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This could be our first PCB photo of NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 3090

This is our first picture of NVIDIA's purported GeForce RTX 3090 and its beefy PCB: triple 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and more.

@anthony256
Published Fri, Aug 14 2020 5:35 AM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Oct 19 2020 8:20 PM CDT

Heavy breathing intensifies.

This could be our first look at NVIDIA's next-gen GeForce RTX 3090 and its beefy PCB, thanks to a new leak over on the NVIDIA subreddit.

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NVIDIA's purported GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card and its leaked PCB is coming from a non-reference board from COLORFUL, which would eventually form into the flagship iGame GeForce RTX 3090 Vulcan-X graphics card.

Diving right into it, you can see that it is a power hungry enthusiast-focused card with a truly bonkers 3 x 8-pin PCIe power connector requirement. Wowzers... I don't care that it's over the top, because if the GeForce RTX 3090 truly does offer 50% more performance than the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti -- then I don't care for thermals and power consumption.

That raw performance is going to be absolutely incredible.

There's something to note here: the purported PCB of the GeForce RTX 3090 here has 3 x 8-pin PCIe power connectors and not the 12-pin PCIe power connector that we've seen rumors of.

I think we could see NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition has something special (a new 12-pin PCIe power connector, and I'm sure a few other surprises) while AIB partners can't use the 12-pin connector and instead require 3 x 8-pin PCIe power connectors.

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We have at least 11 memory modules on the card here -- where if NVIDIA is using dual-sided memory chips (GDDR6 or GDDR6X here) then we're looking at 22 memory modules in total on the GeForce RTX 3090. The 1GB modules would add up to 22GB on a 352-bit memory bus, but we've been hearing rumors of 20GB and 24GB -- not 22GB.

You'll notice an Intel CPU there -- because the leaker placed it there so we can't scope out the NVIDIA GPU underneath and identify it.

Two more things to note, that it seems NVIDIA is changing the NVLink connector on the GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards, as well as a secondary chip that is found under the GPU. This is interesting, and I really want to know more about what is going on here.

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  • What's NVIDIA doing with all those mentions of 21? I'm a kinda numerology nerd in some ways, so it helps decode at least some of it -- which I did so here. (GeForce) 256 x 21 (days/years celebration) = 5376 (GPU cores in purported GA102 GPU), and 5 + 3 + 7 + 6 = 21.
  • What about "ULTIMATE"? Well that's the other thing -- does NVIDIA mean this will be the "ultimate graphics card", or does it mean we could expect an ULTIMATE branded graphics card? GeForce RTX 3090 ULTIMATE has a nice ring to it... just saying.
  • Where can I tune into the GeForce special event? NVIDIA will be premiering the special event broadcast on September 9 at 9AM PT, hosted by none other than NVIDIA CEO and founder Jensen Huang. You can tune in right here.

More reading:

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  • 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.
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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.

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Even more reading:

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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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