Nvidia is reportedly making 600W reference boards for the RTX 4090

2022 03 26 image 6

Rumor mill: According to industry sources, Nvidia has shared with its OEM partners its reference cards for its flagship RTX 4000 series GPUs, which could be called the RTX 4080, 4080 Ti, 4090 or 4090 Ti. It hasn’t shipped the GPUs themselves yet, but the boards are set to consume 600W of power.

That’s what several leakers with a good track record have said recently: she expect the RTX 4080 or 4090 to have a 600W TBP (total board power). A more expensive model, the RTX 4090 Ti or a dedicated card, could consume more than 800W. But they’ve also included several disclaimers with those numbers, noting that it’s too early to finalize the exact details.

Igor’s Lab reports that Nvidia has told OEMs to test the reference boards used to help them design their PCBs and coolers at full 600W. Not every 4080 or 4090 will necessarily consume 600W out of the box, but at least some will turbo or overclock in that power range.

Igor’s Lab received a photo of a reference board from a Chinese OEM and confirmed its authenticity with two other sources (above). A notable feature was the twelve slots for memory modules, indicating that the GPU will have 12 GB or 24 GB of GDDR6X memory, most likely the latter.

It also had an impressive 24 voltage converters, up from 20 on the Founder’s Edition RTX 3090 PCB (shared between the GPU and memory). It used UPI Semi’s UP9512 controllers capable of eight phases, so three controllers per phase.

All those converters and modules are powered by one 12VHPWR connector, also known as the PCIe 5.0 plug, which can only deliver 600W. Igor’s Lab notes that OEMs design PCBs that use the full 600W, but as mentioned, that’s a ceiling, not an average. Each 12VHPWR connector comes with an adapter with four 6+2 pin Molex plugs, although most power supplies don’t come with that many cables.

Insiders expect Nvidia to reuse the 3090’s three-slot air cooler for the 4080 and 4090. Meanwhile, manufacturers are reportedly preparing 3.5-slot air coolers and considering water-cooled solutions similar to what AMD used for the RX 6900 XT. LC.

In a potential first, the 3090 Ti and 4080 are said to be pin compatible, meaning they can use the same PCB designs. Igor’s Lab speculates that OEMs may be using the 3090 Ti to test their 4080 coolers and PCBs. So the 3090 Ti and the 4080 can share parts.

In any case, the 3090 Ti is the test run for the 12VHPWR connector. Rumors indicate that the 3090 Ti will consume 400-500W depending on the model, a range that looks crazy compared to the RTX 3000 series, but tame compared to the rumored RTX 4080 and 4090.

Image Credit: Thomas Foster

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