Nvidia RTX 4000 rumour fuels additional concerns about power consumption

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There is more to this rumour than meets the eye, so don’t worry just yet.

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According to the most recent report, Nvidia’s next-generation RTX 4090 flagship could have shockingly high power consumption, but there’s more to this than meets the eye (as well as some better news further down the RTX 4000 range).

All of this information comes from a reputable hardware leaker on Twitter named Kopite7kimi, who listed the alleged power specifications for Nvidia’s Lovelace processors, starting with the AD102 (the flagship) and going down to the lower-end chips (as noted by VideoCardz(opens in new tab)).

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Theoretically, the AD102 GPU will have a “power limit” of 800W, which is alarmingly high (and harks back to earlier days of speculation that Lovelace will be very demanding power-wise).

We must keep in mind that this power limit relates to the GPU’s maximum allowable wattage; in practise, the rated TDP will be much lower than that of entry-level graphics cards. We’ll return to this shortly to reflect on this further.

The better news is that while AD102 reaches its highest possible wattage of 800W, Nvidia is allegedly dropping significantly with the GPU that will allegedly power the RTX 4080, with AD103 sitting at 450W (remember, that’s maximum possible wattage). Then, AD104 is set at 400W and AD106 at 260W.

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The AD103 and AD104 mobile chips appear to have a maximum power consumption of 175W, and the AD106 mobile chip has a maximum power consumption of 140W, according to Kopite7kimi.

Putting things in their proper context in terms of power

Let’s keep in mind that this is only a rumour and that there have been numerous pieces of speculation about where Lovelace power usage may wind up before we become very alarmed by the staggering 800W figure put on the AD102 chip. The RTX 4090, which is rumoured to be the first graphics card Nvidia will release with the next Lovelace series, may not, however, be that much of a huge power hog.

The rated TDP will be less than 800W, as previously mentioned, with only more advanced third-party graphics cards pushing things much faster with clock speeds (and robust cooling) approaching close to that ceiling (while providing headroom for overclocking, etc.).

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The RTX 4090 will have a scaled-down version of the GPU, with rumours claiming it will only have 16,384 CUDA Cores. This is another crucial aspect of AD102 (the rumoured maximum for the chip is 18,432). Other models will be available, most likely an RTX 4090 Ti, and we might even see an RTX Titan for Lovelace above that. However, it’s possible that only the Titan will be able to completely utilise the maximum power available.

The full-fat AD102 models—and the fastest top-end cards overall, for that matter—will be stretching their consumption after you take into account both of those aspects, and the RTX 4090 will likely sit a fair bit lower in terms of real power usage.

Don’t worry about the RTX 4090’s power consumption just yet; the GPU may still easily match some of the other recent speculations we’ve heard, including a 600W TDP, even though the idea of a 450W TDP now seems less credible (those TDPs are also assertions from Kopite7kimi, in fact, and RedGamingTech on YouTube in the latter case).

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Another intriguing thing to note is that the RTX 4080’s maximum power drastically drops to 450W. The 4080 might nestle at about 420W for its TDP, according to Kopite7kimi’s most recent statement, but this new information provides a tentative indication that it might pitch a bit lower than this (earlier rumours had us forecasting around 400W). And that would be better news for the far larger number of players who will want to purchase an RTX 4080 as opposed to the more specialised RTX 4090 with its undoubtedly astronomical pricing.

To sum up, let’s not jump to conclusions about potential power demands just yet, though it is obvious that those interested in a high-end Lovelace GPU still have some concerns about the possibility of required PSU upgrades and better cooling options to keep the inside of the PC at a reasonable temperature.

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