Rumor mill: According to industry sources, Nvidia has shared its reference boards for its flagship RTX 4000 series GPUs, which may be called RTX 4080, 4080 Ti, 4090, or 4090 Ti, with its OEM partners. The GPUs themselves have yet to be shipped, but the boards are rated to consume 600W of power.
Several leaders with good track records have recently stated that They expect RTX 4080 or 4090 to have 600W TBP (total board power). A higher-end model, whether it’s an RTX 4090 Ti or some special edition card, can draw over 800W. But they also attached several disclaimers to those numbers, noting that it was too early to elaborate on exact details.
Igor’s Lab reports that Nvidia has asked OEMs test reference boards that were used to design their PCBs and coolers to full 600W. Not every 4080 or 4090 will necessarily draw 600 watts out of the box, but at least some of them will turbo or overclock to that power level.
Igor’s lab received a picture of the reference board from a Chinese OEM and authenticated it using two other sources (see above). One standout feature was the twelve memory slots, which indicate the GPU will have either 12GB or 24GB of GDDR6X memory, most likely the latter.
It also had an impressive 24 voltage converters, compared to 20 on the Founder’s Edition RTX 3090 PCB (shared between GPU and memory). It used UPI Semi UP9512 controllers that support eight phases, that is, three controllers per phase.
All of these converters and modules are powered by a single 12VHPWR connector, also known as a PCIe 5.0 power connector, which can only deliver 600W. Igor’s lab notes that OEMs design PCBs that use the full 600 watts, but as mentioned, that’s a ceiling, not an average. Each 12VHPWR connector comes with an adapter with four 6+2 pin Molex connectors, although most power supplies don’t have that many cables.
Insiders expect Nvidia to reuse the 3090 triple-slot air cooler for the 4080 and 4090. Meanwhile, manufacturers are reportedly preparing 3.5-slot air coolers and considering water-cooled solutions similar to those AMD used for the RX 6900 XT LC .
Perhaps for the first time, the 3090 Ti and 4080 are supposedly pin-compatible, meaning they could use the same PCB designs. Igor’s Lab suggests that OEMs may use the 3090 Ti to test their 4080 coolers and PCBs. So the 3090 Ti and 4080 may share parts.
At least the 3090 Ti is a trial run of the 12VHPWR connector. Rumors indicate that the 3090 Ti will draw 400-500W depending on the model, a range that looks crazy compared to the RTX 3000 series but moderate compared to the rumored RTX 4080 and 4090.
Image credit: Thomas Foster