It seems like the heatsink won’t be the only expensive addition to NVIDIA’s Ampere graphics cards. Turns out that has mandated all board partners to use a 12-layer PCB regardless of the model. These 12-layer boards along with a new back-drill process are essential for implementing GDDD6X memory and the new Base Design Kit, but are also much more expensive
The back-drill technology is also significantly harder to implement and as such will further add to the card. Its primary advantage is that it prevents any ghost signals, reflections, or impedance/inductance disturbances that can be the result of employing high frequencies and/or bit rates.
NVIDIA requires the back stub that causes these issues to be removed using the back-drill technique, thereby allowing the high-speed memory and data transfer. As already explained though, this is notable more expensive than the standard implementation.
Furthermore, it appears that the pilot production of the PCBs is already underway, with the RC2 BIOS (pre-final) prepped and ready. NVIDIA’s own Founders’ Edition cards will rely on 110mm cards, and as such you can expect most higher-end board partner models to also feature 100mm fans, and in some cases not two, but three of them.
Lastly, to prevent any benchmark leaks, NVIDIA has started using its own custom stress test, instead of TimeSpy, FireStrike, or Furmark. That’s the reason we haven’t seen any major leaks till now.