Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3090 delivers exhilarating graphics prowess–the quickest doable gaming body charges at excessive resolutions, and excellent efficiency in skilled functions. However it’s not for everybody. At $1,500, it’s both a tough move or a no brainer, relying on how you propose to make use of it.
You may learn each nitty-gritty element in our complete overview of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Version. However when you don’t really feel like sifting via hundreds of phrases of technical and testing particulars, listed here are the 5 key issues it’s good to know.
1. Most players shouldn’t purchase it
Sure, the GeForce RTX 3090 provides the “final gaming expertise” that Nvidia promised. Most players shouldn’t purchase it, although.
Why? It’s easy: The $700 GeForce RTX 3080 provides 85 to 90 p.c of the gaming efficiency of the GeForce RTX 3090 for nicely underneath half of the RTX 3090’s value. It’s even nearer at 1440p decision, the place CPU and non-shading elements of the Ampere GPU structure develop into efficiency bottlenecks. The GeForce RTX 3090’s 24GB of GDDR6X reminiscence can be overkill for gaming.
The GeForce RTX 3080 is an excellent 4K and 1440p graphics card in its personal proper, toppling its RTX 2080 predecessor by as much as 80 p.c in video games, and the previous $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti flagship by about 30 p.c. It smokes. In case you’re a pure gamer with deep pockets and a thirst for the absolute best efficiency, value be damned, then positive—purchase an RTX 3090 if you’d like. Most players shouldn’t, although.
2. 8K gaming? Kinda-sorta
Nvidia claims the GeForce RTX 3090 is the world’s first graphics card able to 8K gaming. That’s solely sort of true.
Sure, you possibly can positively hit the hallowed 60 frames per second barrier at 8K decision in some video games, when you don’t thoughts bumping graphics settings down from Extremely to Excessive. However you possibly can solely accomplish that in less-strenuous video games—principally esports-class titles like Future 2, Grand Theft Auto V, Rocket League, and Rainbow Six Siege.
You can too hit 60 fps in video games that assist Nvidia’s Deep Studying Tremendous Sampling (DLSS) 2.1 expertise. DLSS provides an “extremely efficiency mode” that runs the sport at 2560×1440 in your graphics card’s shaders, then makes use of its AI tensor cores to intelligently upscale the picture 9X, to 8K. DLSS works fantastically, however it’s accessible in solely a handful of video games, together with Dying Stranding, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, and Management. These work simply high quality, too.
Many of the triple-A video games in our testing suite, nevertheless, wrestle to hit 30 fps at 8K decision, a lot much less clear 60 fps. In case you’re the sort of gamer that likes to choose up scorching new video games once they’re launched, 8K will most likely be a pipe dream as a rule, even with the RTX 3090. Is it the world’s first 8K gaming GPU? Certain. Generally. However nowhere close to universally. Mood your expectations.
HDMI 2.1 and AV1 decoding assist are good additional options for folks with 8K shows, however they’re additionally accessible with the cheaper RTX 3080.
Three. A steal for professionals
Who can purchase this card? Prosumers. In case you can put the RTX 3090 to work and take the excellent gaming efficiency as a compelling cherry on high, it’s an absolute monster—and a killer worth.
No, severely. Final era, the RTX Titan value $2,500 for barely extra efficiency than the $1,200 GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, however with an enormous 24GB of reminiscence capability. The brand new GeForce RTX 3090 blows away the RTX Titan in uncooked efficiency and comes with 24GB of (even quicker) GDDR6X reminiscence. However it prices a whopping $1,000 lower than the Titan did. We put the cardboard via its paces in quite a lot of rendering workloads that use OpenCL, CUDA, and Nvidia’s RTX-accelerated OptiX API alike in our major overview, as skilled efficiency tends to be extremely workload-dependent, in contrast to video games. (Spoiler: Nvidia’s CUDA and OptiX reside as much as the hype.)
