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According to an Nvidia next-gen GPU leak, the RTX 4070 may lag behind the RTX 4090

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The RTX 4090 is slated to be released first, and Nvidia’s mid-range GPU could face a long wait.

image credits: timetotimes

According to new information from the grapevine, Nvidia’s AD104 chip, which is projected to be the third most powerful GPU in the next-gen Lovelace (RTX 4000) series, is likely to enter the testing process.

This comes from Kopite7kimi on Twitter, who is a regular source of leaks from the field of graphics cards.

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It’s a short and concise tweet, stating merely that Nvidia is set to begin testing AD104, implying that the chip is finished but the GPU needs to be put through its paces so the exact spec can be finalised so it operates well (for example, how fast clock speeds can be pushed while retaining stability, among a whole lot of other considerations).

What isn’t mentioned is which graphics card(s) from the Lovelace line will employ AD104 and its variations. Currently, we think it’ll be the RTX 4070, but all we know for sure is that it’ll be a mid-range chip because it’ll be the third-tier Lovelace GPU after AD102 and AD103.

While AD102 will power the top-tier RTX 4090, it’s likely that the RTX 4080 will use AD103 instead of the same GPU as the 4090, as was the case with the RTX 3090 and 3080. The RTX 4070, as previously mentioned, would logically be AD104.

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Nvidia, on the other hand, could choose for a completely different strategy, and AD104 could end up in the RTX 4060. We just don’t know, although Kopite7kimi has already stated that AD104 is meant for the RTX 4070, which, based on what we’ve heard on the grapevine (and prior history), appears to make the most sense.

The tangled web of rumours about Ada Lovelace

When Kopite7kimi tweeted about it a month ago, we heard that the flagship GPU, AD102, was already in testing.

This corresponds to what we’ve heard in the past about Nvidia preparing the RTX 4090 to be the first GPU released for the Lovelace range, maybe as early as September, to compete with AMD’s next-gen Navi 33 mid-range. According to Kopite7kimi’s last tweet, AD103 and AD104 – possibly comprising the RTX 4080, 4070, and 4060 – will enter testing a month or two after AD102, and this looks to be the case.

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That being the case, we can pencil in the RTX 4070 for a November release, most likely alongside the RTX 4080 – but all of this is rumor-based guesswork, and should be treated with caution (it’s still fascinating to hear all of this, though, as a general indication of where we might be in the run-up to the release Lovelace).

There is, however, a snag in the works, namely Kopite7kimi’s other recent allegation on Twitter that Nvidia is preparing an RTX 4000 launch for mid-July, which is only a month and a half away now. But that’s so near; surely this is referring to a paper launch or initial unveiling, not a GPU (RTX 4090)?

Whatever the case may be, Nvidia often uses a staggered launch strategy, with one batch of graphics cards (or perhaps a single card, as in the case of Lovelace) followed by more, and this appears to be a safe assumption.

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