The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is already one of the best graphics cards on the market right now. There have always been rumors that Nvidia was preparing a 20GB variant of the Ampere-based graphics card. A new firmware and YouTube video (via momomo_us) seemingly confirm the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 20GB's existence.
The GeForce RTx 3080 Ti 20GB firmware, which an anonymous user recently uploaded to TechPowerUp corresponds to Gigabyte's Aorus GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Xtreme (GV-N308TAORUS X-20GD). We first saw mention of the graphics card in a Gigabyte EEC listing back in December 2020. The device ID for the regular GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is 10DE 2208 and the 20GB version carries the 10DE 2205 identifier. Therefore, it's safe to assume that they're not the same graphics card.
Like the model name implies, the only difference between the two GeForce RTX 3080 Ti models is the amount of GDDR6X memory. The new variant features 20GB of GDDR6X memory, which represents a 67% increase over the vanilla GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. The clock speed for the memory remains untouched. The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 20GB also employs 19 Gbps GDDR6X memory. However, the 20GB model features a smaller memory interface.
The packaging and the CPU-Z screenshot show a 320-bit memory bus on the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 20GB as opposed to the 384-bit interface on the 12GB SKU. So while having more memory, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 20GB offers less memory bandwidth. The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is good for 912 GBps, while the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 20GB is limited to 760 GBps.
A Russian cryptocurrency miner managed to get his hands on a Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Gaming OC 20G (GV-N308TGAMING OC-20GB) and put it through its paces with different cryptocurrencies. Apparently, HARDVAR, a retailer in Saint Petersburg, is already selling the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 20GB. At the time of the video, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 20GB was going for 225,000 RUB or $3,067.
Given the amount of memory on the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 20GB, it's a bit difficult to nail down the target market. Cryptocurrency mining needs more bandwidth rather than more memory capacity, and 12GB tends to be more than sufficient in current games. Professional apps might appreciate the added memory, but depending on price it might be just as viable to go whole hog with the RTX 3090.
This ends up as basically a weird in between model of the 3080 Ti 12GB and 3080 10GB, with a core configuration similar to the former but memory bandwidth of the latter. Still, the YouTuber was able to mine with the graphics card, so it's unknown if Nvidia gave the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 20GB the Lite Hash Rate (LHR) treatment at all.
In fact, Nvidia's GeForce drivers don't support the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 20GB at all. When the YouTuber reached out to Gigabyte Russia, the company denied that it had this particular SKU in its lineup. He was only able to mine with the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 20GB by utilizing the GeForce 457.52 beta driver.
The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Gaming OC 20G reportedly delivered a hash rate up to 94.04 MH/s in Ethereum. However, the YouTuber said that the store managed to squeeze 97.79 MH/s out of the same graphics card. That's similar to what we've seen from the non-LHR RTX 3080.
The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti features Nvidia's Ethereum anti-mining limiter so the graphics card's mining performance hovers around the 55 to 65 MH/s range (maybe a bit more with the latest update to NBminer). For reference, we managed to get 115 MH/s out of the GeForce RTX 3090 so the flagship Ampere's mining performance is 18% higher than the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 20GB. With a bit of serious tweaking, you could potentially reduce the margin.
The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 20GB is already on sale over in Russia. ZSCOM has listed four different models from Gigabyte. The prices range from $2,733 to $2,837. It's uncertain if the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 20GB will make its way to U.S. retailers, whether through official or unofficial channels.
The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and GeForce RTX 3090 have a $1,199 and $1,499 MSRP, respectively. The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 20GB probably isn't an official SKU so it's unlikely that Nvidia will put a MSRP on it — not like it matters anyway. Since we're still in the middle of the graphics card shortage, MSRP is just a number that doesn't hold any meaning since retailers and scalpers will just sell the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 20GB at ludicrous prices regardless.