after a delay of a few months, Nvidia has finally released the RTX 3090 Ti – the new ultra-enthusiastic class graphics card from the green team. Described by its creators as “a GPU monster”, we can attest to this after seeing what third-party manufacturers have put into the full GA102 GPU to keep it cool.
The RTX 3090 Ti is similar to the GeForce RTX 3090 in many ways, but offers a 2.4% increase in CUDA cores: from 10,496 to 10,752. That brings another two RT Cores and eight more Tensor Cores, for a slight boost in ray tracing and machine learning performance.
Instead, you’ll find that most of this card’s performance comes from faster clock speeds. The RTX 3090 Ti runs on a base of 1560MHz and will increase to 1860MHz by default. Robust third-party models like the Colorful iGame Neptune – a GPU with its own attached liquid cooling loop – will boost another 45 MHz.
We’re playing with the Asus TUF RTX 3090 Ti OC card, and it’s rated, in OC mode, to run at 1,950MHz. Although it’s actually running faster than that in our benchmarking – averaging 1,990 MHz in our 4K Metro Exodus torture test. And at 1080p the Asus card will run above the 2GHz mark on average.
The 24GB of GDDR6X memory in the RTX 3090 Ti will also run at 21Gbps, a step up from the 19.5Gbps memory in the RTX 3090.
Although these speed increases it is thirsty work and every RTX 3090 Ti model we’ve heard of, from Colorful creeps up to an incredible 480W. Although models from other manufacturers may have 450W. This is a serious step up from the RTX 3090 at 350W and will generally require an 850W PSU to run, although Asus is suggesting a 1,000W PSU as a recommended spec.
High-end OC models can boost up to 510W at times, which really makes for an incredibly power-hungry board. As a result, larger coolers, even liquid coolers, are common across the entire RTX 3090 Ti lineup that we’ve seen so far. Our test sample is coming in at 492W, which is still pretty thirsty.
Are the performance gains worth it for all that extra heat and stuff? I mean, it would be pretty absurd to make a 29-46% jump in power consumption with no serious payoff, right? With our RTX 3090 Ti TUF, however, the returns certainly don’t exist in gaming terms; we’ve seen the performance delta over the RTX 3090 Founders Edition only be 5 – 16% at best.
And remember, this is with an overclocked version.
That’s why Nvidia is so keen to talk about its professional uses for its new card… despite still positioning it as a GeForce card rather than a Titan. Throw it into some Blender render and it will still fly compared to other RTX 30 series cards, but in gaming it’s really a matter of small returns.
|RTX 3090 Ti||RTX 3090|
|turn up the clock||1,860||1,695|
|memory capacity||24 GB||24 GB|
|memory speed||21 Gbps||19.5 Gbps|
|TDP||450 W||350 W|
In the UK, the RTX 3090 Ti is around £1,879, with high-end liquid-cooled versions for around £2,050, if not more. This roughly lines up with the previously rumored $1,999 US price tag, although you’ll find the larger models selling more than that.
At least it doesn’t seem to have a price close to the Price of $4,000 once posted by the first listings although those prices were really unbelievable. That said, we do know that the price of at least one vendor has dropped by about $800 in the last couple of weeks, so the launch price of third-party cards would have been much higher in the past.
Still, that’s a lot of money for an RTX 30-series card in the same year that we expect Nvidia (and AMD) to release a new generation of GPU. Of course, this is all subject to change, but this could very well be one last high-performance, high-powered hurray for Ampere.