Nvidia could flip the script on the RTX 5090

The Hyte Y40 PC case sitting on a table.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

We already know Nvidia is working on its RTX 50-series graphics cards, code-named Blackwell, but the rollout may not go as expected.

According to well-known hardware leaker kopite7kimi, Nvidia plans to launch the RTX 5080 before it launches the RTX 5090. That may not sound like a big deal, but it’s a change of pace compared to what we saw in the last generation.

Nvidia launched the RTX 4090 first, cementing the $1,600 CPU as the flagship card of the range. For many, it was a sign of Nvidia pushing into a more premium tier of gaming GPUs by asking PC gamers to spend above $1,000 if they wanted the latest and great. Notably, Nvidia always launched its 80-class part first prior to this generation, opting to release a more powerful version shortly after.

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It's not ture. RTX 5080 should be released first.

— kopite7kimi (@kopite7kimi) May 7, 2024

In responding to a rumor, kopite7kimi says Nvidia is returning to form. Current speculation suggests that Nvidia will release the first graphics cards in the RTX 50-series in the fall of this year. The rest of the range will follow suit in 2025. That lines up with Nvidia’s traditional release cadence, with the company introducing new generations every two years around the fall.

Although kopite7kimi is generally a reliable source for hardware leaks, this is still a rumor for now. The leaker also didn’t clarify if we’ll see multiple GPUs this year. They just say the RTX 5080 should release first. That could mean we’ll see both the RTX 5080 and RTX 5090 this year, which is what some earlier rumors claimed.

Initial speculation suggested we wouldn’t see RTX 50-series GPUs until next year, but Nvidia has been moving at a rapid pace. In March of this year, the company introduced its first Blackwell GPU to data centers, and the RTX 50-series should use the same architecture. This GPU, the B200, is built on chipmaker TSMC’s 4NP node and packs 208 billion transistors.

Elsewhere, the rumor mill says that RTX 50-series GPUs will incorporate GDDR7 memory, and that the RTX 5090 could sport upwards of 24,576 CUDA cores. A more recent rumor says that Nvidia is increasing memory capacity for some RTX 50-series GPUs, too, which was a major criticism of cards like the RTX 4060 Ti in the current generation.

For now, all we can do is wait until Nvidia has more to share. Although it’s possible we could see more of the RTX 50-series at Computex next month, we’ll likely have to wait until the second half of the year to learn more. Nvidia typically launches new generations at its fall GPU Technology Conference (GTC) event, which usually takes place between September and October.

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