NVIDIA Announces RTX 30 Series: RTX 2080 Ti Performance Now Starts at $499
GeForce RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 Announced
Today, NVIDIA finally revealed what they had planned to cap off the 21 day GeForce countdown. And while there was more on offer than new graphics cards, that’s the focus of this particular news post.
The short version? There are three new cards in the RTX 30 series, with the massive RTX 3090 at $1499, RTX 3080 at $699, and RTX 3070 at $499. Oh, and the $499 card has the same (or higher) performance level of an RTX 2080 Ti.
I’ll let that sink in for a moment. This isn’t just a generational leap, and it’s not just about ray tracing – though of course these cards bring with them 2nd Gen RTX. That performance level effectively brings us back to the beginning of the Pascal era with regard to pricing.
“Powered by Ampere, NVIDIA’s 2nd gen RTX architecture, GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards feature faster 2nd gen Ray Tracing Cores, faster 3rd gen Tensor Cores, and new streaming multiprocessors that together bring stunning visuals, faster frame rates, and AI acceleration for gamers and creators.
GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs also feature several world firsts: they’re the first gaming-class graphics cards with up to 24GB of new, blazing-fast GDDR6X VRAM; they’re the first GPUs with HDMI 2.1, for 4K high refresh rate and 8K gaming; they’re the first discrete GPUs with support for the AV1 codec, enabling you to watch high-resolution streams using significantly less bandwidth; and our Founders Edition cards are the first with innovative dual axial flow through cooling solutions.
And of course, GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs come packed with new technologies for esports competitors, livestreamers, creators, and gamers alike – NVIDIA Reflex reduces system latency, providing split-second PC gaming responsiveness; NVIDIA Broadcast turns any room into a home broadcast studio with AI-enhanced video and voice comms; updates to NVIDIA DLSS make 8K HDR gaming a reality on the GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card; and new NVIDIA Studio enhancements make creative applications run faster than ever before.”
The intro video via NVIDIA’s YouTube channel is embedded below:
At $499 the RTX 3070 might seem like a drop-in replacement for the RTX 2070, which launched at same price. But when NVIDIA mentioned that this new GPU matched the performance of their current flagship RTX 2080 Ti, it was a jaw-dropping moment. Or, at least a “staring at my monitor, blankly” moment.
The GeForce RTX 3070 specs include 5888 CUDA cores, a Boost Clock of 1.73 GHz, and 8GB of GDDR6 memory. Graphics card power is listed at 220W, and a single 8-pin PCIe connector required for the Founders Edition version (though this will need to be adapted to the new compact 12-pin connector).
Before the stunning RTX 3070 announcement we had our first look at the RTX 3080, which is also launching at the same price level – $699 – of the previous RTX 2080. Naturally, performance with this card easily eclipses the RTX 2080 Ti, and will be the fastest card NVIDIA has ever offered to gamers. Right? Not quite (because RTX 3090). But it’s still a flagship level GPU.
RTX 3080 specs include 8704 CUDA cores, Boost Clock of up to 1.71 GHz, and 10GB of 320-bit GDDR6X memory. Graphics card power is listed as 320W, with dual 8-pin connectors required (again with the new 12-pin connector).
RTX 3090: The BFGPU
The BFGPU has landed. RTX 3090 is a monster, and appears to be made with a tremendous amount of metal. It’s big. A big f—— GPU, if you will. Insane specs include 10496 CUDA cores (!), Boost clock up to 1.70 GHz (I’m seeing a 1.7 GHz trend here), and a massive 24GB of 384-bit GDDR6X. Graphics card power is 350W, and it is powered via two 8-pin PCIe/new 12-pin connector.
The relative size of the RTX 3090, while significantly thicker than the other RTX 30 series designs shown, does appear to be smaller than a house. In fact, it may just fit within standard enclosures!
But in all seriousness, there is a new airflow design associated with these new GPUs, at least with the NVIDIA-designed Founders Edition.
The path of warm air appears to pass over system memory and the CPU, meaning proper airflow and plenty of positive air pressure will be essential to effectively implement one of these GPUs in a standard enclosure.
RTX 30 Series: TL;DR
In summary, the announced RTX 30 Series GPUs – along with pricing and availability – are as follows:
- GeForce RTX 3070
- The least expensive RTX 3070 GPU is positioned as the “sweet spot” in the new Ampere-powered RTX GPU lineup, and it is actually faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti at less than half the price. Yes, that is what NVIDIA is saying. This seems like the go-to GPU going forward at $499.
- Availability for the RTX 3070 is set for October.
- GeForce RTX 3080
- Positioned as the new flagship consumer card, the RTX 3080 starts at $699. Performance is advertised as 2x faster than the RTX 2080.
- Available September 17.
- GeForce RTX 3090
- The big “ferocious” GPU, called “the fastest GPU ever built for gaming and creative types and is designed to power 60 fps at 8K resolution”. Performance is up to 50% faster than TITAN RTX. It has 24GB of GDDR6X memory, and draws up to 350W. In other words, massive gaming overkill for $1499.
- Available September 24