Keeping their tradition alive of launching a new graphics architecture every two years, this year, NVIDIA introduced its Ampere GPU. The Ampere GPU is built upon the foundation set by Turing. Termed as its biggest generational leap, the NVIDIA Ampere GPUs excel compared to previous generations at everything.
The Ampere lineup offers faster shader performance, faster ray tracing performance, and faster AI performance. Built on a brand new process node and featuring an architecture designed from the ground up, Ampere is a killer product with lots of numbers to talk about. The fundamental of Ampere was to take everything NVIDIA learned with its Turing architecture and not only refine it but to use its DNA to form a product in a completely new performance category.
Today, we will be taking a look at the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 24 GB graphics card, a monster of a graphics card featuring the full fat GA102 GPU.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Gaming Graphics Cards – The Biggest GPU Performance Leap in Recent History
Turing wasn’t just any graphics core, it was the graphics core that was to become the foundation of future GPUs. The future is realized now with next-generation consoles going deep in talks about ray tracing and AI-assisted super-sampling techniques. NVIDIA had a head start with Turing and its Ampere generation will only do things infinitely times better.
The Ampere GPU does many traditional things that we would expect from a GPU, but at the same time, also breaks the barrier when it comes to untraditional GPU operations. Just to sum up some features:
- New Streaming Multiprocessor (SM)
- New Turing Tensor Cores
- New Real-Time Ray Tracing Acceleration
- New Shading Enhancements
- New Deep Learning Features For Graphics & Inference
- New GDDR6X High-Performance Memory Subsystem
- New 2nd Generation NVLINK Interconnect
- New HDMI 2.1 Display Engine & Next-Gen NVENC/NVDEC
The technologies mentioned above are some of the main building blocks of the Ampere GPU, but there’s more within the graphics core itself which we will talk about in detail so let’s get started.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Pricing Per Segment
NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 30 series is made up of a diverse portfolio of graphics cards. The lineup starts at the GeForce RTX 3060 with an MSRP of $329 US and goes all the way up to higher-end configurations starting at $499 US for the GeForce RTX 3070, $599 US for the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, $699 US for the GeForce RTX 3080, $1199 US for the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and $1499 US for the GeForce RTX 3090. NVIDIA themselves call the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti the flagship graphics card and not the GeForce RTX 3090. With the arrival of the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti, we now have a new ultra-premium card starting at $1999 US.
The RTX 3080 & RTX 3070 are both priced well and in line with their predecessors but the GeForce RTX 3090 goes all out with a price of $1499 US. Even the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti has seen a price hike compared to the MSRP of the RTX 2080 Ti ($999 US vs $1199 US). NVIDIA calls the GeForce RTX 3090 the “BFGPU” and as per the terminology, it seems like this is a new marketing name for the Titan graphics card. It is likely that we could see a Titan-based card under the Quadro branding with faster specs out of the box but the GeForce RTX 3090 is purely a gaming graphics card first with all the horsepower for intense professional and workstation workloads.
With that said, the GeForce RTX 3080 replaces the RTX 2080 SUPER at the same price point and the GeForce RTX 3070 replaces the GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER at the same price point. Given this trend, we might see the more mainstream variants cost just as much as their RTX 20 SUPER series cards but with a higher performance out of the box.
