RTX 5090 may be surprisingly svelte — twin-slot, twin-fan model on the way, says leaker

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Nvidia’s 50-series GPUs are expected to arrive by October or November this year, just in time for the holiday season. As usual, we expect the company to release the flagship RTX 5090 and RTX 5080 GPUs first, showing the way with its Founders Edition (FE) models. However, rumors of a hulking 5090 FE design have been rebuffed by a well-regarded leaker, who says previously touted super-fat graphics card designs are inaccurate.

It was initially thought that the 5090 FE would be based on the unreleased 4090 Ti, taking up four slots inside a PC case. It would thus probably have a triple-PCB layout, with three fans interspersed throughout the GPU shroud, according to various sources. Now, popular leaker @kopite7kimi has denied the rumors on X, saying that the RTX 5090 FE will come with a twin-slot, twin-fan design.

If this new information is true, it makes the RTX 5090 a much slimmer design than the 4090 FE, which was delivered with a triple-slot cooling solution. Other AIB partners offer larger even 4090 designs that could take up almost four slots. A smaller and slimmer flagship GPU would be a welcome change after several generations of larger and larger GPUs. The problem of heavier graphics cards has come to the point that Gigabyte introduced a motherboard that can support 128-pound GPUs, but still didn’t solve the issue with the GPU itself cracking under its own massive weight.

The leaker doesn’t share information about whether the 5090 will have lower power consumption than the 4090, but they said that the new GPU’s cooling design will be more efficient. We wouldn’t be surprised if the 5090 turns out to require less power for its performance level. Nvidia has been at the forefront of AI chip development, and it powers the top three most efficient supercomputers as of May 2024. We would like to think that Nvidia’s developments in this sector would trickle down to its consumer and gaming business, allowing end-users to enjoy more power without requiring the largest possible PC cases.

However, the 5090’s size and specifications are just rumors, and Nvidia has neither confirmed nor denied any information. We will have to wait a few more weeks or even months until we can see whether the company is indeed making its top-end graphics card slimmer, or if it’s going full-steam ahead and giving us a full-fat four-slot GPU with three fans, three PCBs, and require over 600 watts for peak performance.

Freelance News Writer
  • Metal Messiah.
    From the Article:

    ""The leaker doesn’t share information about whether the 5090 will have lower power consumption than the 4090, but they said that the new GPU’s cooling design will be more efficient.""

    FWIW, Nvidia has already been testing next-gen cooling modules for its RTX 50 "Blackwell" Gaming GPUs, conducting early testing and verification of cooling solutions and modules.

    Benchlife reported on this a while back, as several AIBs have confirmed this as well. I think you guys missed this news. Benchlife reports are far more legit and trustworthy as well, than even @kopite7kimi himself.

    Anyway, the important point to be noted here is that the highest wattage being tested is a 600W SKU, while the lowest wattage is a 250W SKU.
    A 4-phase plan was/is in the pipeline:

    On the other hand, according to information from the cooling module factory that we are familiar with, NVIDIA has been conducting relevant testing and verification of cooling modules for the GeForce RTX 50 series graphics cards based on the Blackwell GPU architecture, and has obviously started preparations for the GeForce RTX 50.

    Although there is no clear time point, there are currently about 4 plans in progress, with the highest wattage being 600W and the lowest wattage being 250W.

    Whether there is a chance to see NVIDIA launch GeForce RTX 50 series graphics cards in 2024 is still difficult to say clearly at this stage, but it is certain that AMD will not launch Radeon RX 8000 series graphics cards with RDNA 4 GPU architecture in 2024.

    via Benchlife
    Reply
  • Notton
    If true, it sounds like they are going with what they did with RTX 4000/5000 Quadro cards.

    Quadro cards have more parts of the GPU enabled, but with lower clock speeds.
    The result is lower total power consumption for a similar level of performance, but less efficient use of die space.
    Apple also does the big die, lower clocks method with their M series.
    Reply
  • Metal Messiah.
    Also, it is rumored that the RTX 5090 would feature a 3-layer PCB design. Approach this leak/info with caution though, since nothing has been confirmed officially.

    The upcoming FE model would also feature a main PCB, along with an IO Rigid Board, and then feature a third board that houses the PCIe connection, but this cannot be regarded as a separate PCB.

