The rumours about a potential Nvidia Ampere GPU architecture are such frickin’ vague, salty ones I think I might have developed heart disease as a result of trawling through them.
You know what you can trust? Our pick of the best CPUs for gaming.
To be honest they’re barely even really rumours. All the recent Ampere noises have come from German site, 3DCenter, posting a piece which rounds up the speculative ramblings of their own forum members.
The framing is around one forumite, by the name of Hübie, suggesting that TSMC had ceased production of Nvidia’s GP102 GPU, the chip at the heart of both the Pascal-based GTX Titans and the GTX 1080 Ti, around October/November last year. Given there might well be a surfeit of GPUs idly waiting for memory to appear - so they can be turned into fully functional graphics cards - it’s possible TSMC and Nvidia have no need to create extra Pascal silicon right now. I mean, the GPU industry is in a bit of a nightmare situation at the moment.
But, partially based on that unsubstantiated rumour, the 3DCenter folk are expecting a new generation of Nvidia graphics cards to appear in the spring of this year.
Well, we know that, whether they're gaming variants of the Nvidia Volta GPU architecture, Ampere graphics cards, or Turing-based boards, they're definitely not going to appear at either GDC and Nvidia’s own GTC events later on this month. We've spoken with Nvidia and they've confirmed there will be no new graphics cards launching at either event.
But what 3DCenter’s users are convinced the new graphics cards arriving this year will be part of a new generation of GPUs codenamed Ampere.
That said, Jen-Hsun reiterated in the recent Q4 earnings call that Nvidia "expect Pascal to continue to be the world's best gaming platform for the foreseeable future." Though he did frame it by stating they haven't announced anything in 2018 for the April to July time frame.
The first unsourced rumours about the existence of this Nvidia Ampere generation sprouted from fellow German site, Heise, saying: “information on the upcoming GPU generation, which should appear under the name ‘Ampere’, should be at the GPU Technology Conference 2018.”
The 3DCenter forumites have run with this, speculating that not only will Nvidia announce a brand new architecture in March, but they will start production in February for release in April. Really? REALLY?! Announcing and releasing a whole new GPU generation within four weeks?
Now I like a good rumour as much as the next tech journo, but c’mon... At the moment there is absolutely nothing vaguely official, nothing even close to a leak, out there about the existence of an Ampere codename let alone Ampere hardware.
Until Nvidia finally say something new about GPUs in March, or something way more trustworthy appears, we need to be very careful about what are likely leaks and what’s just random speculation.