Nvidia could have a new competitor for the top of AMD's Big Navi graphics card stack. New rumors have surfaced claiming that the Green Team is preparing an answer for AMD's Radeon RX 6900 XT. Avid Twitter user kopite7kimi, who has been accurate on previous Ampere leaks, shared the potential specifications for a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. Although Chinese news outlet HKEPC confirmed the specifications with an alleged Nvidia board partner, it's advisable to treat the information with some caution.
According to the rumors the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti reportedly employs the GA102 die, the silicon that powers the GeForce RTX 3090 and RTX 3080. What might be the most shocking part from the leak is the possibility of the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti coming with nearly identical core specifications to the GeForce RTX 3090, suggesting similar performance. If true, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti may land with 10,496 CUDA cores, 328 Tensor cores and 82 RT cores. Therefore, the main performance differentiator seemingly lies within the memory configuration.
The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is rumored to feature 20GB of GDDR6X memory clocked at 19.5 Gbps. That's just 4GB less than what's on the GeForce RTX 3090. In order to keep the two Ampere-based graphics cards apart, it's plausible that Nvidia could restrict the memory interface on the GeForce RTX 3080 to 320-bit. If so, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti would deliver a memory bandwidth up to 780 GBps, just a 16.7% decrease from what the GeForce RTX 3090 offers.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Specifications
|GeForce RTX 3090||Radeon RX 6900 XT||GeForce RTX 3080 Ti*||GeForce RTX 3080||GeForce RTX 3070|
|Architecture (GPU)||Ampere (GA102)||RDNA 2 (Navi 21)||Ampere (GA102)||Ampere (GA102)||Ampere (GA104)|
|CUDA Cores / SP||10,496||5,120||10,496||8,704||5,888|
|Base Clock Rate||1,400 MHz||1,825 MHz||?||1,440 MHz||1,500 MHz|
|Boost Clock Rate||1,700 MHz||2,250 MHz||?||1,710 MHz||1,730 MHz|
|Memory Capacity||24GB GDDR6X||16GB GDDR6||20GB GDDR6X||10GB GDDR6X||8GB GDDR6|
|Memory Speed||19.5 Gbps||16 Gbps||19.5 Gbps||19 Gbps||14 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwidth||936 GBps||512 GBps||780 GBps||760 GBps||448 GBps|
|Transistor Count||28.3 billion||26.8 billion||28.3 billion||28.3 billion||17.4 billion|
|Die Size||628 mm²||536 mm²||628 mm²||628 mm²||392 mm²|
*Specifications are unconfirmed.
Given the similarities and differences, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti would be a gimped version of the GeForce RTX 3090. However, NVLink is still exclusive to the GeForce RTX 3090, but the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti purportedly features the same 320W TDP (thermal design power) as the GeForce RTX 3080. The lower TDP on the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti implies that its clock speeds should be lower than the GeForce RTX 3090.
There are no reviews of the Radeon RX 6900 XT yet. However, if AMD's Big Navi benchmarks are accurate, the Radeon RX 6900 XT ties the GeForce RTX 3090 in 4K gaming, but outperforms it in lower resolutions, such as 2560 x 1440. Nonetheless, it's important to highlight that AMD performed its tests with Smart Access Memory activate, a feature which boosts the performance on Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards when they are installed in the same system with a Ryzen 5000 chip. At this point in time, it's unclear if you'd get the same performance with a different CPU.
Assuming that the performance gap between the GeForce RTX 3090 and Radeon RX 6900 XT isn't substantial, Big Navi's appeal comes from its lower price tag. The Radeon RX 6900 XT has a $999 MSRP, while Nvidia prices the GeForce RTX 3090 at a whopping $1,499. That's where Nvidia will attack AMD. HKEPC's sources allege that the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti will hit the market at $999 to be on equal footing with the Radeon RX 6900 XT. If that's the case, the winner might not be who's faster, but who's more widely available.
We already know from Nvidia's CEO that the GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 shortages will last until next year. So, it's no surprise that the rumors point to a January 2021 release for the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. The question remains whether Nvidia would have enough supply of the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. The Radeon RX 6900 XT will go on sale on December 8 so, if you can actually find one in stock, AMD's card has the first-mover advantage.