    But not clear as to whether that refers to three individual PCBs within a single card, or three unique designs of which only one should be finalized.

    A dense memory layout ? Four memory modules on the top, five each on the sides, and two at the bottom. So we get a total of 16 GDDR7 DRAM modules featured on the RTX 5090 PCB.

    So are we looking at a 32GB flagship SKU ?

    The memory layout is very dense.
    4
    5 5
    2

    FE uses three PCBs to leave space for double-sided blowing. The 30 and 40 dovetails are single-sided blowing, you know what I mean.
    Because the bit width is increased, the PCB cannot hold the memory lying down, and the staggered layout like PG651 is not used, so the full blowing method of PG137 is not inherited.
    Chiphell Forums (Machine Translated)

    1793673705329148265View: https://x.com/kopite7kimi/status/1793673705329148265
    Reply
  • PEnns
    So many leaks and leakers, so little time....

    PS: If there is such a thing as leakers who are "well-regarded", then why does TH even post / publish anything from the not so well-regarded ones?
    Reply
  • 35below0
    Metal Messiah. said:
    The important point to be noted is that the highest wattage being tested is a 600W SKU, while the lowest wattage is a 250W SKU.
    Is that for the 5090 and 5080, or....
    The 4060 draws 115w. If the 5060 draws more than double, then what should it's performance increase over the 4060 be? Astronomical?

    If the rumored price tag of ~$350-400 is true, then nvidia will need a 5050 or even a 5030 model.

    Unrelated, but RTX 5050 seems like a marketing point waiting to happen, i just can't figure out how anything 5050 is actually good.
    Reply
  • 35below0
    PEnns said:
    So many leaks and leakers, so little time....

    PS: If there is such a thing as leakers who are "well-regarded", then why does TH even post / publish anything from the not so well-regarded ones?
    clicks & grievances
    Reply
  • abufrejoval
    Metal Messiah. said:
    Also, it is rumored that the RTX 5090 would feature a 3-layer PCB design. Approach this leak/info with caution though, since nothing has been confirmed officially.
    Pretty sure you meant a three PCB design not a 3-layer PCB design :)

    3-layer PCB is both a bit odd and rather antique, I'd say.

    No idea how many PCB layers GPU cards need these days, when every extra millimeter of trace length is a nightmare to handle.
    Reply
  • Metal Messiah.
    35below0 said:
    Is that for the 5090 and 5080, or...

    No specific SKU was mentioned, but it's obvious the max 600W TDP prototype being tested should be for the flagship cards, most likely the RTX 5090. With the 5080 using a slightly lower max TDP config.

    While the lowest wattage 250W SKU being tested should be utilized in 'upper mainstream' and/or mid-range cards, depending on how we can segment them these days.

    I mean to say the max TDP of the flagship GPU will remain within the 600 Watt bracket for the RTX 50 gen of cards, as AIBs have claimed. I have been in talks with some of them as well.

    Whether this really pans out in the final "retail" product, still remains to be seen, because they can make some last minute changes as well (but this seems unlikely though).
    Reply
  • abufrejoval
    I guess going extra wide with consumer cards was always seen as Nvidia's way to protect against them straying into servers.

    But, of course, there is also a noise benefit when these boards need to dissipate 600 Watts or more.

    But market segmentation these days isn't entirely vendor driven, export bans become perhaps more important.

    These days Nvidia seems mostly bent on selling to China. So perhaps a dual slot variant is supposed to push consumer cards into Chinese data centers before they are being put on the embargo list?

    Just having flexibility would be nice and not just for the Chinese. I've very much disliked having the flexibility slots provide only to have them covered up by some big fat GPU.

    I got a triple slot PNY RTX 4090 just to make sure I could use a 8x/8x configuration if I had to and it allowed me to do some dual GPU LLM tests with an RTX 4070, also PNY which again is an extra compact dual slot design.

    For a single slot GPU, I might actually go whet, which I've very much tried to avoid otherwise.
    Reply
  • Eximo
    35below0 said:
    Unrelated, but RTX 5050 seems like a marketing point waiting to happen, i just can't figure out how anything 5050 is actually good.

    No 4050 yet (unless you count mobile), so not likely to see a 5050 anytime soon. They just released a new RTX3050 6GB. Low end card market doesn't need to be on the latest architecture anyway, and we've seen that quite a few times.
    Reply