It looks like a new Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 model is on the horizon, which bumps up the graphics card’s VRAM from 10GB to 12GB.
The rumors come from user vermicelli on the Chippel forums, who previously listed the upcoming GPU. And this new RTX 3080 SKU will mean the 10GB model will be discontinued, at least according to VideoCardz.
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VideoCardz claims that Nvidia’s board partners have been asked to prepare for an upcoming refresh with indications of a possible CES 2022 launch. This will happen at the same time that other GPUs such as a GeForce RTX 3090 Ti and an RTX 3070 Ti 16GB may appear.
There’s also word for an RTX 2060 with 12GB of memory, which will use the same PCB as the discontinued Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super, according to the same sources.
Analysis: Why the upgrade?
However, the big question remains: Why the upgrade in the first place, since it looks like a 16GB RTX 3070 Ti release is being planned? So far there doesn’t seem to be a solid answer from board partners, though this reboot of Nvidia’s Ampere lineup seems to be pushing memory upgrades.
Games like Far Cry 6 will also benefit from this boost. According to Ubisoft, the title requires 35GB of VRAM to run its optional 11GB HD texture pack, which is just a little less than the current 10GB RTX 3080. This isn’t a problem when playing it at 1440p, but cranking up the resolution to 4K with ray tracing is when the low and high res textures will start to cause problems.
If the upgrade rumor is true, the GPU’s memory bus will increase from 320-bit to 384-bit, which means a nice bandwidth boost for the graphic card, though memory speeds will remain the same as the previous model.
But these rumors stem from forum posts, so it’s best to approach this with a healthy skepticism.