Yes, we are all excited about it GeForce RTX 4090. Yes, it will be available in just a few weeks. Yes, it’s guaranteed to be an absolute monster of a GPU, taking us to new 8K gaming heights (with matching ridiculous price).
But there is another, as-yet-unannounced graphics card that interests me more. Well, technically there are two – I still want to see a more wallet-friendly one RTX 4070 – but here I’m going to talk about a potential new flagship that Nvidia could have in the works: the RTX 4090 Ti.
You see, the RTX 4090 is confirmed to use Nvidia’s ‘AD102’ GPU chip, while the two models RTX 4080 will use AD103 and AD104 chips. But the AD102 chip that powers the RTX 4090 isn’t a full version of the AD102; which means it doesn’t have access to the full suite of CUDA cores that the chip is capable of using.
This is common practice for chip manufacturers; It’s cheaper to mass produce one chip for two different GPUs than to produce two completely different chips. But now that we know the specifications of the AD102 chip, Nvidia may have inadvertently given us a glimpse of just how powerful the RTX 4090 Ti using the AD102 can be.
Analysis: Generationally speaking, the RTX 4090 Ti could blow its predecessor out of the water
Let’s quickly break down the numbers. The RTX 4090 will have 16,384 CUDA cores, while the AD102 chip has a potential maximum of 18,434 – that’s 71% more cores than the GA102 chip found inside the current-gen RTX 3090 Ti. Of course, there are also more Tensor and ray tracing cores.
Since the RTX 4090 has a full 24GB of VRAM used by the AD102, this means we could be looking at a performance increase of around 12.5% if nothing else is tweaked. That sounds reasonable enough to me; The RTX 3090 Ti offered around 10-15% better performance than the regular 3090 in most areas, so that would be in line with previous generations.
RTX 4090 works use the AD102’s stated maximum boost clock of 2.52GHz, so don’t expect the 4090 Ti to have higher clock speeds – unless Nvidia has a secret AD101 chip in the works, of course. However, the 4090 Ti equipped with a full-fledged AD102 chip will no doubt be one of the the best graphics cards ever made.
When could this potential GPU be released? I have no idea – Nvidia has been playing its cards close to its chest, giving us only official reveals and release dates for the RTX 4090 and 4080 so far. However, the prices of the RTX 3000 series are falling, and so are those cards it will probably be even cheaper when the RTX 4000 goes on sale, so if you need to upgrade and want to get a great one agreement with the graphics cardkeep your eyes open.