Nvidia’s New RTX 40-Series GPUs Could Be a Real Pain to Keep Cool

Nvidia’s New RTX 40-Series GPUs Could Be a Real Pain to Keep Cool
Nvidia RTX 3080 (Image: Nvidia)

Another rumour is adding to the mounting evidence that Nvidia’s upcoming RTX 40-series graphics cards will be more power-hungry than any existing card.

As reported by VideoCardz, noted leaker Kopite7kimi claims Nvidia is working on a reference GPU — the original GPU design using a standard cooler — with three fans. If this is true, it would mark the first time Nvidia has ever used a triple-fan setup on a reference card.

The graphics card maker has used only dual fans on reference GPUs and left it up to its partners (EVGA, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI) to create custom, three-fan GPUs. The current RTX 3090 Ti is a great example: nearly all custom versions have a three-fan setup whereas Nvidia’s Founders Edition has two massive fans, one on each side. Nvidia’s approach differs from AMD, which has used three fans and even liquid cooling in the past.

What does it mean for Nvidia to add another fan to its upcoming 40-series processor? Not much at face value, though rumours of an additional fan fortify claims that the RTX 4090 could draw up to 600W of power. We’ve even heard whispers of an RTX 40 graphics card that pulls 900W. If true, it would likely be for testing purposes only. For context, the RTX 3090 requires 350W of power, and Nvidia recommends at least a 750W PSU.

Greater power consumption could mean these upcoming graphics cards will run hotter than the existing ones. They will, in turn, need better cooling, which means either more fans, bigger fans, or a liquid diet.

As always, take this leak with a healthy dose of scepticism. This same leaker suggested the RTX 4090 could launch in mid-July. They have since backtracked, posting earlier today that the late-2022 release posed by WCCF Tech (RTX 4090 in October, RTX 4080 in November, and RTX 4070 in December) is accurate.

Based on preliminary evidence, RTX 40-series cards will bring an increase in core counts and power consumption, resulting in a theoretical performance jump of 70% over the RTX 3090. The RTX 40 series will reportedly flaunt more than double the teraflop count of the RTX 3090 Ti, the most powerful GPU you can (try to) buy today.