Next-gen Nvidia RTX 5090 GPU could have less VRAM than previously rumored – but that might be good news for gamers

Speculation about Nvidia’s RTX 5090 continues to emerge from the ever-spinning rumor mill at a faster pace, and we’re now hearing that the flagship graphics card might have a different memory configuration to that previously suggested.

Panzerlied, a leaker on Chiphell who has been actively discussing the RTX 5090 of late, now claims that it’ll use a 448-bit memory bus, not a 512-bit bus as recently rumored.

Why’s that important? Because it suggests that Nvidia will run with 14 memory modules on board (to match that bus) rather than 16, and therefore that the amount of VRAM will be slightly smaller.

Assuming the use of 2GB GDDR7 memory modules (again as rumored), rather than 32GB of VRAM we are going to be looking at 28GB of total video memory – add seasoning with all of this naturally.

As VideoCardz, which spotted this development, clarifies, this won’t affect the actual performance of the VRAM, and the bandwidth should be as previously rumored, 1568GB/s (hugely faster than Nvidia’s current flagship, the RTX 4090 – 50% nippier in fact).

Analysis: Turning a negative into a positive

So, the only downside will be that – assuming this is correct – RTX 5090 buyers will have slightly less video RAM to play with. But realistically, 28GB is still a hefty loadout of GDDR7, and should be plenty future-proofed enough if you’re only gaming with your next-gen Blackwell flagship, anyway. Having less VRAM also means this GPU will be a bit less attractive to professional users, which should help gamers on the supply and demand front.

Furthermore, this could have another slight positive, as with fewer VRAM modules, the cost of manufacturing the RTX 5090 will be slightly more affordable – of course, affordable is a relative term here. Another arguable point is the passing of any bill of materials (cost to the maker) savings on to the consumer, which Nvidia and partners may or may not do (they can name their price with this kind of top-end hardware, let’s face it – and that often seems to be exactly what’s done).

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Note that Panzerlied maintains that the GB202 chip – the GPU the RTX 5090 will use – will actually run up to a 512-bit memory bus, but this option will likely be saved for higher-end heavyweight graphics cards using the top-dog Blackwell chip. (Although there remains a possibility that Nvidia could push out an RTX 5090 Ti at a later date that opens the throttle fully to 512-bit – though with no competition from AMD at the high-end this time round, we’re doubtful on that score, and it didn’t happen with Lovelace either).

All that aside, the RTX 5090 is still shaping up to be one of the best graphics cards ever made by far, boasting a potentially huge leap in performance – and it might be much slimmer than the RTX 4090, too, rather incredibly (again, add salt).

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