If Nvidia’s next-gen GPUs can somehow live up to the hype, they’ll make the RTX 3090 look slow


As we draw closer to the launch of Nvidia’s next generation of graphics cards, expected in Q3 (opens in new tab), and possibly as soon as August, it’s inevitable that hype begins to build. The usual leakers fire off tweets every other day proclaiming a titbit performance estimate, feature, or characteristic. Sometimes they’re vague or cryptic, and other times quite specific. Regardless, a trend is clearly emerging. Nvidia’s next gen flagship consumer GPU, the tentatively named RTX 4090 is rumoured to be an absolute monster. If it ends up being twice as fast as an RTX 3090 (hardly a slouch!) then Nvidia will have pulled off an intergenerational performance uplift that it hasn’t managed in the many years I’ve been covering GPUs.

It’s difficult to put a precise figure on historical gen-on-gen performance increases, though a good example was the jump in performance Nvidia achieved when it introduced the GTX 10-series (opens in new tab). The GTX 980 to GTX 1080 performance uplift was above 50% in many cases, and sometimes a lot higher. But it wasn’t 100%. So, what’s going on? Are we to believe that an RTX 4090 will be twice as fast as a 3090? Has Nvidia found something truly revolutionary? I wish I knew. The simple answer is that it’s too early to tell.

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