NVIDIA GeForce GPU Segment/Tier Prices
|Titan Tier||Titan X (Maxwell)||Titan X (Pascal)||Titan Xp (Pascal)||Titan V (Volta)||Titan RTX (Turing)||GeForce RTX 3090||GeForce RTX 3090 Ti
GeForce RTX 3090
|Price||$999 US||$1199 US||$1199 US||$2999 US||$2499 US||$1499 US||$1999 US
|Ultra Enthusiast Tier||GeForce GTX 980 Ti||GeForce GTX 980 Ti||GeForce GTX 1080 Ti||GeForce RTX 2080 Ti||GeForce RTX 2080 Ti||GeForce RTX 3080 Ti||GeForce RTX 3080 Ti|
|Price||$649 US||$649 US||$699 US||$999 US||$999 US||$1199 US||$1199 US|
|Enthusiast Tier||GeForce GTX 980||GeForce GTX 1080||GeForce GTX 1080||GeForce RTX 2080||GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER||GeForce RTX 3080 10 GB||GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB|
|Price||$549 US||$549 US||$549 US||$699 US||$699 US||$699 US||$999 US|
|High-End Tier||GeForce GTX 970||GeForce GTX 1070||GeForce GTX 1070||GeForce RTX 2070||GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER||GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
GeForce RTX 3070
|GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 16 GB|
|Price||$329 US||$379 US||$379 US||$499 US||$499 US||$599
|Mainstream Tier||GeForce GTX 960||GeForce GTX 1060||GeForce GTX 1060||GeForce GTX 1060||GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER
GeForce RTX 2060
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER
GeForce GTX 1660
|GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB
|GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB
|Price||$199 US||$249 US||$249 US||$249 US||$399 US
|Entry Tier||GTX 750 Ti
|GTX 950||GTX 1050 Ti
|GTX 1050 Ti
|GTX 1650 SUPER
|GTX 1650 SUPER
|$149 US||$139 US
In addition to the specs/price update, NVIDIA’s RTX technologies are being widely adopted by major game engines and APIs such as Microsoft’s DirectX (DXR), Vulkan, Unreal Engine, Unity, and Frostbite. While there were only three RTX titles around the launch of the RTX 20 series cards, NVIDIA now has at least 28 titles that utilize their RTX feature set to offer real-time ray tracing with more coming soon.
In addition to that, with the upcoming consoles confirmed to feature ray tracing, developers can also make use of the RTX technology to fine-tune future games for the GeForce RTX hardware. Currently, NVIDIA has 13 game engines that are leveraging their RTX technologies for use in their upcoming and existing games while both Vulkan and DirectX 12 Ultimate APIs are part of the RTX ecosystem on the PC platform.
So for this review, I will be taking a look at MSI’s latest GeForce RTX 30 SUPRIM X series graphics card which includes the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 24 GB SUPRIM X.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 24 GB Graphics Card
At the heart of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti graphics card lies the GA102 GPU. The GA102 is the flagship gaming GPU and also the fastest gaming GPU that NVIDIA has produced. The GPU is based on Samsung’s 8nm custom process node designed specifically for NVIDIA and features a total of 28 Billion transistors. It measures 628mm2 which makes it the 2nd biggest gaming GPU ever produced right below the Turing TU102 GPU which powered the RTX 2080 Ti and Titan RTX.
The new shader core on the NVIDIA Ampere architecture is 2.7x faster, the new RT cores are 1.7x faster while the new Tensor cores are up to 2.7x faster than the previous generation Turing GPUs. The 2nd Generation RT core delivers dedicated hardware-accelerated ray-tracing performance & features twice the ray/triangles intersection with concurrent RT graphics and compute operations.
For the GeForce RTX 3090, NVIDIA has enabled a total of 84 SM units on its flagship which results in a total of 10,752 CUDA cores (vs 82 SM / 10496 cores on RTX 3090 Non-Ti). In addition to the CUDA cores, NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3090 Ti also comes packed with next-generation RT (Ray-Tracing) cores, Tensor cores, and brand new SM or streaming multi-processor units. The GPU runs at a base clock speed of 1560 MHz and a boost clock speed of 1860 MHz. The card has a TDP of 450W (a 100 Watt increase over the RTX 3090).
In terms of memory, the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti comes packed with 24 GB of memory and that too the next-generation GDDR6X design. With Micron’s latest and greatest graphics memory dies, the RTX 3090 Ti can deliver GDDR6X memory speeds of 21 Gbps. That along with a bus interface of 384-bit will deliver a cumulative bandwidth of 1008 Gbps.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti graphics card is also going to be the first PCIe Gen 5.0 compliant graphics card, rocking a single 16-pin power connector that can supply up to 600 Watts of power to the card. The new connector is rated for 600W power delivery is PCIe Gen 5.0 compatible & not designed for legacy PCIe Gen 2 or Gen 3 cards. All cards with a PCIe Gen 5 interface will come with a 3x 8-pin to 1x 16-pin connector adapter within the package. The Founders Edition is also going to utilize what seems to be an updated revision of the PG136 PCB board known as PG136C.
