Exclusive: AIB custom Ampere cards launch alongside Founders Edition

NVIDIA's next-gen GeForce RTX 30 series launches in September, but we could have custom cards right out of the gate this time.

Published Aug 10, 2020 12:21 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:42 AM CST
11 minute read time

The last few months have been some of the most insane months of the GPU industry, between NVIDIA's upcoming Ampere launch and AMD's next stomp with RDNA 2 and Big Navi -- there's no time for a break.

Exclusive: AIB custom Ampere cards launch alongside Founders Edition 07

But then a source reached out to me a few days ago and told me something very interesting, something that I think could be a real game changer for NVIDIA's big launch of Ampere-based GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards: custom models will be launching alongside the Founders Edition models... or at the very least, very shortly after the FE cards ship.

I had a source tell me that custom AIB models will be on offer starting in September, so with current rumors of an Ampere GeForce RTX 30 series announcement on September 9 and then a purported launch on September 17 -- custom cards being made available "in September" would be huge.

Update: another AIB confirmed cards coming in September.

NVIDIA normally launches its own Founders Edition cards first, and then AIB partners lag many weeks or up to a couple of months behind with re-tuned, re-fined, and far-better cooled custom offerings. But my sources are telling me we could see custom models in September, right as Ampere launches.

I'm trying to press a few others to see if I can get anything out of them, but for now -- the tease of custom Ampere cards launching at the same time makes sense. We already saw the purported ASUS GeForce RTX 3080 Ti ROG STRIX back in early July 2020.

More reading:

Exclusive: AIB custom Ampere cards launch alongside Founders Edition 04
  • Traversal coprocessor: We have had more leaks on NVIDIA's next-gen GeForce RTX 3000 series than any family of graphics cards before it, with an interesting "traversal coprocessor" on the new GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3090 graphics cards. You can read more on that here.
  • NVCache: Ampere is meant to have something called NVCache, which would be NVIDIA's own form of AMD's HBCC (High Bandwidth Cache Controller, more on that here). NVCache would use your system RAM and SSD to super-speed game load times, as well as optimizing VRAM usage. You can read more on NVCache here.
  • Tensor Memory Compression: NVCache is interesting, but Tensor Memory Compression will be on Ampere, and will reportedly use Tensor Cores to both compress and decompress items that are stored in VRAM. This could see a 20-40% reduction in VRAM usage, or more VRAM usage with higher textures in next-gen games and Tensor Memory Compression decreasing that VRAM footprint by 20-40%.
  • How fast is the GeForce RTX 3090? Freaking fast according to rumors, with 60-90% more performance than the current Turing-based flagship GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. We could see this huge performance leap in ray tracing titles, but we'll have to wait a little while longer to see how much graphical power NVIDIA crams into these new cards. You can read more on those rumors here.
  • Power hungry: As for power consumption, GA102 reportedly uses 230W -- while 24GB of GDDR6X (which we should see on the new Ampere-based TITAN RTX) consumes 60W of power. You can read more on that here.
  • Production begins soon: NVIDIA is reportedly in the DVT (or Design Validation Test) range of its new GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics cards. Mass production reportedly kicks off in August 2020, with a media event, benchmarks, and more in September 2020 as I predicted many months ago. More on that here.
Exclusive: AIB custom Ampere cards launch alongside Founders Edition 05

I've already written about rumors that NVIDIA's next-gen Ampere GPU architecture would be up to 75% faster than current-gen GPUs such as the Turing architecture, right after rumors that Ampere would offer 50% more performance at half the power of Turing. This is pretty crazy stuff right there.

Not only that, but we've got some rumored specs on the purported GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3070 graphics cards, which will both be powered by NVIDIA's new Ampere GPU architecture.

We've already heard that Ampere would offer 50% more performance at half the power of Turing, which sent the hairs on my neck standing up. Better yet, you can read about the leaked specs on the purported Ampere-based GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3070 right here.

Exclusive: AIB custom Ampere cards launch alongside Founders Edition 06

Even more reading:

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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