A hot potato: Gamers who thought the current crop of RDNA2 and RTX 30 series GPUs were already picky might be in for a surprise, if the latest leakage drop is to be believed.
Both kopite7kimi and Greymon55, established leakers in their own right, seem to agree that some of Nvidia’s upcoming Lovelace GPUs will land somewhere north of the 400W range. These figures would presumably be for the top models of the RTX 4000 series, built in AD102 silicon, successors to the RTX 3080 / Ti and RTX 3090.
In addition to pushing the GPU core as hard as possible, a large part of this power budget will come from the continued use of hot, power-hungry GDDR6X memory in Nvidia’s best models.
– Greymon55 (@ greymon55) July 29, 2021
Separately, Bondrewd from the Beyond3D forums left tracks on Navi 31, the top SKU of AMD’s RDNA3 line, suggesting that the multi-chiplet GPU would rank below 500W in total motherboard power consumption and below 350mm² per graphics core matrix.
With an estimated size of 600-650mm² for just the two GCDs, and perhaps 800mm² for the entire GPU (if MCDs with Infinity Cache are included), 3Dcenter believe that Navi 31 will end in the 450-480W region for full board power.
Although GPUs are nowhere near launch, these numbers are already troubling. In addition to putting a greater burden on power supplies and cooling in smaller cases, the increasing power consumption of GPUs increasingly leaves gaming laptops behind.
The size and weight limitations of gaming laptops limit their cooling capacity, and as a result, the TDPs have remained stubbornly fixed, and mobile GPUs rarely have more than 150W to work with, and those are the bulkiest models. that have a lot of cooling.
That was good enough when the 180W GTX 1080 was the bar to beat, but the RTX 2080 was asking for 215W and the RTX 3080 was asking for 320W, bringing gaming laptops from near parity to just half the power of a desktop card in just a few generations.
That excludes how increasing die sizes have completely blocked high-end GPUs from laptops, with the RTX 3080 and RX 6800M laptop using lower-level silicon than their desktop counterparts. Or how partner cards often pull out even more power benchmarks, like EVGA’s FTW3 that drives the RTX 3080 to nearly 400W.
GPUs over 400W are surely unlikely to cause problems for high-end battle stations with impeccably designed cooling and kilowatt power supplies. But for regular gamers, those who use smaller cases, or on laptops, or who keep a reliable old man 500W power supply: They are becoming a major problem.