Nvidia’s next-gen Ampere GPUs promise jaw-dropping performance boost over Turing

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Nvidia’s next-gen Ampere GPUs promise jaw-dropping performance boost over Turing
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Nvidia’s next-gen graphics cards are going to be a major step up from the current Turing models, delivering no less than up to 50% better performance, according to the latest from the rumor mill.

And this will be achieved while cutting power consumption in half compared to existing GeForce GPUs, claims a report in the Taipei Times, which cites Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co.

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No further details were spilled on the potential of the next-generation cards, which may (or may not) be known as Ampere, but the report does also float a purported launch date, with the GPUs expected to pitch up in the second half of 2020.

Tom’s Hardware, which spotted this report, suggests the SIGGRAPH conference as a likely candidate for an initial launch, mainly because this is where Turing was unveiled previously – and so that does make sense.

This year, SIGGRAPH is being held in Washington and kicks off in July, so this could be an exciting month in the GPU world. Particularly if the aforementioned rumored performance gains are indeed realized, or are at least in a similar ballpark.

Given that Nvidia is moving to a new 7nm process with Ampere – with cards set to be manufactured by both TSMC and Samsung – considerable gains over existing Turing products on 12nm are expected.

Although the potential performance jump highlighted here is certainly going to raise some eyebrows. To manage to crank up performance like so while doubling power efficiency levels would be quite a feat, although we have to exercise the usual caution around speculation like this – and remember that the report says ‘up to’ 50% better performance.

So those gains might only be in certain scenarios, such as for example when using ray tracing. After all, other rumors about Ampere graphics cards have insisted that Nvidia is focusing on making ‘massive’ improvements with ray tracing cores on RTX 3000 models (as they will presumably be named). The truth is we just don’t know, and we’d be foolish to get carried away with any predictions at this point.

Six months to launch?

As to the potential launch date mentioned, online chatter has previously floated the idea that Nvidia’s new graphics cards could land in the first half of 2020, but a July release wouldn’t be far off the mark in any case.

And as we’ve theorized before, a roughly mid-year launch would make sense in terms of Nvidia’s previous release schedule, and it would head off AMD’s incoming ‘Nvidia killer’ Navi GPU which is also rumored to be debuting in the middle of 2020.

A further potentially tantalizing element for Ampere is the possibility of slightly cheaper GPUs, at least at the high-end – while it’s really way too early to be talking about prices, there are some solid reasons as to why this could happen.

Although that said, the bigger the performance gains, the less likely there’s any chance of having money chipped off the asking prices of the incoming GPUs, arguably.

If Nvidia’s next-gen graphics cards really are only six months away now, the good thing is we will doubtless be getting more info about the GPUs leaked in fairly short order.

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