A cryptic tweet posted by Nvidia’s GeForce Twitter account seems to suggest that the highly anticipated GeForce Ampere GPU could show up as soon as August 31.
The tweet from 6 a.m. PDT Monday shows what looks like a Big Bang explosion and the sound of a ticking clock. The header art for the @NvidiaGeForce account says: “The #ultimatecountdown. 21 days. 21 years.”
August 31 and 21 years is significant, because the original GeForce 256 was announced on August 31, 1999. The GeForce 256 was the first graphics card to features hardware transform and lighting effects. It also included hardware MPEG2 decoding. Up until then, a separate MPEG2 decoder card was required to watch a DVD on your PC.
Perhaps more symbolic was that Nvidia declared the 256 graphics card to be the first “GPU.” Now, 21 years later, many expect the company to launch its Ampere line of GPUs built on a smaller, more efficient process, marking Nvidia’s long-awaited evolution from its 12nm process.
Unconfirmed rumors have indicated the new cards will offer a significant performance increase over the current GeForce 2000-series of GPUs. The buzz suggests at least a 31-percent performance improvement in conventional gaming, while other hyped-up rumors suggest a 2X to 4X increase in ray tracing performance.
Rumors, as we know, are meaningless until confirmed, but the GeForce tweet does indicate the new card is imminent. With AMD also promising to introduce its “Big Navi” this year, and Intel expected to talk up its own Xe graphics this Tuesday, it’s a good time to be shopping for a GPU—as long as you can wait. Otherwise, as we note in our story, it’s actually an awful time to buy a GPU.