The spotlight has officially shifted from the RTX 3090 to Nvidia’s new king of graphics cards, the RTX 3090 Ti. Although Nvidia announced the card back in January during CES 2022, all has been quiet on the Green front in regard to this card until now. Gaming hardware connoisseurs can experience the glory of the company’s best, and most expensive, new graphics card –Nvidia launched the 3090 Ti today.
Based on the same architecture and underlying hardware as the standard RTX 3090, this new flagship is distinguished in part by a binned GA102 GPU with the full allotment of 10,752 CUDA cores and additional on-chip hardware. In more simple terms, Nvidia picked the best chip samples it produced for its RTX 3090s and 3080 Tis, free from minor imperfections and capable of better clock speeds.
The chip is additionally paired with the fastest GDDR6X memory yet, capable of 21Gbps. It’s a greater effective bandwidth than the 19.5Gbps memory featured on the RTX 3090. Nvidia then built the cards to handle over 450W of power, allowing it to push its prime silicon to new levels of performance.
According to Nvidia, the RTX 3090 Ti manages about 9% better gaming performance than the RTX 3090. That’s 64% faster than the previous generation RTX 2080 Ti flagship for further perspective. What we have here is a true enthusiast card, capable of high refresh 4K gaming with cranked-up settings.
Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti reference specs
|Process Node||Samsung 8nm|
|Maximum Power Consumption||450W|
|Price (MSRP)||$1999+ USD|
While Nvidia only provided vague performance estimates at best, the claims sound reasonable at face value given the various modification to the base RTX 3090 design. We’ll have to wait for independent reviews of course, but we can still generally analyze the card based on the info provided.
The massively increased Total Board Power (TBP) is where the increased performance comes from. Nvidia’s driving the GPU and memory at higher clock speeds than before, clearly with diminishing power efficiency as a result of that. This not only means a new 16-pin power connector will be needed to power the card, it will also require a stout power supply no less than 850W, and perhaps more for overclocked AIB models.
The unprecedented high power consumption also means users will need to be ready for inevitably huge graphics cards. These ultimate chonkers will need plenty of PC case clearance, and additional support brackets will be smart additions to prevent sagging. Aside from this, users will need to have a high-airflow setup to keep the performance optimal and the hardware cool.
The tradeoff for all this hassle is that this graphics card should manage some serious performance no matter the resolution. Based on RTX 3090 data, users should easily manage to max out 4K 144Hz monitors in a fair number of games. Perhaps even over 100 fps in some of the most demanding titles with some settings tweaking. Or more likely, you’ll find ray tracing feasible in more titles.
Either way, installing an RTX 3090 Ti will provide an easy upgrade path to future Nvidia flagships. Because, let’s be honest, you’re not that worried about the price if you’re getting this.
Pricing and availability
According to Nvidia, the 3090 Ti launches with an MSRP starting at $1,999 USD. Considering the company’s track record, consumers should assume retail models to begin at prices higher than this. However, given the recent downward momentum of graphics card prices, this MSRP could prove realistic with time. Large launch markups still seem possible, though.
While not nearly as many customers will likely spring for the chance to grab this card due to both technical and financial reasons, supply sounds like it will be tight at launch. Nvidia noted this, but remains optimistic that availability will improve though April. There will be a Founder’s Edition of this card for those interested, but availability will be limited to Best Buy online.
The existence of this product shows there’s more demand for enthusiast-level gaming these days, but there’s also more to Nvidia’s RTX 3090 Ti than a cursory glance may suggest. To be fair to Nvidia, this is partially marketed as a professional card that also happens to game well. All that extra VRAM is not for gaming tasks.
However, it’s also rumored that the RTX 3090 Ti is somewhat of a trial run for the far more powerful RTX 4000 Series expected later this year. Characteristics of the high power consumption design will likely carry over to those cards, accompanied by the new 12- and 16-pin power connectors.
With this in mind, the Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti doesn’t seem as excessive. To Nvidia, it could be considered a stepping stone to the next generation. Still, it may be hard for many gamers to rationalize these high power, high heat cards of the future. Only time will tell.
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