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Nvidia RTX 5090 and 5080 could be here much sooner than expected

Leaks point to the new Nvidia Blackwell GeForce GPUs arriving much sooner than originally expected, thanks to competition from AMD.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 5090 and 5080 mockups on fiery background

It’s not just AMD’s new Zen 5 CPUs that are now expected to come out much sooner than we originally anticipated, as it’s now looking as though the Nvidia RTX 5090 release date could be landing well before the end of the year. Not only that, but it’s possible that Nvidia’s new Blackwell gaming GPUs will be announced at the Computex tradeshow in June 2024. There’s a catch, though.

The GeForce RTX 4090 might cost a bomb, but it’s also indisputably the best graphics card right now, with this flagship Nvidia GPU leading the performance charts since it launched back in 2022. There’s little high-end competition from AMD to threaten the RTX 4090 right now, though, so why would Nvidia release the new RTX 5090 earlier than expected?

The answer, according to sources who’ve spoken to tech leaker Moore’s Law is Dead (MLID), is that Nvidia’s next-gen Blackwell gaming graphics cards will be based on exactly the same GPU dies as its Blackwell enterprise products, and it needs to get the latter out the door quickly to fend off competition from AMD’s newly announced Machine Learning (MI) products. However, once these products are out, it will be easy for anyone to work out the specs of the gaming GPUs, as they’ll be based on the same dies.

MLID claims to have spoken to an insider at Nvidia who said, “Look, when we [Nvidia] announce Blackwell editions of RTX 6— and B40 type products, everyone’s basically gonna know the specs of what our gaming variants will be…because they are using the SAME dies haha…And thus we can’t drag our feet on launching GB202 and GB203 because we need those out ASAP to keep momentum going against AMD’s MI products that at a minimum offer a ton of RAM for cheap, and could pose a threat to us if they ever sort out their production bottlenecks.”

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So what sort of timescale are we looking at here? One of MLID’s sources at a graphics card manufacturer says that their company is “starting to gear up for a Q4 2024, or possibly even late Q3 launch for the RTX 5090 and RTX 5080.” Another source at a distributor says that they have “also heard that the RTX 5000 series will launch Q3 or Q4 of this year,” but adds that this “does surprise me a little bit.”

Q3 refers to the three-month period spanning from July to September, meaning we could see the first RTX 5090 and RTX 5080 cards turning up well before the end of the year. However, MLID is keen to stress that the likeliness of these cards coming out in Q3 is “slim” and that they’re probably going to come out in Q4 (October to December). Nvidia has previously released new GPUs in Q3, though – the RTX 3080, for example, launched in September 2020, but with very limited supply, and herein lies the catch we mentioned earlier.

Crucially, MLID’s source at Nvidia advises him to “note that just because something is ‘launched’ doesn’t mean it will be easy for you to buy in any serious numbers.” The implication here is that Nvidia is gearing up for a paper launch of the RTX 5090 and 5080, where all the information is out there, and a few cards have been made available for sale, but supply is severely limited.

As always with these leaks, bear in mind that none of this has been officially confirmed by Nvidia, and Moore’s Law is Dead’s leaks haven’t always turned out to be true. They made a slip up earlier this year, by publishing a slide about the AMD Zen 5 architecture that turned out to be a fake deliberately planted by a troll. Take all of this with a pinch of salt for now.

MLID anticipates that the RTX 5090 and 5080 will both be unveiled at Computex at the start of June, though, so we may not have to wait long until we know what’s actually in these new gaming GPUs.

I’m going to have to really hope that the rumors of a paper launch aren’t true, though. If there’s short supply of the latest GPUs, then we’re going to have to start buying cards at inflated prices from scalpers again, particularly with the potential extra demand for these GPUs created by the booming AI market.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a great gaming graphics card you can buy right now, check out our GeForce RTX 4070 Super review, where we run Nvidia’s latest mid-range GPU through its paces.