As we get closer to Nvidia Lovelace’s anticipated release later this year, more spec and benchmark leaks are starting to appear online, and man, hello, the Lovelace mainboard could be an absolute monster of a GPU.
Latest news comes courtesy of Twitter’s trusted hardware leaker kopite7kimi (opens in new tab)which says that Nvidia is currently testing a variant of its AD102 GPU with an astonishing 18,176 CUDA cores, or nearly double the number of cores of the Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti, currently the best graphics card on the consumer market in terms of raw performance.
“the beast” PG137-SKU0AD102-450-A118176FP3248G 24Gbps GDDR6X total board power ~800WJuly 25, 2022
Kopite7kimi calls the card “the beast”, and that’s entirely appropriate if the leaked specs are close to what the real card has at launch. In addition to the 18,176 CUDA cores, the AD-102-450-A1 GPU will also support 48GB of GDDR6X VRAM and can be rated for around 800W of TGP, which is in line with much of what we’ve heard about Lovelace’s power – hungry design.
There are a few other things we could deduce from these specs. Assuming there are no more revolutionary architectural changes in stream multiprocessors (SM), each SM should have 128 CUDA cores, which would mean the board would have 142 SMs. If each SM only has a single ray tracing core, as is the case with Nvidia Ampere, that would also mean 142 ray tracing cores.
If Lovelace follows Ampere’s lead and includes four tensor cores per SM, that would mean 568 tensor cores capable of accelerating the advanced FP32 operations needed for the board’s machine learning and ray tracing capabilities. All in all, that’s about a 70% increase over the RTX 3090 Ti, but the actual performance gains can be even greater than that.
We can’t say for sure whether this is an engineering sample of an RTX 4090 Ti or some other high-end variant of the high-end BFGPU. A few months ago, we got news of a Titan-class AD102 GPU with higher core counts and TGP, but this would likely be a workstation graphics card, assuming it ever released.
The expectation is that this new design will be a consumer card that is on the border between a card found in the best gaming PCs and professional workstations.
Review: Holy CUDA, this will be an absolutely massive graphics card
The RTX 3090 Ti is huge. It weighs several pounds, is over 30 centimeters long, and putting one in a vertical tower case requires additional physical support so that the torque on the PCIe connector doesn’t damage the card. It just doesn’t fit in many cases on the market.
Let’s say to argue that this is an RTX 4090 Ti. Just figuring out how you’re going to fit this type of card into a full-tower case is a serious design challenge, because if this card is consuming up to 800W of power, it takes a huge cooling solution to keep it running safely.
Furthermore, the RTX 3090 Ti is already a $2,000+ graphics card. How much more expensive will this card be if this is the hardware you are packaging? We need to take any leaks with a grain of salt, if not a spoonful, but everything is pointing to a massive increase in the number of cores, VRAM and power consumption for the main Lovelace boards.
We can’t be sure until there’s some sort of official announcement, but if it’s anything close to what these specs indicate, our concerns about the rising costs of graphics cards seem downright quaint.