The Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti GPU leak hints to staggering power requirements

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3090 Ti is expected to be released soon, and reported specifications for an MSI version have been leaked, including a huge power usage surprise.

To be fair, we previously knew the RTX 3090 Ti would drain a lot of power – the vanilla 3090 already does – but now we know that MSI’s Suprim X 3090 Ti card might consume 480W (compared to 430W for MSI’s regular Suprim X 3090).

The PSU that MSI recommends in the leaked datasheet, which is a 1,000W power supply, is the true eye-opener (compared to an 850W unit for the standard RTX 3090). Yes, a thousand watts – that’s a lot of power.

The MSI Suprim X 3090 Ti is said to have a base speed of 1,560MHz, a boost to 1,860MHz, and an ‘Extreme Mode’ that increases the frequency to 1,900MHz. By the way, the CUDA core count is 10,752, as has been speculated for some time.

As previously stated, the new 3090 Ti graphics card is expected to be released in late January. The expected release date is January 27, however, word on the street is that Nvidia is experiencing manufacturing issues, which might cause the GPU’s introduction to be postponed.

Concerns about next-generation graphics cards’ power supplies?

How many individuals have a PC with a 1,000W power supply? There aren’t many, and we’re one of them. Of course, not many people will be interested in purchasing Nvidia’s ultimate top-of-the-line graphics card. Certainly not, considering the alleged price tag, which, if the rumour mill is correct on pricing, might cause even more jaws to drop than this supposed power demand.

The bigger problem of GPUs pushing harder yet with PSU needs, and the sighting of cards like the 3090 Ti making it easier to think that next-gen goods may genuinely turn out to be as power-hungry as the grapevine says, is of more worry to the ordinary computer user out there.

We’ve heard rumours that Nvidia’s next-gen ‘Lovelace’ GPUs might double power needs, putting them at 600W, and this type of pushing ahead with wattage at the highest level with Ampere makes it sound less far-fetched than it did when we originally heard the rumours. (AMD is also said to be significantly increasing power consumption for next-gen.)

The issue for many users may be that if next-gen mid-range needs are also substantially boosted, systems with limited wattage headroom owing to a smaller power supply may need to consider a PSU update if upgrading to a new Lovelace graphics card. And switching power supplies not only increases the total cost of a GPU update (as if that wasn’t terrible enough these days), but it also makes the upgrading procedure far more difficult.