We’ve been witnessing the maturing of NVIDIA’s Turing family of professional and gaming graphics cards (which now blanket just about every price point possible from the entry-level to the very high-end), and now we’re beginning to hear a little about the company’s next-generation GPU. In this case, we’re talking about Ampere, which is said to be built on a 7nm manufacturing process instead of Turing’s current 12nm digs.
A new report from TweakTown suggests that we could first learn about Ampere at GTC 2019, which kicks off tomorrow in San Jose and runs through March 21st. Now before you start salivating at the prospects of an even more powerful successor to the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti or Titan RTX making an appearance, you should modify your expectations.
According to the report, NVIDIA is instead expected to first release Ampere-based GPUs that will be aimed at the high-performance computing and deep learning/artificial intelligence markets. So, in essence, this would be a successor to the current Volta cards that NVIDIA favors in this sector.
Other than the expected 7nm process tech, we don’t know much else about Ampere at this point. Will the cards continue to use expensive and bandwidth-rich HBM2 or will they shift to GDDR6, like we’ve seen with the Turing family? Can we expect 32GB or more of onboard memory, as seen with thoselimited-edition Volta cards? When will we see consumer cards based on the 7nm node? There are a lot of unanswered questions at this point.
AMD may have been the first to market with a 7nm consumer graphics card – the Radeon VII – but even that beastly graphics card is more comparable to a GeForce RTX 2080 (read our review here), and doesn’t really stand a chance against the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. However, AMD’s true next-generation Navi GPU architecture is right around the corner, and should give us a real taste of what AMD is capable of on the performance front.
With NVIDIA being able to extract so much performance at the 12nm performance node while keeping power consumption in check, we’re eager to see what the company can do with 7nm consumer gaming cards (whether they’re based on Ampere or not). And we also can’t forget the wild card in this race – Intel. Intel is aiming to have its all-new dedicated GPU hit the market some time in 2020, and it could give the GPU market some much-needed diversity to shake things up.