NVIDIA's RTX 4070 graphics card may soon be produced with a different GPU, or that's the latest we've heard on the grapevine.
The rumor is from Twitter and well-known leaker Kopite7kimi, who tells us in a short and sweet tweet that the RTX 4070 could have a variant coming based on the AD103 chip.
That's the GPU engine that drives the RTX 4080 (in slightly cut-down form from its full incarnation), and soon, the chip could be used in the RTX 4070 - but for what reason?
Well, first of all, we really don't know this is happening, so we must tread cautiously as we traipse around rumorville (town population: all of us keen PC gamers and a bunch of leakers). If NVIDIA is indeed pondering building new RTX 4070 graphics cards around AD103 (as opposed to the existing cards with AD104), there are two theories about what this could mean.
The first is straightforward and sadly rather dull. What NVIDIA might be doing is taking duff chips that didn't make the cut to power an RTX 4080, and repurposing them for the next graphics card down the range, so as not to waste that silicon.
These GPUs would be severely cut down to the CUDA Core count of the RTX 4070, so you obviously wouldn't get any more cores than before (and that allows for the wonky cores that spoiled the die to be disabled).
There might be minor changes in, say, cache size, but really, the new RTX 4070 variant wouldn't be much different from the existing cards. NVIDIA would simply be finding a way to use AD103 GPUs that would otherwise be chucked in the bin.
On the other hand...
What about the more exciting theory? Well, NVIDIA might just be planning to unleash a better version of the RTX 4070. Of course, there's already an RTX 4070 Ti, but maybe an RTX 4070 Super could be coming?
This is a theory we've seen, but it seems highly unlikely to us. We can't see NVIDIA bringing that brand in suddenly with Lovelace in this manner - but perhaps it is possible that Team Green could be considering an RTX 4070 (with cut-down AD103) that also comes with 16GB of VRAM, removing a major pain point with the card for many gamers.
We'd be inclined to seriously doubt this possibility, too, on balance, but what makes it perhaps a touch more likely is that we've just heard another GPU rumor - it's a busy old town here - that the RTX 4060 Ti might get a 16GB version in July. (With the entry-level 8GB flavor set to launch later in May).
Now, if that happens - and it's a big if - would it be right to have an RTX 4060 Ti with 16GB of VRAM, but not have an RTX 4070 model offering such a video memory configuration? (RTX 4070 models only have 12GB, remember).
So, we can see some logic there, but honestly, we wouldn't hold our breath for another take on the RTX 4070 that isn't simply about NVIDIA making the best use of chips that fail to make the grade for the RTX 4080.
Frankly, we're pretty dubious about the 16GB RTX 4060 Ti rumor, too, as it seems to have come out of nowhere at the last minute, and if true, it might create some bad feelings for those who purchased an RTX 4070 - "I only got 12GB!" - let's face it.
VRAM is a seriously hot topic at the moment, and the good news on that front is that a fresh innovation from NVIDIA in terms of texture compression could be a key factor in managing with less video memory in the future.