Hotter, hungrier, and most likely more expensive.
As if the hefty power draw figures of next-generation graphics cards weren’t enough, a recent round of leaks are suggesting that an RTX 3090 Super is on the way to usher in the age of the 400W+ single-GPU graphics card even sooner.
The refreshed Super line of Nvidia’s Turing graphics cards last generation brought with them substantial jumps in TGP, and it seems that the possible GeForce RTX 3090 Super is no different. In fact, given the very modest increase in core count — just 256 more CUDA cores than the 3090, a 2.4% bump — it seems like most of its performance increases will come from simply ramping up the power draw.
— Greymon55 (@greymon55) August 25, 2021
A day after Greymon announced the existence of a refresh, as well as its power draw and core count, kopite7kimi shed more information on the GPU’s likely specifications.
The claimed use of 21 Gbps VRAM, the greatest module speed supplied by Micron, is particularly noteworthy. Even though GDDR6X only runs at 19.5 Gbps in the RTX 3090 (and 19 Gbps in the 3080 and 3070 Ti), it already consumes a significant amount of power and suffers from serious thermal issues in those cards, so it’s likely to be a major contributor to the 3090 Super’s inflated TGP, as well as requiring some engineering work from Nvidia and its partners to get right.
RTX 3090 Super
10752FP32, no NVLINK
Original 21Gbps MEM
Launch in 2021.
— kopite7kimi (@kopite7kimi) August 26, 2021
If the GPU sits at or over 450W, as kopite suggests, it would end up having to use three 8-pin power connectors in order to meet its power requirements, even discounting partner cards with more ambitious power targets.
Furthermore, if the 3090 Super lacks NVLink, like the 3080 Ti already does, it might be another nail in the coffin for consumer use of the GPU connection, which only recently supplanted the old SLI technology with Turing.
In any case, both leakers believe that the GPU will be released before the end of 2021, making it likely that it will compete with or even outperform Intel’s Arc. However, because the blue team’s graphics cards are geared at a lesser performance class and will almost certainly be priced lower than the stratospheric RTX 3090, the two are unlikely to compete.