The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is set to kick off a new generation of graphics greatness for PC gamers, and it could be mere months away. The latest graphics cards using Nvidia's Ampere architecture are expected to arrive this year, bringing some notable upgrades to the already powerful RTX 20-series.
The RTX 3080 is shaping up to deliver better gaming performance, potentially within sleeker and more power-efficient designs. And with AMD really stepping things up in recent years, the pressure is on Nvidia to deliver big with its new card.
The current global crisis means that the Nvidia RTX 3080 will likely be rolled out much differently than previous cards, but all signs point to the new GPU being primed for launch. Here’s everything we know about the card that will power the next generation of gaming PCs, including the RTX 3080’s potential release date, price, specs and more.
Nvidia RTX 3080 release date
According to a March report from TweakTown, the RTX 3080 could be revealed as soon as August 2020, with a September release to follow. Some rumblings have pointed towards the card debuting at Computex 2020 in late September, but the fate of the massive Taiwan tech show is in question as TechRadar reports that the likes of AMD, Intel and Nvidia may all skip the event.
A late summer reveal would follow in the footsteps of the RTX 2080, which was unveiled in August 2018 and sold shortly after. The RTX 20 Super series was released in July 2019.
Given these timeframes, it isn’t unreasonable to expect the RTX 3080 (and potentially RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 Ti) to launch by summer 2020. However, it's possible that the coronavirus pandemic has delayed the production of the RTX 3080 to later in the year.
Nvidia RTX 3080 price
Based on historical pricing, we don’t expect the GeForce RTX 3080 or its siblings to come cheap. The RTX 2080 Super currently carries an MSRP of $699, with the 2080 Ti going for around $1,199. On the lower end of Nvidia’s current line, the RTX 2060 starts at $299, with the RTX 2070 going for $599.
However, a somewhat sketchy rumor suggests that the RTX 30-series cards could be more affordable than their predecessors. As pointed out by TechRadar, Nvidia may use Samsung’s 7nm extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) process for manufacturing its new cards, which would allow the RTX 3080 to both offer better performance than previous generations while also making the GPU cheaper to produce.
The graphics company has typically manufactured its cards via Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which produces chips for companies such as Apple and AMD. With increasingly stiff competition coming from AMD’s relatively affordable, high-performance Radeon cards, it’s possible that Nvidia may be looking to stay competitive.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 specs
While we don't have the specifics of the RTX 3080 just yet, we do know it'll be based on Nvidia's Ampere graphics technology. According to Nvidia, Ampere is the "largest [7nm] chip ever built" and is built for better AI performance and a speedy 1.6TB per second of memory bandwidth. But the Ampere chips that Nvidia revealed in May are built to power data centers -- we'll have to see how they harness all of that power for new graphics cards.
The RTX 30 series' 7nm architecture would following in the footsteps of AMD’s Radeon VII: The first GPU to use a 7nm process. That would mean even better power efficiency within a sleek and hopefully affordable design.
As for the nitty gritty specifications, the latest leaks paint a picture of an RTX 3080 that may be too good to be true. A list of rumored specs have popped up on both Twitter account KittyCorgi as well as Chinese website MyDrivers, both pointing to potential RTX 3080 and 3070 models that would be a big step up from their predecessors.
NVIDIA GA103:60 SM , 320-bit10GB/20GB Graphics MemoryNVIDIA GA104:48 SM , 256-bit8GB/16GB Graphics Memory pic.twitter.com/IaQt6mtQ4bJanuary 17, 2020
The KittyCorgi tweet calls out two models: A GA103 (likely the 3080), which would have an 3,840 cores, 10/20GB of graphics RAM and a 320-bit memory bus. The GA104 model (likely the 3070) would sport 3072 cores, 8/16GB of graphics RAM and a 256-bit memory bus.
For reference, the RTX 2080 Super features 3,072 cores, 8GB of VRAM and a 256-bit memory bus. If the 3080’s rumored specs are true, Nvidia’s new cards would get a huge boost in video memory, making them ideal for both gamers as well as content creators and professional designers. According to a report from the Taipei Times (via Tom’s Hardware), Nvidia’s ampere architecture could deliver 50% better performance than the Turing line while consuming half as much power.