Rumours about a potential Nvidia RTX 40 Super refresh are becoming ubiquitous. Hardware leaker hongxing2020 started the conjecture with a tweet on October 18. According to him, Nvidia is planning to release Super versions for the RTX 4080, RTX 4070 Ti, and RTX 4070. There is no expected release date as of yet.
A Super GPU is essentially a faster version of the vanilla card, typically offering around 5%-10% improved performance. While not quite as powerful as the Ti, Nvidia focuses on maximising value with these cards. It's been a while since Nvidia dropped a Super refresh, and we have to go back two generations to the RTX 20 series when Team Green released an RTX 2080 Super, RTX 2070 Super, and RTX 2060 Super. These cards were released 6-10 months after their vanilla counterparts.
The RTX 4080 Super is rumoured to have 20GB VRAM, which is a significant 25% increase over the base version. This would be a much-needed upgrade as Nvidia's RTX 40 series has underwhelming VRAM across the board. The RTX 4080's direct AMD competitor is the RX 7900 XTX, a card that comes with 24GB VRAM. The increased VRAM would give the RTX 4080 Super a bus width of 320 bits, so we can expect an appreciable uplift in memory bandwidth.
There has also been conjecture about specifications, and most leakers are pointing to the use of a cut down AD102, which is of course the GPU that powers the flagship RTX 4090. AD102 has a total 144 Streaming Multiprocessors (SM) of which the RTX 4090 uses 128, so the RTX 4080 Super should fall somewhere between the 76 SMs of the base model and 128 SMs of the RTX 4090. The RTX 4070 Ti Super could be based on a cut down AD103 die with 16GB VRAM and a 256 bit memory bus width. This card could pose a serious threat to the seemingly indomitable Radeon RX 7800 XT.
It's interesting to see a Super version planned for the RTX 4070 Ti, as the Super variants have historically been in-between the base and Ti versions in terms of performance. It would also make for a very contrived naming convention. Nvidia might be trying to address the big price gap between the $799 RTX 4070 Ti and $1199 RTX 4080.
Pricing on the RTX 4080 Super could be tricky, as the RTX 4080 is already steep at $1199. It wouldn't make much sense to raise the price by too much, as it would then be too close to the RTX 4090 at $1599. If Nvidia sticks with the MSRP of the base model, this card may just get a favourable reception.
We could see these cards being announced at CES in January and becoming available somewhere in Q1 2024. Imagine a world with high VRAM Nvidia GPUs...