The Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series and the leak problem

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series and the leak problem

It’s quite remarkable how little we know about Nvidia’s upcoming gaming graphics cards, the RTX 40 series. AMD is openly working on next-gen Radeon GPUs based on RDNA 3, and Intel is gearing up for launch of its Arc Alchemist cards before the end of the summer – yet there hasn’t been a single Nvidia Wars presentation slide. That’s not the kind of hype you’d expect, given how many of the best current-gen graphics cards have GeForce badges.

Getting to fill this void of information are, inevitably, leaks. If you don’t frequent hardware circles on a regular basis, there’s a real cottage industry of savvy insiders: anonymous but widely known tipsters like Graymon55 and kopite7kimi, who have shared enough specific details about previous GPU and CPU launches that at least some of their sources are solid. Recently, unannounced Nvidia cards like the RTX 4070, RTX 4080 and especially the RTX 4090 have become the hottest products in this industry, which means leaks are also the main source of GeForce details for the gaming world. game technology as a whole.

I’m not here to dunk on leaks. Leaks can be fun, and leaks can be precise, and sometimes they’re both. But amid the excitement of sneaking a peek at future tech and the feeling that you may have just beaten the corporate machine, a diet of Twitter tips can blind us to their limits by as a source of information.

The RTX 40 Leak Boost might actually be the most perfect example I’ve seen of this because, by the fugitives’ own confessions, most of the significant details about these graphics cards are constantly changing. They’re still in development, and almost everything we PC owners want to know about them is subject to change. If not actively changing as we speak.

Again, some leakers have decent backgrounds, so I don’t think kopite7kimi was knowingly talking to porkies in the The RTX 4090 reveal will take place in mid-July. But that clearly wasn’t the case, so either that information was outdated at the time, or the reveal window was just a possibility to begin with. Another apparent insider, wjm47196, recently claimed an October release date for the RTX 4090 (the mentioned AD102 is its underlying GPU). But again, even if this is an honest belief, it could just as well be based on outdated, incomplete, or just tentative plans.

Sometimes it’s not even a matter of unconfirmed details, but of hardware or software that couldn’t be finalized. The performance- and benchmark-based leaks are the juiciest of them all, but when it comes to the RTX 40 series, they’ll run on drivers that aren’t even close to being ready for launch day. So when someone says it The RTX 4090 scores almost twice as high as the RTX 3090 in 3DMark’s Time Spy Extreme test, or can reach 160fps+ in control at 4K… I mean, it sounds good, but realistically it won’t reflect the performance that PC gamers will see at home. So how useful are these reports, beyond the obvious revelation that a new GPU will be faster than the old one?

Again, there is no evidence to suggest intentional spreading of false information, and my own belief is that independent advice providers are as vital a part of the gaming/technology fabric as conventional reporting. But right now, with the RTX 40 series in particular, there just aren’t many truths to be told – only maybes and probabilities, waiting to fade into actual products.

I understand why this is frustrating, partly because leaks are the only regular source of anything to do with one of next year’s biggest PC hardware developments. That’s another issue, really: unlike games, where the hype is built but can’t be followed until release day, there are undoubtedly people who are currently deciding to upgrade their GPU now or to wait for the next generation Nvidia. Specs, performance and release date information is therefore relevant to actual buying decisions at this time, so while there is a lot of pre-release interest in the leaked data, it is a all the more reason to be wary of possible inaccuracies.

The display output ports on the back of an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card.

Is there anything really compelling to come out of these early RTX 40 series leaks? Perhaps a detail, and not the least: kopite7kimi, Graymon55, and wjm47196 all reported that the RTX 4090 will launch first and separately, with the RTX 4080 and RTX 4070 following later. Greymon55 and wjm47196 have also both said that the RTX 4090 will release this year, with the other two cards (both based on different underlying CPUs) arriving in 2023. It still feels like that could change, but you just don’t get a match. run away from smoke like that without a real fire.

Beyond that, Nvidia’s upcoming RTX GPUs remain a mystery. The mystery will of course spark rumors, and in all honesty, these should become more detailed and specific as the maps themselves are finalized. In the meantime, remember that a look behind the scenes will rarely tell the whole story.

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