Editor’s take: Since their September launch, there’s been no new Nvidia RTX GPUs on shelves. Since their November and December launch, there’s been no new AMD Radeon GPUs on shelves. Let’s call that round one, and let’s declare it a draw and look to round two: when there’s cards on shelves, and gamers get to vote with their wallets, who will they crown champion?
Nvidia, says Nvidia. (Paraphrased for clarity.)
Nvidia came out swinging with the RTX 3000 series, but they’ve got a surprising left hook waiting in the wings. Asus has accidentally confirmed the existence of the RTX 3080 Ti, and revealed that it has 20 GB of memory. The new card targets the RX 6900 XT.
A 20 GB variant of the RTX 3080 has been rumored for months, as have similar upgrades down the stack: 16 GB RTX 3070 models, and 12 GB and 6 GB RTX 3060 models, are also anticipated. Nvidia’s Jeff Fisher, the senior VP of GeForce, is expected to announce them at a virtual event on January 12. Rumors suggest a February release.
On the performance spectrum, the Ti models will fall just above their vanilla counterparts. Increased memory will provide a few percentage points’ worth of improvement, more at higher resolutions, and the rumored increased clock speeds and core counts could round out a ~10% upgrade. Their prices could be similarly boosted in a worst-case scenario, but will more likely land just a hair above the current MSRPs. The vanilla models might also be discounted as a result.
But questions remain. If Nvidia is selling every card they can produce already, why do they need upgraded versions? (Does this mean they’re anticipating more stock?) If DLSS and ray tracing and their GPUs’ selling points, why aren’t they prioritising those? (Fine, low blow on my behalf…) But, most importantly, will AMD strike back?