Nvidia's upcoming mid-range GeForce RTX 40-series (Ada Lovelace) graphics cards might be free from the shackles of high power consumption. Prominent hardware leaker kopite7kimi believes that the GeForce RTX 4060 will consume more power than Nvidia's current generation GeForce RTX 3070, far more than the GeForce RTX 3060 12GB that it's replacing. But the real question is; how much more power are we talking about? Even though kopite7kimi has a solid record, we still recommend you treat the rumor with caution.
Unfortunately, the leaker doesn't know the exact power specifications of the GeForce RTX 4060, so it's entirely an educated guess as to what it'll be like. However, evidence of the new 16-pin power connector and GeForce RTX 3090 Ti alone shows that the next generation of Nvidia GPUs will consume far more power than the current Ampere generation.
The GeForce RTX 3070 consumes around 220W on the Founders Edition to quickly refresh your memory with factory-overclocked SKUs boosting up to around 240-250W. The GeForce RTX 3060 12GB and GeForce RTX 3060 Ti consume 170W and 200W, respectively, with higher-end AIB partner cards consuming slightly higher than those values.
I don't care about the real release date. I'm just curious about the performance of RTX 4060, which consumes more power than RTX 3070.June 5, 2022
There's a possibility that the GeForce RTX 4060 may consume anywhere between 290W to 350W which is where the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti and GeForce RTX 3080 sit in terms of power consumption. We've already seen reports of flagship GeForce RTX 40-series cards possibly consuming as much as 450W to 600W of power (which is also evident by the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti's power budget). So technically, there's plenty of power headroom in Nvidia's future lineup for a mid-range 350W GPU.
It will be interesting to see how the market handles a 300W to 350W mid-range graphics card in the future. In our current market, mid-rangers like the GeForce RTX 2060 and GeForce RTX 3060 and AMD's Radeon RX 6000-series counterparts all sit well within the 200W power bracket, with some featuring power budgets as low as 170W.
A jump from 300W to 350W in a single generation could pose a serious problem to budget gamers who want to either build a new system or upgrade their system with a new GPU. In addition, the 50% to 75% bump in power will undoubtedly require higher wattage PSUs and higher quality units that are more expensive for users who will not expect a significant jump in next-generation GPUs.
Additionally, bigger and more airflow-oriented computer cases might become necessary to fit a GPU with a cooler designed to handle 300W of power output. In the end, many gamers might need to upgrade additional components for a single GPU upgrade alone.
Game developers will always put the bulk of their effort in making sure their games play and look good enough on the lowest common denominator (recommended spec) they want to officially support to avoid alienating a large chunk of their potential market. If gamers start rejecting overpriced power-hungry GPUs, there will be increased focus on maintaining "good performance" (the devs' opinion, may differ from yours) on older/lower-end hardware.
Some may start caring when the room temperature goes up 5C or so after about an hour of playtime.
If the PC is still in the same room with the user, what would a new design change with the energy still being released in one's room?
Worst case, I'll just undervolt, turn on frame-rate limits, or find some other way to run a power hungry GPU a little more efficiently.