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Nvidia foreshadows GeForce RTX 2080 reveal next week -- not GTX 1180

Eager fans deconstructed an Nvidia Gamescom teaser and surfaced some compelling evidence for an RTX 2080 launch on Aug. 20.

Screenshot by Lori Grunin/CNET

When Nvidia posted a teaser video for its Aug. 20 Gamescom event, fans eagerly awaiting the company's next-generation flagship gaming graphics processor deconstructed it frame-by-frame. They delivered the verdict that the next high-end GeForce GPU will be named the RTX 2080, not the GTX 1180 as rumored.

The deciphered hints come from a messaging thread running throughout the video, with user names like "RoyTex," "AlanaT," "Eight Tee" and "Mac-20" presumably referring to "RTX," Alan Turing and a 2080. Cryptic numerals turned out to be the coordinates of Schanzenstraße 26, 51063, Cologne, Germany -- Gamescom takes place in Cologne. Both Reddit and Twitter commenters jumped on it.

Screenshot by Lori Grunin/CNET

At Siggraph yesterday, Nvidia announced its new series of cutting-edge workstation cards based on the company's Turing architecture, dubbed the Quadro RTX series. The "RT" stands for "ray tracing," a key feature of Turing that includes dedicated cores specifically to accelerate ray tracing to improve real-time rendering speed and quality -- Nvidia claims a 6x boost over the previous gen, Pascal -- so a Turing-based GeForce series named "RTX" makes a lot of sense. 

I don't think a GeForce RTX 2080 precludes an 1180, though, despite the "Not_11" hint tweeted above; that could just mean that the big announcement isn't the 1180. It would make sense for Nvidia to continue the Pascal-based GTX 11 series as an affordable alternative to a new flagship. 

Especially since the Turing-based boards probably won't be for everyone. Not only are they likely expensive -- the Quadro GPU chips start at $2,300 -- the Turing chips are huge and probably generate a ton more heat. 

On the other hand, the consumer Turing-based GPU may not have the tensor cores for AI processing that the workstation chips do, or include far fewer. The workstation GPUs are slated to be available sometime in the last three months of 2018, so the GeForce versions might be available in time for your holiday shopping.

To go with the new Quadro GPUs, Nvidia also announced a physical connector for the Quadro chips, NVLink, to bridge a pair of cards. It remains to be seen if it will offer something similarly new for gaming hardware to replace or supplement SLI, its current bridge technology.

Nvidia will also offer a new datacenter configuration technology based on the Turing Quadros. Hopefully, that might lead to a beefed-up GeForce Now service for Mac and PC -- and that it can finally leave what seems like its perpetual beta.

Nvidia declined to comment on the fervent speculation it started. Watch out for coverage from Gamescom next week, right here on CNET.

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