Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

The 20GB RTX 3080 Ti is real, but you won’t be able to buy one

The long-rumored RTX 3080 Ti 20GB is real, at least based on a new video from a Russian YouTuber, a few retailer listings, and a leaked firmware. This model, which features 8GB more video memory over the RTX 3080 Ti we have today, was supposed to launch months ago. Now, it seems some people have their hands on the cards, but you shouldn’t expect to get one.

First, how this card surfaced. A Russian YouTuber — roughly Kolya Miner in English — got remote access to the 20GB variant of the RTX 3080 Ti for testing. Hardvar, a Russian retailer that we could only find a presence for on the VK social media platform, shared a video with the YouTuber of stacks of graphics cards and claimed it was in possession of the 20GB model.

Related Videos

VGA Bios Collection Gigabyte RTX 3080 Ti 20 GB

— 188号 (@momomo_us) September 8, 2021

Established leaker @momomo_us shared the video, as well as a BIOS file for the card that was uploaded to the TechPowerUp database. Zscom, another Russian retailer, also has the 20GB card listed. All of the models come from Gigabyte, and none of them are available for purchase at the time of publication.

Although it seems the 20GB RTX 3080 Ti existed at one point, this isn’t a new model from Nvidia. Instead, it’s a model that actually made it to production for a short time, but was eventually canned for the 12GB model we have today. Some users have even found a crossed-out version of the RTX 3080 Ti core on new RTX 3090 models.

Some background is important here. In December 2020, Gigabyte filed several new products with the European Economic Community (EEC), which hinted at an RTX 3080 Ti model featuring 20GB of video memory. This is before the RTX 3080 Ti was announced or released by Nvidia. Months later, the listing was updated with 12GB variants, which are the cards that are sparsely available today.

In short, it looks like Nvidia was planning on releasing the RTX 3080 Ti with 20GB of video memory but changed course. That makes sense given rising DRAM prices, which would bloat the cost of the card, as well as the lack of high-end competition from AMD. In many benchmarks, even the base RTX 3080 can beat AMD’s flagship RX 6900 XT.

Still, appearances breed speculation, and that’s what we’re seeing with this variant. The RTX 3080 Ti 20GB is almost certainly not a new GPU in Nvidia’s lineup. For one, it doesn’t make sense given the small $300 gap between the RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3090. In addition, the leaked card doesn’t feature the Lite Hash Rate (LHR) core, which Nvidia is using across its gaming cards to limit mining performance (minus the RTX 3090).

RTX 3080 Ti in front of a window.

The leaked BIOS file is also telling. It apparently comes from Gigabyte and was built on January 6, 2021. The copyright stops at 2020, as well. Meanwhile, Nvidia’s Founder’s Edition BIOS wasn’t built until March 26, with an updated copyright to include 2021. In addition, the BIOS rates the power target as 420W, which is a full 70W higher than the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080 Ti.

So no, we aren’t getting a 20GB RTX 3080 Ti. That said, it’s interesting to see that these cards actually made it into production before they were canceled, showing that companies like Nvidia are still making design changes months before launch. Maybe a 20GB RTX 3080 Ti would have been better, as the current model is too expensive to compete with the RTX 3080 and too underpowered to compete with the RTX 3090.

Editors' Recommendations

Nvidia did AMD a huge favor by releasing the RTX 4070 Ti
RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT on a pink background.

When AMD released the RX 7900 XTX and the RX 7900 XT, it was clear which of the two would be stealing the spotlight. The RX 7900 XTX is a solid GPU, and its weaker sibling is very much overshadowed by it. However, now that Nvidia launched its RTX 4070 Ti, there's hope yet for AMD.

It might sound strange, but Nvidia may have actually done AMD a huge favor by releasing the RTX 4070 Ti the way it did.
AMD's RX 7900 XT is one odd GPU

Read more
RTX 4090 connectors are melting again, and this time there’s a major change
Melted 12VHPWR connector made by CableMod for the RTX 4090.

We thought we'd seen the last of the problems with Nvidia's 12VHPWR connector used for the RTX 40-series. However, it seems that the issues are not over, and the latest incident is different in a major way.

While the previous cases of melting connectors all affected cables supplied by Nvidia, things are different this time around. A Reddit user reported that their custom CableMod connector has melted, undermining previous theories about the root of the problem.

Read more
We now know the eye-watering price of Nvidia’s RTX 4090 gaming laptops
XMG Neo 16 gaming laptop over a green background.

Nvidia's upcoming mobile GPU range is on the way, and soon, laptops equipped with an RTX 4090 will be out in the wild. Unfortunately, they won't be cheap.

We've just spotted one such laptop, and the price is downright terrifying. If not for the portability factor of laptops, you might be better off just buying a desktop graphics card instead.

Read more