In case your skilled workloads want a number of GPU energy and your duties demand extra reminiscence than typical client graphics playing cards supply—modifying 8K media, say—then the GeForce RTX 3090 is an excellent buy. Different good productiveness perks embody an NVLink connection lacking on different RTX 30-series GPUs, upgraded RT cores that velocity up the method of rendering movement blur in ray traced scenes, and quicker AI tensor cores that may now be used to assist speed up viewport and ultimate render efficiency in choose functions.
The uncooked efficiency of the beastly GA102 “Ampere” GPU and that 24GB VRAM buffer are the important thing attracts, although, adopted by NVLink assist. You already know when you want it. Simply bear in mind that the RTX 3090 doesn’t supply entry to the professionally optimized drivers created for Quadro GPUs, although devoted Nvidia Studio drivers revolve round artistic functions.
four. Taking part in with energy
That stage of energy doesn’t come from nowhere. The GeForce RTX 3090 calls for rather more power than the RTX Titan. The last-gen Titan had a thermal design energy of 280 watts, and Nvidia really useful pairing it with a 650W energy provide. The whole board energy of the RX 3090 is 350W, and also you’ll need a minimum of a 750W energy provide to run it. Upgrading your PSU could be very worthwhile when you want the RTX 3090’s fearsome efficiency, although.
Taming that energy takes heavy metallic too, it appears. Whereas the RTX 3080 Founders Version caught to a typical 2-slot design, the GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Version expands to take up three full slots. It’s an inch longer too. Many of the customized playing cards we’ve seen are simply as gargantuan. You may solely squeeze two into a typical midtower PC case.
In case you’re a prosumer who needs to cram a number of GeForce RTX 3090 playing cards into your system, it might take a specialised motherboard and case, liquid-cooling, or each to make it work, relying in your setup. Choices are positively accessible when you want them. It’s price noting that we’ve noticed a Gigabyte RTX 3090 with a standard 2-slot, blower-style cooler design that absolutely exhausts warmth out of your case. That might make it compelling for stuffing three or 4 RTX 3090s right into a typical PC case, however it stays to be seen how proscribing the cooling answer a lot doubtlessly impacts efficiency.
5. One high quality Founders Version
That mentioned, except you’ve bought specialised setup wants, you may want a third-party customized model of the RTX 3090. The bigger Three-slot Founders Version cooler delivers spectacular outcomes. It maxes out at an impressively chill 68 levels Celsius underneath full prolonged load. That’s a whopping 11 levels cooler than the RTX 3080 Founders Version, and on a par with the perfect customized air coolers we’ve ever seen—and its rivals had been plopped atop a lot much less potent GPUs.
Higher but, you’ll by no means hear it make a noise. Some graphics playing cards are loud. Some are whisper-quiet. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Version is totally silent. It’s a black gap for sound.
Nvidia’s full-fat Founders Version cooler is so distinctive, it’s exhausting to check customized options by third-party corporations outperforming it in thermals and acoustics with out some critical effort, in contrast to with the RTX 3080. We’re testing a customized RTX 3090 sporting a typical gamer-centric Three-slot cooler, and it isn’t as spectacular. Between the killer design and its adherence to Nvidia’s $1,499 MSRP, the Founders Version simply would possibly wind up being the RTX 3090 to get—if shares maintain up, that’s.
Learn the total GeForce RTX 3090 overview
That’s all it’s good to know for a high-level overview of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3090. Succinctly put: Pure players ought to most likely have a look at the GeForce RTX 3080, however the 3090 is a killer worth for prosumers with huge reminiscence wants. In case you’re nonetheless itching for more information, you should definitely take a look at our complete overview of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Version, the place we dig into deep element on each side we breezed via above—and extra. We’ve examined the cardboard with our standard array of gaming benchmarks, poked and prodded the 8K gaming claims, and benchmarked an array of content material creation workloads.
We’ve additionally revealed loads of different details about Nvidia’s RTX 30-series GPUs. Hit any of the hyperlinks beneath to verify them out:
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