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Nvidia RTX 3080 and RTX 3080 Ti release date, specs and leaks

GeForce RTX 3080
(Image credit: dertpert88 via Reddit)

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 could be just weeks away, and looks to usher in an exciting new generation of graphics performance for hardcore PC gamers. 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. With AMD really stepping things up in recent years, the pressure is on Nvidia to deliver big with its new card. And with the powerful PS5 and Xbox Series X due out this fall, Nvidia's new GPUs could keep players on PC thanks to truly next-gen graphics.

Furthermore, there are now rumors doing the rounds about a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and an RTX 3090, either or both of which will be a supercharged version of the RTX 3080. But more on that later. 

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 latest news (updated August 11)

Nvidia RTX 3080 release date 

Nvidia is holding a GeForce Special Event on Sept. 1, which will likely see the reveal of the RTX 3080. Details on the show are currently thin, but Nvidia promises to celebrate the "biggest breakthroughs in PC gaming since 1999" before talking about "what comes next." As usual, Nvidia CEO and founder Jensen Huang will spearhead the show.

Nvidia has reportedly halted production of a suite of current-generation GeForce GPUs, based on the Turing architecture. And thus it seems to be preparing to pave the way for its Ampere GeForce graphics cards, of which the GeForce 3080 is expected to be the tip-of-the-spear. 

Nvidia RTX 3080 price 

Nvidia RTX 3080

(Image credit: Nvidia)

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 design

Nvidia has yet to reveal the RTX 3080's final design, but a recent leak of the purported graphics card has the internet divided. Images posted to Chinese tech forum ChipHell reveal what may be the RTX 3080, sporting a strange, hourglass-like design that's a far cry from the cleaner look of recent RTX cards. It's possible that this leaked card is just an engineering sample, but this design would represent a major change for Nvidia — and one that would likely spur some debate amongst the enthusiast building crowd. 

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.

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.  

Nvidia RTX 3080 benchmarks

In June 2020, a set of alleged leaked RTX 3080 benchmarks hit the web, revealing that Nvidia's new card could be up to 21% faster than the GeForce RTX Titan. Considering that the Titan is currently Nvidia's most powerful GPU, that would mark a significant step up in power. Its leaked 3DMark result is also about 30% faster than the RTX 2080 Ti Founder's Edition.

A recent performance leak suggests that the GeForce RTX 3080 will be 20 percent faster than the mighty GeForce RT 2080 Ti. That's not a bad increase in performance over what's Nvidia's most powerful consumer graphics cards, though some Nvidia fans might have been expecting more. However, with the AMD Big Navi graphics card is expected to be 40 to 50 percnet faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, it could already have the RTX 3080 beaten.  

But these are unverified benchmarks and likely ones before Nvidia has done a lot of optimisation for its upcoming GPUs. So there's definitely scope for more power to come. 

Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3090 

While the GeForce RTX 3080 looks set to top the next-generation graphics card lineup, a more powerful variant could be in the works in the form of the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti or RTX 3090. We’ve heard leaks and hints that a more powerful graphics card could be the pinnacle of the next wave of GeForce RTX cards consumers can actually buy; there have been hints at a new RTX Titan graphics card but that could be reserved for professional use. 

Whether this top-of-the-line graphics card will be the GeForce RTX 3090 or the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti has yet to be made clear. But a new leak showing off a graphics card dubbed the Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, would suggest that a Ti variant of the GeForce RTX 3080 will take pole position in the Ampere-generation GeForce range. 

Nvidia has form for doing this, with its GeForce RTX 2080 Ti topping its family of consumer-grade GeForce cards based on its current Turing architecture. So we’d not be surprised for it to follow suit with the GeForce RTX 3080 and other next-generation graphics cards.