He has it’s been almost two years since Nvidia introduced its Ampere GPU architecture in the GeForce RTX 3080, and the company is reportedly preparing to announce its replacement. Tom’s gear reportsbased on tweets from a normally reliable leakerthat the RTX 4000 series and its Lovelace GPU architecture will start rolling out early in the third quarter of this year.
It’s been so difficult to buy Nvidia’s RTX 3000 series GPUs for so long that it almost seems too early to talk about their replacements, although there was a similar two-year gap between the first RTX 2000 GPUs and the RTX 3000 series. The difference is how long it took Ampere to get down to the bottom end. Turing’s architecture debuted in September 2018 and had made its way to the low-end GeForce GTX 1650 in April 2019; the first Ampere cards appeared in September 2020 but did not arrive at the GeForce RTX 3050 until January 2022.
Other reports from the same source suggest that the RTX 4000 GPU could be a big boost over the top-end RTX 3090 Ti, dropping from 84 of Nvidia’s streaming multiprocessors (SM) to somewhere between 126 and 140 SM. The rumored RTX 4090 will come with 24GB of GDDR6 RAM (the same amount as the RTX 3090 and 3090 Ti) and should roughly double the performance of the RTX 3090 in the same 450W power envelope. One of those performance claims is true – Nvidia’s GPUs generally deliver impressive performance across generations, but doubling the performance in the same power envelope would be an unusually large leap, historically speaking.
We also don’t know what the price of these GPUs will be, how easy they will be to get, and whether Nvidia will continue to manufacture and sell RTX 3000-series cards to meet GPU demand. The graphics card market is slowly returning to some semblance of “normal” after years of chip shortages, a cryptocurrency boom, and scalper-fueled chaos, all of which have driven up both the MSRPs and actual selling prices of virtually every new and used GPU that you can buy.
Nvidia has also ramped up production of older GPUs like the GTX 1050Ti and 1650 and the RTX 2060 to meet demand during the shortage, a practice the company may choose to continue if 4000-series GPUs are in short supply.