Why stop at one? Nvidia’s rumored GTX 1180 might double down on cooling fans

MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti ARMOR 11G OC review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

A rumor stemming from the recently leaked printed circuit board for Nvidia’s upcoming GeForce GTX 1180 (or 2080) add-in graphics card claims that Nvidia redesigned the drum fan to accommodate an open-air dual-fan design. This rumor specifically focuses on the Founders Edition model, which would make it the first Founders Edition-branded card from Nvidia to sport two fans.

Speculation points to two reasons for a dual-fan setup. First, the GTX 1180 may simply need more power than even the GTX 1080 Ti, requiring a better, two-fan design to keep the components cool. Second, Nvidia may simply be competing with its hardware partners who will undoubtedly produce GTX 1180 cards with custom dual-fan designs.

Pictures of the printed circuit board, the foundation that plays host to the graphics chip, memory, outputs and all the required transistors, appeared on Baidu last week. Presumed to be a reference board for Nvidia’s hardware partners like EVGA and Zotac, we got a glimpse of the slots for power connectors and memory chips, the new SLI connection, and more.

Many reports state that the smaller port connector seen on the printed circuit board is reserved for a USB-C port. But unnamed sources claim Nvidia will include a proprietary connector designed specifically for virtual reality headsets. While it could still resemble a USB-C port, it will reportedly support 120Hz refresh rates based on the current HDMI 2.1 specification over a single cable.

Right now, the memory amount provided on the GTX 1180 is unclear outside its use of Micron’s new GDDR6 memory. While there is no disputing that serving up the GTX 1180 with a mere 8GB of GDDR6 would be a “downgrade,” Nvidia could reserve 16GB for the GTX 1080+ to offer two price models instead of one. This card is expected to arrive on September 30.

A recent email from one of Nvidia’s hardware partners to an unknown retailer explained why Nvidia and its partners delayed the GTX 11 Series. The email also provided a release schedule, listing the GTX 1180 to arrive first on August 30 followed by the GTX 1170 and GTX 1180+ on September 30 and the GTX 1160 on October 30. Nvidia hardware partner Galax also spilled the beans saying that we’ll see the new series by September.

“The release time of the next-generation Nvidia graphics card will not be far away,” a Galax representative states. “Players will be able to see the information about the new graphics card in September. The performance will certainly have a breakthrough growth and will support the most advanced Nvidia ray tracing technology.”

Nvidia is expected to reveal the GTX 11 Series during its pre-show Gamescom event on August 20. Called the GeForce Gaming Celebration, it will be held at an off-site location in Cologne, Germany. It’s open to everyone provided there’s enough space, but Nvidia is supposedly flying in members of the press to cover the event. That’s a long way to fly just to showcase games running on GeForce GTX 10 Series cards. That said, the GTX 11 Series reveal will likely be one of Nvidia’s “spectacular surprises.”

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