NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ampere Production Heatsink Leaked Sans Cooling Shroud
Another leaked photo of a supposed heatsink design for NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card has surfaced, suggesting that the previously leaked photo was the real deal. Not only that, it is looking increasingly likely that what we saw just a few short days ago is what will end up shipping to consumers, as opposed to being a prototype design.
Of course, nothing is set in stone—we are still dealing with leaks and speculation, and even if everything up to this point has been real, NVIDIA could still decide to change things up and go in a different direction. So, there is your multi-layered disclaimer.
This newly leaked photo (shown up top) shows a set of heatsinks with the cooling shrouds and fans removed. As we have seen before, the unique design positions the two cooling fans on opposite sides—one would blow directly on top of the GPU, and the other would be situated on the backside at the other end of the card.
The finned designed is interesting, and a little perplexing. Obviously the finned heatsink helps facilitate the removal of heat from the GPU, RAM, and other components, with air channels in between. But what is less obvious is the airflow scheme at play. We have to think that NVIDIA engineered a functional design rather than one that simply looks different.
Adding to the intrigue is the push-pull configuration of the cooling fans. It has been suggested by a user on Reddit (where this image was posted) that since the fans push air into the card from different sides, hot air gets exhausted in the middle section where there the diagonal fins are positioned.
It is an interesting theory, particularly since the previously leaked photo (and subsequent fan-made renders) of the GeForce RTX 3080 with the shroud attached shows that the middle section would be partially blocked. Or at least that is the case on the side of the card. The angled fins, however, would channel hot air to the top and bottom.
This essentially means your case would need excellent airflow itself, since the hot air would be expelled above and below the card. And if NVIDIA sticks to the same blueprint for its Founders Edition models, these will be overclocked cards to boot.
Hopefully we have some clarity soon. Rumor has it NVIDIA will launch its Ampere-based consumer graphics cards (including a GeForce RTX 3090) in September.