NVIDIA has finally shared a teaser indicating the imminent launch of the Ampere consumer graphics cards. It shows a star going nova with the tagline, “The #Ultimate Countdown 21 Days 21 Years”. The latter appears to mark the 21st anniversary of the GeForce 256, the first GeForce product.
As for the 21 days, it can only mean that Ampere or the RTX 3080 and 3080 Ti will launch, or at least be announced on the 31st of August (21 days from now). Furthermore, the product of 21 and 256 is 5,376 which happens to be leaked core count of the GA102 GPU expected to power the RTX 3080 and the 3080 Ti.
This is exactly as we predicted. Last month, we had reported that the sampling for the Ampere graphics card would start in late August, followed by a hard launch in September. Keep in mind that the actual on-shelf availability will start from early to mid-September, and possibly even October for board partner cards.
Now that NVIDIA has revealed its hand, the ball is in AMD’s court. Team Red is expected to launch its Navi 2x and the much anticipated Big Navi GPU with as many as 80 CUs (5,120 shaders) later this year. The question is whether it’ll beat NVIDIA’s Ampere flagship or not? Truth be told, it won’t need to. A GPU that even comes within 5-10% of the 3080 Ti will be more than enough to cement AMD’s position in the high-end GPU market after a long hiatus.