Nvidia moves the launch of the RTX 3080 Ti to February because Big Navi offers few threats

Rumor mill: We’ve been hearing rumors about the RTX 3080 Ti for some time now, most of which suggested it would arrive in January. But the final word around is that Nvidia is postponing that date to February, allowing the company to focus on improving the offering of its current cards. It also appears that the concern over Big Navi’s threat over the vanilla RTX 3080 has proved unfounded.

Last month brought rumors of an RTX 3080 Ti launch in January, and the card was one of several unreleased Ampere products spotted on HP’s OEM driver list last week. According to VideoCardz sources, the January launch has now been moved to February, a claim taken up by Igor Wallosek of Igor’s Lab.

Part of the reasoning behind the postponement is that AMD’s Big Navi cards are not a competitor to the RTX 3080 as Nvidia feared. In our tests, the Radeon RX 6800 XT is slightly ahead at 1440p across 18 games, while the RTX 3080 is the best performing card in 4K. Even the Radeon RX 6900 XT is only a few fps faster. As such, the green team doesn’t feel the need to launch an RTX 3080 Ti, which is said to double the VRAM of the standard version to 20GB of GDDR6X: both the RX 6800 XT and 6900 XT have 16GB of GDDR6.

Another reason behind the move could be the availability issues plaguing the current Ampere board crop. Nvidia said these shortages will continue until February 2021, the same month there are rumors that the RTX 3080 Ti will arrive.

Additionally, both publications believe there will be two versions of the RTX 3060 (6GB and 12GB), both of which are on HP’s list. The more powerful variant is expected to arrive between January 11-14, around the same time as CES, while the 6GB card is rumored to arrive in late January or early February. Interestingly, the 6GB RTX 3060 model is thought to have started out as the RTX 3050 Ti before Nvidia renamed it.