As for its feature set, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 24 GB graphics card rocks all the modern NV feature set such as the latest NVENC Encoder and NVCDEC Decoder, support for the latest APIs, 2nd Generation ray-tracing cores, 3rd Gen Tensor cores. It packs all the modern RTX features such as DLSS, Reflex, Broadcast, Resizable-BAR, Freestyle, Ansel, Highlights, Shadowplay, and G-SYNC support too.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Graphics Card Specifications
|Graphics Card Name||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 16 GB||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050|
|GPU Name||Ampere GA102-350?||Ampere GA102-300||Ampere GA102-225||Ampere GA102-220?||Ampere GA102-200||Ampere GA104-400||Ampere GA104-400||Ampere GA104-300||Ampere GA104-200
|Ampere GA106-300||Ampere GA106-150
|Process Node||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm|
|Die Size||628.4mm2||628.4mm2||628.4mm2||628.4mm2||628.4mm2||395.2mm2||395.2mm2||395.2mm2||395.2mm2 (GA104)||276mm2||276mm2 (GA106)|
|Transistors||28 Billion||28 Billion||28 Billion||28 Billion||28 Billion||17.4 Billion||17.4 Billion||17.4 Billion||17.4 Billion (GA104)||13.2 Billion||13.2 Billion (GA106)|
|TMUs / ROPs||336 / 112||328 / 112||320 / 112||280 / 104||272 / 96||184 / 96||184 / 96||184 / 96||152 / 80||112 / 64||80 / 32|
|Tensor / RT Cores||336 / 84||328 / 82||320 / 80||280 / 70||272 / 68||184 / 46||184 / 46||184 / 46||152 / 38||112 / 28||80 / 20|
|Base Clock||1560 MHz||1400 MHz||1365 MHz||TBA||1440 MHz||TBA||1575 MHz||1500 MHz||1410 MHz||1320 MHz||1552 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1860 MHz||1700 MHz||1665 MHz||TBA||1710 MHz||TBA||1770 MHz||1730 MHz||1665 MHz||1780 MHz||1777 MHz|
|FP32 Compute||40 TFLOPs||36 TFLOPs||34 TFLOPs||TBA||30 TFLOPs||TBA||22 TFLOPs||20 TFLOPs||16 TFLOPs||13 TFLOPs||9.1 TFLOPs|
|RT TFLOPs||74 RFLOPs||69 TFLOPs||67 TFLOPs||TBA||58 TFLOPs||TBA||44 TFLOPs||40 TFLOPs||32 TFLOPs||25 TFLOPs||18.2 TFLOPs|
|Tensor-TOPs||TBA||285 TOPs||273 TOPs||TBA||238 TOPs||TBA||183 TOPs||163 TOPs||192 TOPs||101 TOPs||72.8 TOPs|
|Memory Capacity||24 GB GDDR6X||24 GB GDDR6X||12 GB GDDR6X||12 GB GDDR6X||10 GB GDDR6X||16 GB GDDR6X||8 GB GDDR6X||8 GB GDDR6||8 GB GDDR6||12 GB GDDR6||8 GB GDDR6|
|Memory Speed||21 Gbps||19.5 Gbps||19 Gbps||19 Gbps||19 Gbps||21 Gbps||19 Gbps||14 Gbps||14 Gbps||16 Gbps||14 Gbps|
|Bandwidth||1008 GB/s||936 GB/s||912 Gbps||912 Gbps||760 GB/s||672 GB/s||608 GB/s||448 GB/s||448 GB/s||384 GB/s||224 GB/s|
|Price (MSRP / FE)||TBD||$1499 US||$1199||$999 US?||$699 US||$599 US?||$599 US||$499 US||$399 US||$329 US||$249 US|
|Launch (Availability)||29th March 2022?||24th September 2020||3rd June 2021||11th January 2022||17th September 2020||Cancelled?||10th June, 2021||29th October 2020||2nd December 2020||25th February 2021||27th January 2022|
In case you want to read our full NVIDIA Ampere GPU architecture deep dive and GeForce RTX 30 Founders Edition review, head over to this link.