Nvidia’s latest overly powerful and expensive GPU, the RTX 3090 Ti, has been out for almost a week. As curious PC enthusiasts took apart this mysterious GPU, its internals may have revealed some juicy secrets about the next generation of RTX graphics.
Upon close inspection of the printed circuit board (PCB) and the engineering beneath it, some astute observers on Twitter have noted that there is room on the RTX 3090 Ti’s board for Lake power delivery. They have noted that some AIB (add-in board) cards even have room for a second 12VHPWR, the Intel PCIe 5.0 connector rated at 600 watts. Why? Well, it can act as the bridge between the current generation of GPUs and the next.
If AD102 and GA102 are pin compatible and reuse AIB’s RTX 3090 Ti PCB designs for AD102 boards, I think we can guess why so many of them have spots for additional power supply components pic.twitter.com/WCsiG9PvK8
— Charlie (@ghost_motley) Apr 2, 2022
Twitter user @ghost_motleywho is moderator of PC hardware sub-Reddits noted that if the AD102 GPU matches the power pin layout like the GA102 used in Ampere cards, it would make it easier for board partners to source cards for Lovelace GPUs build.
Some RTX 3090 Ti graphics cards (especially EVGA) even have an unpopulated ATX 3.0 connection that would theoretically give access to over 1,200W of power.
In February, Igor Wallosek also wrote on his website that the RTX 3090 Ti could be a “learning object” for board partners to create power-hungry graphics cards. Theoretically, the GA102 and AD102 GPUs that share pin layouts would allow partners to reuse current cards without having to completely redesign the cooling solutions.
The recent Nvidia hack yielded some juicy information about the potential capabilities of the RTX 4000 series GPUs. The RTX 4090 is rumored to be twice as powerful as the current RTX 3090. Given the 750W power requirements for the RTX 3090 Ti, one could expect 1000W and more for the RTX 4090.
Meanwhile, the king of the performance hill is ridiculously expensive and heavy RTX 3090 Ti. If you’re planning on taking this up for some reason, you’ll probably be upgrading your power supply anyway. Consider it an investment in the future once Lovelace GPUs see the light of day.