A flurry of recent rumors suggests that Nvidia's upcoming RTX 40-series graphics cards will be even more power-hungry than what's currently available. Leakers peg the power consumption in the range of 400W to 500W for the flagship card, which is higher than even the obscenely powerful RTX 3090.
3DCenter, who has previously covered the roller coaster of GPU prices in Europe, nailed down multiple leakers claiming the card will use at least 400W of power. That's certainly not out of the question, as the RTX 3090 already requires 350W of power. Assuming Nvidia wants to push even more power out of the upcoming range, a 400W+ power requirement could be possible.
Nvidia hasn't announced anything about the RTX 40-series yet, so it's likely that developers are still tweaking the final design. Kopite7kimi , one of the leakers who claimed a 400W+ power limit and is known for Nvidia leaks, said the upcoming range will be built on chipmaker TSMC's 5nm node, breaking from the 8nm Samsung process Nvidia used on RTX 30-series graphics cards .
The next-generation architecture, tentatively named Lovelace , is rumored to arrive in late 2022 or early 2023. The rumor mill suggests that the graphics core powering the range will be capable of housing up to 18,432 CUDA cores, which is nearly 8,000 more than the RTX 3090.
AMD's upcoming cards are rumored to require equally as much power. The RDNA 3 range is also rumored to consume between 400W and 500W of power with TSMC's 5nm process. During a recent investors call, AMD CEO Lisa Su confirmed that 5nm is the goal and that the GPUs are on track for a 2022 launch.
Unlike Lovelace, RDNA 3 cards are rumored to use a multi-chip-module (MCM) GPU package. Essentially, the upcoming range is rumored to utilize multiple dies on the same package, unlike the RTX 40-series' traditional monolithic design.
Nvidia is rumored to be working on its own MCM design, currently named Hopper. Originally, rumors pegged Hopper as the successor to the current Ampere range, though recent speculation suggests Nvidia is locked on delivering Lovelace sooner.
Both new generations are rumored to offer up to a 2.5x improvement over the current generation. As for where they'll fall in relation to each other, it's too soon to say.
As is the case with all early rumors and speculation, you shouldn't take this information as law. We're still far out from launch, so AMD and Nvidia are more than likely still finalizing the design and tweaking specs to meet their price, power, and performance targets.
Based on what we know so far, however, a higher power draw will likely be something PC builders need to deal with. Nvidia pushed past the 250W ceiling with the RTX 3080, RTX 3080 Ti, and RTX 3090, surpassing even the most powerful cards from the generations that proceeded them. It's too soon to say for sure, but you might need to invest in a new power supply when these cards finally arrive.
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