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Nvidia’s beastly RTX 4090 moves one step closer to launch

New rumors about Nvidia’s upcoming Ada Lovelace GPU have emerged, revealing that the graphics card may have already entered the testing phase.

The naming of the graphics card, based on the AD102 GPU, is still up in the air — but the same source points to the RTX 40-series being used.

Ignore these fanboys, let's turn our attention to GPU.
AD102 has started testing.

— kopite7kimi (@kopite7kimi) April 19, 2022

With the launch of Nvidia’s next series of GPUs set to take place this year, more and more rumors are cropping up as we get closer to the second half of 2022. Today’s news comes from Kopite7kimi, a known leaker on the GPU scene. Much like any leak, this should be taken with a dose of skepticism, but Kopite7kimi has a proven track record, which lends some credibility to these rumors.

The leaker announced that the AD102 GPU has started testing. AD102 is the code name for Nvidia’s next flagship graphics card, pointing toward the top of the upcoming “Ada” line — think the equivalent of the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080, but better. Nvidia hasn’t officially confirmed the naming convention for this series of GPUs yet, but on this, Kopite7kimi also had something to say, stating that “at least [for] now, we can call it RTX 4090.”

If the card has indeed started testing, this spells good news for those who are waiting for its launch. Although no exact release date has been shared yet, speculation points to the second half of the year, more specifically September to November, for the launch. Nvidia may not have started mass-producing the cards yet with a few months left to go, but if this release window remains accurate, it will likely move on to that phase soon.

Assuming that testing samples of the GPU have already been sent out, we can expect to see some early benchmarks popping up soon. However, the GPU is unlikely to shine in such early tests, considering that the drivers have almost certainly not been finalized yet. Even then, there is no doubt that Ada will be a step up for Nvidia.

Kopite7kimi rounded out the leaks by adding that the AD102 GPU will feature 24Gbps memory, although more specifically, the leaker referred to the RTX 4090 in particular. It’s hard to tell whether the RTX 4080 will also feature 24Gbps memory or less. One way or another, with 24Gbps of GDDR6X memory, the Nvidia RTX 4090 will push memory speeds over 1TB/s. Wccftech calculates that this will add up to at least a 15% boost in bandwidth compared to the current tech.

A Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti sits on a silver table.

Nvidia itself hasn’t revealed much about the upcoming flagship, but piecing together various rumors gives us an idea of what it might be like. The AD102 GPU is rumored to have a TDP of up to 600 watts, which means the RTX 4090 is going to be one beefy GPU with high power requirements to match. In order to accommodate this kind of power draw, the cards will have PCIe Gen 5 connectors and will come with a 4 x 8-pin to 1 x 16-pin adapter.

While the rumored RTX 4090 is going to be the flagship, the lineup is, of course, going to feature different variants of the card. We may see designs that go above 20Gbps but have a more modest 8GB and 16GB of memory.

As these cards are going to require a lot of power, thermals might get tricky, so Nvidia is allegedly working with its board partners to introduce quad-slot cooling, and may even use AIO and hybrid cooling options.

The Nvidia RTX 4090 and the rest of the Ada lineup are said to hit the market in the fall. They will undoubtedly feature a performance jump — some sources expect the RTX 4090 to be twice as powerful as the RTX 3090. The pricing and availability are still up in the air. These GPUs could turn out to be very expensive, but then again, we’re all used to that, what with over two years of the GPU shortage.

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