Twitter user @GarnetSunset (opens in new tab) has shared two photographs of one of Nvidia's looming Ampere graphics cards. The markings on the backplate are barely visible, but the mysterious graphics card appears to be the GeForce RTX 3090 (opens in new tab).
It's not the first time that we've seen the peculiar design (opens in new tab), but the graphics card is simply massive when compared to the GeForce RTX 2080 (opens in new tab). According to the images, the GeForce RTX 3090 occupies up to three PCI slots as evidenced by the I/O bracket. It remains to be seen whether aftermarket models will follow suit though. If so, we can see graphic cards with included AIO liquid cooler getting more popular or enthusiasts simply slapping a waterblock on the graphics card (opens in new tab) and roll with a full liquid cooling system.
The triple-slot design certainly raises the question to whether Ampere will pull a lot of power and, thus, if that's why it has such a beefy heatsink. Early rumors were already floating around that the flagship Ampere graphics card (opens in new tab) could debut with a 350W TDP (thermal design power). Then the subject of the new 12-pin PCIe power connector (opens in new tab) emerged and added more fuel to the fire.
The specifications for the GeForce RTX 3090 aren't clear yet, but we might be looking at a graphics card that could feature 5,376 to 7,552 CUDA cores and up to 24GB of GDDR6X memory. The GA102 silicon is the rumored die to come inside the GeForce RTX 3090. And unless Micron is pulling our leg (opens in new tab), the GeForce RTX 3090's GDDR6X memory will clock up to 21 Gbps. If that's the case, we would be expecting a 384-bit memory interface to go along with the memory.
The leaker who brought us the photographs also shared the alleged pricing for Nvidia's Ampere product stack. We would exercise caution with the prices as manufacturers have gotten smarter over the last few years and would often establish false pricing only to change them just before the product launch. According to the leaker, the GeForce RTX 3090 will reportedly retail for $1,400 while the GeForce RTX 3080 (opens in new tab), RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 purportedly sell for $800, $600 and $400, respectively. Again, take those numbers with a huge shovelful of salt.
Looking back at Nvidia's previous flagships, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (opens in new tab) launched at $699. The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (opens in new tab) eventually replaced it at $999. The price increased by up to 42.9%, considering Turing's bigger die and the addition of the Tensor and RT cores and whatnot. If the GeForce RTX 3090's $1,400 price tag is legit, the Ampere-based flagship would cost approximately 40.1% more than the existing GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. It's basically the same premium that consumers paid for the Turing flagship.
Nvidia's pricing strategy has never been lenient, and when there's no formidable competition up top, the chipmaker probably could get away selling the GeForce RTX 3090 for whatever its heart desires.