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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. 

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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 is U.K. 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.