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Nvidia’s RTX 5090 now rumored to have superfast clock speeds – as well as being super-slim – could this GPU be too good to be true?

Nvidia’s RTX 5090 could come packing way faster clock speeds than its predecessor flagship graphics card, or that’s the word from the grapevine.

As VideoCardz reports, over at the Chiphell forums, Panzerlied – a regular source of leaks, but still one we should approach with some trepidation – reckons that the RTX 5090 will run with a base clock of close to 2.9GHz out of the box.

To put that in perspective, the current Lovelace top dog GPU only just edges over 2.2GHz for its base clock, so the RTX 5090 will be very close to 30% faster than this – if, and it’s a chunky old if, this rumor is correct.

Indeed, even when boosting, the RTX 4090 typically doesn’t get much above 2.5GHz (out of the box, with default boosts), let alone anywhere near 3GHz. So, this is a pretty eye-opening revelation.

Panzerlied also recently informed us about the RTX 5090 supposedly using a 448-bit memory bus (as opposed to the previously rumored 512-bit bus), which would mean a VRAM loadout of 28GB (and not 32GB – though either way, that’s a massive amount of onboard memory). Remember, this will be speedy GDDR7 video RAM, too, if the rumor mill is anything to go by (and to be fair, this makes sense, especially for higher-end Blackwell GPUs).

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090

(Image credit: Future)

Analysis: Curveballs and conflicting rumors

This one is a bit of a curveball in some respects. For a base clock speed, 2.9GHz (or near) would be a huge step up. Remember, this is the out-of-the-box stock clock, so the boost would be higher, and of course, the potential to overclock on top of that would be higher still. You can get an RTX 4090 to 3GHz with overclocking (using an excellent cooling system, and the right know-how), so what might we expect from a 5090 in terms of pushing the GPU to its limits, if it’s not that far off 3GHz with its mere base clock?

So, we’re finding this rumor a bit difficult to swallow, particularly as it seems to be confusing matters with another piece of recent speculation. Namely, that the RTX 5090 could be much slimmed down, and perhaps even be a two-slot graphics card (rather than a three-slot-plus affair).

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The suggestion, then, is a much trimmer RTX 5090 that’ll more easily fit in your PC case, with massively juiced-up clock speeds. Two pieces of the rumor puzzle that don’t really fit very well together in terms of believability, let’s be honest. Unless Nvidia really is working miracles behind the scenes with the next-gen flagship to make it the best GPU ever seen at the premium end of the market.

Other RTX 5090 rumors have contradicted the slim graphics card theory, mind, though we need to be skeptical about those, too. Also, with a predicted up to 70% performance boost (gen-on-gen) in the past, the clock speeds being cranked up considerably could explain why Nvidia is getting such a big leap here. So, the ramped-up clocks could seem the more likely prospect, arguably, of these two rumor pieces, but we obviously can’t jump to conclusions.

Whatever the case, this won’t dampen expectations for the RTX 5090 to be a beast of a gaming GPU, and we’ll just have to wait to hear any further chatter on possible specs. We may not be all that far off our first leaked image, too, which will certainly confirm the size rumors, one way or another. The RTX 5090 is expected to debut later in 2024, maybe in just a few months, although it’s possible Nvidia’s RTX 5080 may launch a short time ahead of it.

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