Recently, we were able to admire several leaked pictures of a cooler for the new GeForce RTX 3080, which apparently showed us the use of a normal heatsink in combination with four thick copper composite heatpipes. So far, so delicious and also unfortunately incomplete. Because I also learned that NVIDIA is probably testing two competing solutions, each from a different OEM. Neither supplier is new to NVIDIA, but has supplied NVIDIA in the past.
According to insiders, the leaked image is only one variant, which means that at the time of taking the pictures, the company was probably still in the so-called DVT (Design Validation Test) phase, in which various variants and options are played through before finally deciding on a design. Here, performance, the question of costs (purchasing from the OEM, subsequent production costs) and the consideration of long-term durability are the decisive factors for the final application.
In addition to a classic heatsink solution, there is probably also a significantly more cost-intensive cooler variant with a specially designed vapor-chamber (VC), which could also explain the circulated cooler price of 150 USD. Whereby it was also not clear whether this refers to a Small Series Product.
Should this assumption prove to be true and NVIDIA’s Ampere-GeForce-RTX is just in the DVT time frame, a hard launch in September would be quite realistic or even very likely. I have summarized the usual development and production steps in the following table, which reflects the possible timing quite well, because these estimates are based on some previous launches by NVIDIA and AMD, which all turned out very similar, as well as various finger pointing from not only one source:
|BOM release||Bill Of Materials Release||May / June|
|EVT||Engineering Validation Test||June|
|DVT||Design Validation Test||June / July|
|EMI test||Electromagnetic Interference Test||Mid or End of July|
|PVT||Production validation test||End of July to beginning of August|
|PVT sorting||Beginning of August|
|PPBIOS|| Meals the final source BIOS|| Beginning of august |
|Ramp & MP|| Start of mass production (FE)||August|
|Launch||Media Event and first Benchmarks||September|
By the way, the small series isn’t even that far-fetched, because the GeForce RTX 2060 was first manufactured by a company in Hong Kong specialized in quick shots especially for the launch (and the media), before Foxconn was allowed to take the helm again for normal mass production. So it is worthwhile for the reviewers to have a closer look at the sample board. With a little practice, you can actually recognize something like this quite easily.