Could we say goodbye to colossal GPUs with the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti? I hope so!

A new rumor floating around suggests the GeForce RTX 4070 Ti’s GPU chip – which was previously slated for use in the RTX 4080 12GB –  will be 30% smaller than the chip found in the previous-gen RTX 3070 Ti, and 50% smaller than the AD102 chip used by the RTX 4090.

This comes from MEGAsizeGPU on Twitter, who posted an image of the incredibly tiny AD104 chip, which has an area of 296mm^2. The RTX 4070 Ti will feature the AD104 chip paired with 12GB of GDDR6X memory, and will allegedly launch with a price tag of $899 in early January, replacing the now-canceled RTX 4080 12GB.

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This price tag is still quite steep – especially considering that AMD’s flagship RX 7000 cards top out at $999. When we look at the difference in configurations between the RTX 4090 (which uses the AD102) and the RTX 4070 Ti (which will supposedly be using an AD104 chip) there are some pretty big discrepancies in renderer capabilities.

For example, the shader unit count on the RTX 4090 sits at 18432, expected for a contemporary high-end graphics card. The RTX 4070 Ti, however, has 7680 shader units, less than half that of the RTX 4090, and yet this significant difference is not reflected in the prices of the GPUs.

Analysis: Smaller cards good, cheaper cards better

If rumors are true, the RTX 4070 Ti could be a breath of fresh air for people building smaller PC setups. The RTX 40-series has met a lot of just criticism not just for its high price but the enormous physical size of the currently-available GPUs, which barely fit inside some PC cases. 

This forces users to bend the power cable at egregious angles to make it fit against their cases’ side panels, and is suspected to be one cause of the current cable-melting fiasco Nvidia finds itself embroiled in. 

The smaller GPU die will presumably mean less overall heat generation, which means cards can be built smaller – we’re likely to see some twin-fan models, unlike the almost universally triple-fan RTX 4080 and 4090 cards from third-party vendors. This is certainly a step in the right direction; with a purported maximum power draw of 300W, the AD104 is a lot less power-hungry than the flagship AD102.

However, all the trouble that came with ‘unlaunching’ and renaming the RTX 4070 Ti would seem a little pointless if the performance and price are not reflected in a consumer-friendly way. If this new GPU launches at the original $899 MSRP, more compact sizes won’t be enough to make it worthy of our recommendation.

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