NVIDIA found repurposing lower bin GA102-250 originally thought to be the RTX 3080 Ti into GA102-300 RTX 3090 GPUs
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We have been seeing several reports of the RTX 3080 Ti in the past few weeks. Rumors so far have been indicating several rescheduled launch dates for the RTX 3080 Ti, but a new discovery indicates that NVIDIA will likely repurpose what was originally meant to be the RTX 3080 Ti as RTX 3090 GPUs.
Member isoO on the Hardwareluxx.de forums apparently bought an RTX 3090 and had opened it up for water cooling. In the process, it was noticed that the laser engraving on the RTX 3090 had the GA102-250-KD-A1 struck off and replaced with GA102-300-A1.
For those not in the know, GA102-300-A1 is the original RTX 3090 die while GA102-200-KD-A1 denotes an RTX 3080. Shortly after the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080 launched in September 2020, rumors started appearing of a GA102-250 GPU, which was originally expected to be the RTX 3080 Ti, with 9.984 CUDA cores and a 384-bit memory interface (12 or 24 GB GDDR6X VRAM).
The rumored specifications of the GA102-250 die saw several changes including an indication that it would instead be using a 320-bit memory interface (20 GB GDDR6X). The more recent rumors suggest that the RTX 3080 Ti is actually a GA102-225 GPU with 10,240 CUDA cores, 80 RT cores, and support for 12 GB GDDR6X VRAM.
It might have been plausible that NVIDIA originally intended to repurpose some of the defective GA102-300 chips as GA102-250 ones and introduce them with the RTX 3080 Ti. Based on this user's findings, it seems that NVIDIA might have scrapped that idea and, instead, enabled the full GA102-300 features for these parts as well. Since GA102-250 is essentially a lower bin, it remains to be seen if there would be any performance differences vis-à-vis a GA102-300 die. GPU-Z, however, does not seem to show any differences in boost clocks.
Hardwareluxx reports that this particular GPU seems to have been made in November 30, 2020, which probably means that the decision to repurpose these dies could have been taken soon after Ampere's September launch.
With the idea of using GA102-250 now likely being scrapped, the upcoming RTX 3080 Ti may indeed use a GA102-225 die. The launch date is still unconfirmed, but the GPU is expected to finally see the light of the day in May this year.