having a TBP (total power board) of 600W. In contrast, the RTX 3090 requires 350W (which is still very power hungry).

Nvidia GeForce 3090 Ti

The RTX 4090 is expected to be the most powerful Nvidia GPU yet. It will likely outperform the monstrous RTX 3090 Ti. (Image credit: Nvidia)

If we’re only getting the RTX 4090 this year, where does that leave the rest of the Lovelace line? Previous rumors hinted that the RTX 4090 may not launch until late 2022. If that’s the case, we may not see the more affordable RTX 40 GPUs — namely the RTX 4060, RTX 4070 and RTX 4080 — until sometime in 2023. If the semiconductor shortage is still happening at that time, those graphics cards may be as difficult to obtain as the beleaguered RTX 3000 line.

As with all rumors, take this with a healthy dose of skepticism. With that said, we know Nvidia will launch the RTX 4000 series eventually and that these GPUs will no doubt leave the RTX 3000 series in the dust. 

While the prospect of beefier GPUs is exciting, it’s hard to drum up much enthusiasm after what we experienced with the current generation of Nvidia graphics cards. Hopefully, the company's next GPUs will be more readily available whenever they come out.

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 X/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.