The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is probably the most popular graphics card that doesn't exist yet. It seems like every single day we hear another leak or rumor about the supposed middle-ground between the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080. But with the RTX 3080 being one of the best graphics cards of all time, and a GPU shortage that means no one can buy a graphics card anyway, is there really any reason for Nvidia to drop an RTX 3080 Ti?
If you want to know why we really kind of need an RTX 3080 Ti, all you have to do is look at the RTX 3060. The mid-range card Nvidia put out in February 2021 has more VRAM than the flagship RTX 3080, which probably doesn't look too good on the store shelf. And, as game textures become more complex, it's only a matter of time before you'll want more than 10GB of VRAM – especially if you're playing at 4K.
Alas, for the time being, we still don't know when or if Nvidia is planning on launching a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. However, there are so many leaks and rumors out there at this point, that we went ahead and gathered them all up in one place, so you can stay on top of the drama.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Nvidia's next high-end graphics card
- When is it out? Probably April or May, but who knows?
- What will it cost? TBD but it's not going to be cheap
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti release date
Rumors about the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti's release date have been all over the place. We've heard everything from October 2020 to May 2021. The former obviously wasn't true, but it was supposedly going to be launched to fight against the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6900 XT. Turns out that wasn't needed.
Currently, the word on the street is that it's going to be launching in April 2021. We're finally in that time frame, though, and we still haven't heard anything concrete from Nvidia. Team Green did launch the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti with absolutely no fanfare in December 2020, so it's possible it'll do the same thing here.
Either way, it's likely that Nvidia won't be announcing the RTX 3080 Ti until it's absolutely ready to hit store shelves. With the ongoing GPU shortage, it's unlikely that the company is going to engage in a huge hype campaign for yet another high-end graphics card.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti price
For all the rumors that have been swirling around about the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, pretty much none of them have involved the price of the card at all. And that's probably for a good reason.
Right now, with how hard it is to buy a graphics card, and with aftermarket card manufacturers continually raising their prices, it's probably hard to nail down exactly where the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is going to sit. But, it's probably going to be pretty expensive.
As we'll dive into a little bit later, the leaks and rumors are pointing to the RTX 3080 Ti basically being an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 with half the VRAM. That card is $1,499 (£1,399, around AU$2,030) MSRP, with the actual selling prices being, well, a lot higher.
If we were to guess right now, based purely on speculation, we would say it'll probably land in about the same spot as the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, with the Founders Edition card selling for $1,199 (£1,099, AU$1,899).
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti specs and performance
Because Nvidia hasn't come out and revealed the RTX 3080 Ti specs, we really don't know what the card will be able to do. But that doesn't mean that there isn't a whole lot of discourse and rumors about what the supposed graphics card will look like.
The most controversial spec so far has been the amount of VRAM that'll be included. Initially we were expecting the RTX 3080 Ti to come with 20GB of GDDR6X memory, due to the 320-bit memory interface on the RTX 3080. However, recent rumors have pointed to the RTX 3080 Ti having 12GB instead – the same amount as the RTX 3060.
That would point to a 384-bit memory bus, but it does raise the question why Nvidia would limit it to 12GB instead of 24GB. Because when Nvidia launched the GeForce RTX 3060, we were told that the reason the company equipped that graphics card with the 12GB of VRAM instead of the 6GB that would perhaps be more appropriate for a 1080p GPU, Nvidia wanted to provide its users with the most RAM it could for the memory bus.
We're not saying that the rumors about the RTX 3080 Ti having just 12GB of VRAM are wrong – in fact, they're probably right – but it would seem counter to Nvidia's rationale behind the 3060 having so much VRAM.
Given the competing cards from Nvidia all have 16GB of VRAM, launching a flagship-level card with less than that doesn't seem too likely. Keep in mind we're the same folks that thought the RTX 3090 was fake, so we could totally be wrong on this.
Then again, the GPU that was supposedly slated to be behind the RTX 3080 Ti has since appeared in RTX 3090s, so limiting the VRAM to 12GB could be a way to just make the RTX 3080 Ti a more affordable version of the RTX 3090 – with most gamers not needing as much VRAM as Nvidia's monster GPU provides.
But another recent rumor even goes in the face of that, suggesting that the RTX 3080 Ti will have 10,240 CUDA cores, instead of the previous rumored spec of 10,496 cores – the latter of which being the same spec as the RTX 3090.
Even if the RTX 3080 Ti has been cut down to 10,240 CUDA cores, that would be a massive jump over the RTX 3080's 8,704 cores, which would make the RTX 3080 Ti an absolute beast at 1080p.
- Stay on top of tech news with the TechRadar newsletter